Georgie (nodding) (mumbling) Look! Mum Who’s that? Georgie Minnie Mouse Georgie Can’t do the pedals. Nearly done it Mum Nearly. Outside you will won’t ya. Wow look at that. That’s just right for you ain’t it. Do you like it? Georgie Yeah Mum You wanted a little bike didn’t you. You pleased? This conversation incorporates various aspects of child directed speech, in that my mother is encouraging my language by asking lots of predictable questions.
My mother also uses a significant amount of simple sentences and holophrases. For example: “Nearly”, and “you pleased?
” Neither of these sentences are full sentences, and the latter utterance even omits the vital verb. “Nearly” simply repeats what I have already said, which is yet another feature of child directed speech. When looking through the collected data, it became clear that most of my interaction as a child was with my brother, James, who is 17 months older than me. After realising this, I was interested in looking at any dialogues between us and whether, as a younger sibling, I looked up to my brother in both his actions and language.
09/06/92 Jamie She didn’t wanna pay for even bread Georgie even bread
Jamie Or even rolls Georgie even rolls Jamie Or even oranges Georgie oranges Jamie Or even apples… or even bananas Georgie or even apples… or even bananas This dialogue was taken from the 09/06/92 transcript; the second earliest data collected for the purpose of this investigation. The most obvious thing to recognise from this transcript is how I copied what my brother said.
It is clear that my brother took the lead in the conversation, and even though I was the one pretending to read the book, I allowed my brother to effectively read it for me so that I could repeat what he said.
As can be seen from the overlaps in the transcript, I copied every word as soon as it had been said, showing that I was eager to interact with my brother. Clearly from this transcript, it can be seen that my sibling has significantly affected my own utterances. As a young child, I shared a bedroom with my brother and perhaps this created a bond between us, strengthening our relationship. This could explain my eagerness to be like him and attempt to copy him. 25/12/92 Mum And a pile for you… so. No hang on George, they’re all for… they’re for all together, what you have to share. Right, Jamie’s are over here Georgie Over there?
Mum This side Georgie That side There is an aspect of some humour within this dialogue, as I repeated both things that my mother said, but changing the “here” to “there” and “this” to “that. ” This shows that I have a very solid understanding of location in terms of language; I grasped the concept that if I was standing somewhere different to my mother, then my utterance would follow a similar pattern to my mother’s, but changing the preposition to fit the location. I believe in this transcript, I was not necessarily dependent on my mother’s language, but I chose to incorporate my own knowledge of language into the conversation.
25/12/92 Georgie Oh, just what I didn’t want mum Mum Just like you didn’t want? Georgie No I didn’t even want it I didn’t Dad You didn’t even want it? Using both of these small dialogues as a means of an analysis into child directed speech, it can be seen that both my mother and father incorporated aspects of CDS into their utterances. By turning my sentence into a question, they encouraged me to expand on what I had said. By doing this, it inevitably developed my language, as I was forced to either recast or extend my utterance. 25/12/92 Georgie Oh! Thank you, I didn’t even want this did I mummy?
Mum You mean you didn’t ask for it, not you didn’t even want it. That’s what you mean isn’t it? By correcting me when I made a grammatical error, my mother was pushing me to learn the correct term for something. This is also an aspect of child directed speech; firstly, my mother corrected the term, and then repeated what I had said in the negative form. She then verified that that’s what I meant, using the question “that’s what you mean isn’t it? ” This is more of declarative statement than a question; it already assumes the answer. 25/12/92 Georgie Mum! Mummy! Mummy, I didn’t ask for this
Mum You didn’t ask for it Georgie I didn’t ask for this Leading on from the previous dialogue, a few presents later I expressed how I didn’t ask for something, rather than saying I didn’t want it. This perhaps suggests that CDS does indeed have an influence on a child’s language, as I have gone from not understanding the concept of saying I didn’t specifically ask for something to realising what verb is the most appropriate to use in that context. Given that I learnt this on the same day, this surely provides considerable evidence that my mother and father’s speech helped me discover the correct terms.
11/03/93 Georgie I love it Mum You love it? Georgie Yeah I love being my birthday. ‘Cos I’m 4 today aren’t… aren’t I. Mum Open the presents, do you wanna open a present? Georgie Yeah, this 1. (undecipherable) Bag! Mum What is it? Georgie Bag! Georgie I’m 4 now aren’t I Mum Yeah. 4 today Georgie 4 today All of the above transcripts show my mother reacting to my utterances by asking further questions, or turning my own utterance into a question. This is in order to keep the conversation predictable. Georgie Oh four! Mum Four! Who’s it from? Georgie Don’t know Mum Read the name.
You know the name Georgie James Mum That’s it. Good girl Georgie And he’s done some kisses and love Mum Kisses. Love. Yup that’s it. This transcript shows my mother encouraging me to read the name in my birthday card; she uses praise (“good girl”) when I get it correct; this suggests that praise is an important factor in teaching a child the correct forms of language. My mother also repeats some of my sentence in one word utterances (“kisses” and “love”) – this is a major part of child directed speech and is aimed at holding my attention. Mum George, she’s really lovely. Mummy loves her.
I want one I chose to make a brief comment about this sentence as it shows one of Myszor’s suggestions in that a caregiver will omit the use of pronouns; my mother is effectively talking about herself in the third person. This prevents confusing me and makes sure I know who is being talked about. This interesting sentence appears to conform to Myszor’s theory, however I cannot make assumptions or definitive judgements based simply on this sentence. 25/12/93 Georgie What is it… bed! It’s a bed mum! Mum It’s a bed! Oh, beautiful! Georgie Cor, dear! Mum Oh, it’s lovely George isn’t it!
Is that was you wanted as well? Georgie Yeah. I’m opening… this one now. Dad, Barbie… bath!! Bath! Mum Oh brilliant! Dad Oh you got the bath! Georgie Bath! Bath! Jamie Where? Georgie I got the bath! I got the bath! Jamie She’s got the princess doll Barbie, she’s got the bed, she’s got the bath Dad Georgie what you got?! Mum Oh, fantastic! Dad Cor, Georgie! Brilliant! Georgie Yeah!!! I wanted that, I wanted it! Dad Well, you can’t expect no more Barbie stuff now. Think you’ve got it all girl! Jamie It’s another Barbie thing Georgie How do you know? Yeah it is, it is!
It is! Dad What is it mate? Georgie And it’s a ken! Mum Ken! Georgie Look! I knew I was gonna get the Ken! Mum Did you? Georgie Look, a nice crystal Ken, look Mum Oh, he’s gorgeous isn’t he Georgie He’s got his shoes Mum Oh! Dad Brilliant darling This is a fairly lengthy conversation to analyse, but there are many aspects of influenced language that I felt would be beneficial to talk about in a language acquisition investigation. The first utterance chosen by my mother is a repetition of what I have just said, almost as if to verify that what I have said is correct.
My second sentence is fairly humorous, as it is a very ‘adult-like’ statement; looking through my transcripts, there are many occasions where the sentence “cor dear” is spoken by my mother or father. This perhaps suggests that a child listens to their parents more than is thought. In a child’s surroundings, they are inevitably likely to pick up various sayings, however the most obvious question to ask would be does the child understand the context of the saying? Can a child apply the saying to a sentence that fits the conventions of Standard English?
In this case, it seems that I have picked up on the general meaning of the non-standard utterance “cor, dear,” however I cannot quite manage to use it accurately. Mostly in this transcript, my parents use the words “fantastic” and “brilliant. ” This is in order to match my excitement at my presents, and to hold my attention in the conversation. December 1994 Georgie Whoa look at that aeroplane it keeps lowering and lowering. That’s gonna land. Well I’ve seen an aeroplane land before Shelley Have you? Georgie It was on holiday and we went on the swings and we see it land in the…
on the grass Shelley Wow Georgie And I went in it. I had a photo on it Shelley Did you? Georgie And I stood on the erm bit that hangs out. I can’t find any more In this conversation, I am talking to my dad’s new partner. I struck up the conversation which shows I am fairly confident in talking to people outside of my main family structure – i. e. my comfort zone. Shelley is successful in holding my attention by using repeated sentence frames and keeping the conversation predictable, however in reality; it is me who is in control of the conversation.
In this case, I believe that the child directed speech used by Shelley does not necessarily have an effect on my own utterances, as it seems I would have told my story whether she had had an input or not. Pragmatically, one could assume that Shelley does not have the greatest of interest in the story, as she doesn’t input any of her own thoughts or ideas into the conversation; or perhaps another pragmatic interpretation could suggest that she is concerned with allowing me to express myself, without interrupting too much. 2.
What grammatical terms are used by a child at the age of three and what evidence is there of these choices becoming refined by the time the child reaches five? Perhaps the most obvious aspect to look at grammatically in spoken language is verb errors and verb / subject agreement. It was interesting to look at the data of when I was younger, through to the data as I grew older. ANALYSIS 11/03/92 Georgie (mumbling on phone, undecipherable) Oh it’s been lost! It… it has mum In terms of grammar, this is a useful conversation to look at.
Sometimes, a child at the age of three will find it difficult to put into words what they mean. The context of this situation will predominately and inevitably affect the language uses and the interpretations of it, so therefore to put this transcript into context; I am playing with a ‘play kitchen’ that I have received for my birthday. I am referring to a frying pan in this first sentence. Somehow, the first sentence doesn’t work grammatically; its formation isn’t completely correct yet is still understandable – however, my over use of the pronoun ‘it’ could confuse some as to what I am talking about.