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By Martin Montgomery

An advent to Language and Society explores how our methods of seeing and interesting with the area could be formed by way of the types, structures and styles of language. This moment variation contains new fabric on gender, sign in, the speech group, language and subcultures, and language and illustration.

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If, over the course of a few days, the child uses ‘nanana’ on different occasions but always in the context of gaining a desired object and for that purpose only, then we seem to have very strong grounds for claiming that the child has systematically coupled the sound with the meaning. Indeed, it is precisely this consistent and systematic application by the child on several occasions of particular sounds (sometimes also a particular posture or gesture independently of a vocal expression) for particular meanings that constitutes a watershed in the child’s growing capacity to communicate—that constitutes, indeed, the emergence of a protolanguage .

Clearly it is both. But surely it must also involve a presumed entity that can be both ‘counted’ and ‘positioned’, so that a satisfactory account of it will involve three categories, two explicit and one latent (enclosed within brackets): quantifier (+entity) +location This seems most likely, especially since by this time the child will already be producing some three-word utterances of the type ‘mummy do it’, ‘Michael rolled it’, or even a four-word string such as ‘me a wet boy’. A quite credible hypothesis would be that the meaning base expands slightly in advance of the child’s capacity to give shape to it in actual utterances, and so for a while s/he goes on squeezing it into the twoword phrase, consolidating as s/he goes along.

With this expression the child is able to elicit focused and situationally relevant linguistic labels, tailored directly to his needs and interests. 1 CHILD: wassat? ) wassat? ) wassat? ) 1 PARENT: what’s that? ) 2 CHILD: wassat? ) those are called spools 4 CHILD: wassat? wassat? ) wassat? ) 6 CHILD: ’sat? ’sat? ’sat? ’sat? ) ’sat mummy? 7 PARENT: what love? 8 < previous page page_11 next page > < previous page page_12 next page > Page 12 show me 9 CHILD: ’sat mummy? 10 PARENT: what are you pointing to?

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