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The language is the collection of symbols and rules for combining the symbols, which can express and infinite variety of messages. In the definition, language separate to three criteria. First is language is symbolic which known as the use of symbols such in spoken or written words to express ideas to the world. The second is language is generative which define as the capability to produce many different messages by combining symbols in different ways. The third language as structured which mean following grammatical rules and produce grammatical sentences. Besides the criteria, language has three aspects such as grammar, meaning and sounds.
Three Aspects of Language
Grammar is known as a set of rules for producing correct sentences in a language. Meaning is known as semantic understanding of sentences but is not necessary grammatically correct. Meaning of words can represent by breaking them into morphemes which is known as small units of meanings. Morphemes include stem words, prefixes and suffixes. For example word ‘unfairly’ which has stem word as fair adding of prefix un and suffix ly and these morphemes produces changes in word stem. Each of morphemes contributes the different meaning for the words. The sounds are also very important in language. Its produce the phonemes to understand the spoken sentences. In hierarchical organization when producing sentences people will make error in speaking or slip of the tongue. The errors also can divide into word errors, morphemes errors and phoneme errors. There are other types errors occur in the linguistic such as word exchange, morpheme exchange and phoneme exchange. Word exchange is an error in which two linguistic units are substituted for each other during sentence production. For example “buying mother for my fruits” rather than “buying fruits for my mother”. The morpheme exchange is known as error in which two morphemes are substituted for each other during sentence production. For example, sentence like “speakly loud” rather than “speak loudly”. Finally, phoneme exchange is known as an error in which two phonemes are substituted for each other during sentence production. For example, “twit nower” for “twin tower”.
Psychology and Grammar
Psychologists are interest to study how people learn to speak in grammatically correct sentences. Phrase structure grammar can define as a set of rules for partitioning a sentence into its grammatical units and it has 3 rules. The first is partitions the sentence into noun phrase followed by verb phrase. The second rule is states that the noun phrase can be partitioned into a determiner followed by a noun. The third rule states that the verb phrase can be partitioned into a verb followed by noun phrase, which is again broken down into a determiner and a noun. But Chomsky (1965) found that the phrase structure grammar does not explain how sentences can be modified to form of similar meaning. Later it came up with transformational grammar which known as a set of rules for transforming a sentence into a closely related sentence. For example, how we change an active statement into a passive statement. Besides that, words can be grammatical clues. The relation between meaning and grammar is important because producing a grammatical sentence does not make the sentence will be meaningful. The meaning of words sometimes provides hints as to grammatical phrases will come next in sentences. Many words have more than one meaning but this would not confuse us. The context in which the word appears gives information about which meaning is appropriate. Carpenter and Daneman’s (1981) general model of the stages involved in the sentence comprehension. The first stage is as fixate and encode the next word and then second stage is retrieving the meanings of words. The third step is try to integrate retrieved concepts with prior context and the fourth step is seeing whether it has integration been successfully completed for at least one concept. If the integration is successful, the process encodes next code and if not successful, we try to recover the error.
Using Semantic Context in Sentence Comprehension
The word recognition is often facilitated by the semantic context. Sometimes, people face difficulties in recognizing a word when reading the illegible handwriting and they rely on the surrounding words and sentences to help us identify the illegible word. People also select the meaning of ambiguous words by looking context of sentences. In resolving ambiguities, good readers those who are active in working memory able to interpret of an ambiguous word and quickly select the suitable meaning when they receive a clarifying context. Interpreting phrases is to produce syntactic and semantic representations of a sentence and relate the sentence to prior knowledge. For example, when people heard phrase ‘a business man’ and they might have few interpretation like ‘have luxury cars’, ‘a big bangle’ and ‘rich with money’.
Implication of Sentences
Comprehension is considering how people understand sentences in which the information asserted directly. But, using language can imply something without directly. In Courtroom testimony, implications can influence not only how a witness responds to questions but also helps the jury to remember about testimony of witness. The implication without telling the original meaning of something can find advertising. Some advertisement tells the problems face by customer and show their product as solution. So that people then understand how the product functioning.
Title: Investigating the role of language in children’s early educational outcomes
From: Sue Roulstone, Judy Clegg & Tim Paters (2010)
Children develop their language skill at 2 years old. Their communication environments influence mainly their language development. The communication environments are the context where the children improve their language for example, interaction or activity with child and parent, playing with others, television program and others. In childhood period most children develop their speech and language skills with less effort.
Roulston, Clegg and Paters (2010) have conducted a longitudinal study about their communication environment in children’s early educational performances. They want examine the characteristics of the environment in which children learn to communicate and extends which affect children readiness for school (language skills, reading, mathematics and social skills). They came up with three research questions. First is what extent is child’s early language development associated with performance on assessments in schools. The second is what extent is the child’s early communication environment associated with performance on the assessments. Third is what are the characteristics of the children’ early communication environment that contribute to the children language developments.
They conducted the study on children who are in 24 months from 4941 boys and 4688 girls. The test conducted with questionnaires which complete by the mothers. The data collected about children academic performance from children schools.
They found that from view of impact of children early language development on school entry, the language influenced mainly from social class or social background where children come from. The learning early language made an important contribution to the variation in children’s performance. Children understandings and use of vocabulary are very strongly associates with their performance.
Besides that, from view of the impact of children communication environment, children who are early ownership of book, trips to library, get good attendance in school, parents teaching with activities and toys achieved higher scores on the assessment. Children also improve language from television program however, the increasing duration in time of watching television affect child’s academic at school negatively. From the view of role of communication environment in the development of language skills, both children’s language skills & communication environment are important for outcomes at start of primary schools. Communication environment helps to learn vocabulary, understanding of meaning of words and develop speech.
Therefore, the role of language becomes clear within 24 months. Parents should make sure that children have better communication environment which help them to develop their language skills.
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