Monday, 12 December 2016

..And your baby acquires meaning

                                    SEMANTIC DEVELOPMENT OF YOUR CHILD.

Children do not speak randomly.They communicate. Remember,communication is the transfer of information from one person to another. And of course,words are very necessary in communication.

In this post,we will explain how your child learns to attach meaning to words.Simply put,the title of this post can suffice as what semantic development is. It is simply the process by which your darling learns to attach meaning  to the words he hears in his environment.

Once your child is a year and six months, He has an average vocabulary of 50 words.these words are mostly words he uses to refer to people such as his mum,Food items,Some actions such as come,go,see and social words  such as 'bye bye' and 'please' amongst others.processes through which children assign meaning

According to O'Grady and Archibald(2012), at 18 months,A child has an average of 50 words, learning ten words a day. When a child is six, his vocabulary has increased to fourteen thousand words and he learns up to twenty words per day. At seventeen,his vocabulary has increased to sixty thousand. Perhaps you've had this experience; you were away for awhile perhaps a month or two and when you returned, this little boy or girl you know has learnt so o o many new words that you can't help but marvel!! I am a living witness lol!!!. This shows that children learn words  and attach meaning to them at a very rapid rate.
I think it is important to add that children do not merely learn new words and attach some sort of meaning to them just because we taught them.No. The words children hear from us are almost insufficient to account for their rapidly growing vocabulary.

When children are still learning how to attach meaning to words,they generally commit should i say errors?yes, errors. The error of over extension of meaning and under extension of meaning. We will consider them seperately.

Over extension of meaning: This occurs when your child learns a new word and then proceeds to use that new word to refer to other things which that word does not represent.
My lecturer once shared a story of how her grand child saw a photograph of her father with his friends.First, the child pointed at her 'daddy' in the photograph and there after,pointed at all the males in the photograph and equally refered to them as 'daddy'. I have noticed that this is an error common amongst children. Another child refered to all four footed animals both cow,horse,tiger,etc as 'dog'. When my brother was growing up, he refered to all kinds of food simply as 'rai' - rice. Perhaps,i should add that over extension occurs in a kind of pattern. a child would never call his food 'dog' or give his mum the name of his favorite  meal. No. In over extension,a child learns a word which falls under a particular category and uses that term to refer to all other items that fall into that category. My brother used 'rice' to describe all kinds of food. He never used it to describe his toys or humans. Over extensions occur because children have not yet learnt the right word to describe an object or item and/or because they cant recall the appropriate name for an item though the know it so they use the next word that comes to mind. Parents unknowingly prolong over extension by acceptance ie failing to tell the child the correct word (Gruendell J.M 1977). After increasing until a certain point, over extensions diminish over time as the child receives corrective feedback. This feedback most often comes from parents and teachers, who help the child revise his or her word meaning boundaries(Chapman & Johnson,"what is the source of over extension errors in comprehension testing of two year olds?A reply to Fremgen and Fay".Journal of child language. 7:575-578 in

Under extension of meaning: This is the exact opposite of over extension.This is when a child narrows the use of a word.He fails to use a word to refer to other items to which that word apply. For example,a child may learn the word flower in connection to say a rose and fail to extend its meaning to other kinds of flowers (Fernádez & Cairns 2011). Generally, under extensions are not as noticeable as over extensions.

    I hope you had a nice read.its important to me that you do.Like,i always add,its important
    that you are conversant with all these stages of language development if not,if something     is amiss,how would you know??? 
    I'd really love to read all those funny tales of your baby's childhood.Email me at            look forward to hearing from you!!!

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