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Some contributions of mothers' speech to their children's syntactic growth*

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 September 2008

Erika Hoff-Ginsberg
Affiliation:
University of Wisconsin–Parkside

Abstract

This study examined the relationship between mothers' speech and the rate of child syntax growth for 22 2½-year-old children whose speech was sampled at two-month intervals over a six-month period. The relations which appeared suggest that linguistic experience does contribute to syntax development, but that the relation between linguistic input and language growth is different for different domains of language and at different points in the course of development. The results further suggest that there are multiple bases to the benefit of input to language acquisition. One mechanism particularly suggested by the findings is that children analyse the distributional properties of the speech they hear and may induce linguistic structure from the relationship between the structural properties of adjacent utterances in discourse.

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Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1985

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