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California Santa Barbara Commentary on Children Acquisition of Language Discussion

California Santa Barbara Commentary on Children Acquisition of Language Discussion

Question Description

I’m working on a other discussion question and need guidance to help me learn.


1.Children have not learned the proper forms from the adults around them, they are not imitating what they have heard from adults. By doing this they are still trying to figure out grammatical rules like past tense verbs and plural nouns. Ways in which a parent can determine whether his or her toddler overgeneralizes new words are a toddler uses the word “goed” for “went” or “tooths” for teeth. Another way could be when a toddler adds an -s to a form a plural like in “somes” for “some” or “mores” for “more.” Children will grow out of this; a lot of parents worry but it is normal. At the same time, it is also showing them that their toddler is still applying some rules.

2.Ways that parents can determine whether his or her toddler overgeneralizes new words is paying attention to when children are using past tense verbs such as “go”. When a child knows how to use a new word correctly the first time, normally they won’t know reason why they did it right until it is used wrong. So that could be one way for parent to know, constant communication to the child until you notice them using it incorrectly. Another way that a parent could determine overgeneralization is practicing different kinds of conversations with the child. An example of practicing is engaging a child with practice books that shows the different variations of verbs in past tense or future. This way, a child knows something to refer to if they are told that they are using a verb is the wrong variation. Overall, besides practicing and engaging a child into conversations there’s really no other way to securely determine overgeneralization on new words for a toddler unless you find out yourself or hear it from someone else.

  1. Overgeneralization or overextension is the process by which children use words in an overly general manner. In other words, they apply the regular rules of grammar to irregular nouns and verbs. Overgeneralization leads to forms which we sometimes hear in the speech of young children such as goed, eated, foots, and fishes. It shows that children actively construct words’ meanings and forms during the child’s own development. The below examples help parents to understand whether his or her toddler overgeneralizes new words they learned during language acquisition. There are three types of overextensions: categorical, analogical, and relational.

Categorical overextension involves using one word within a category to label a closely related referent that falls in the same category. Examples are seen in references to people (e.g. daddy for all men), animals (e.g. dog for horses and other quadrupeds), and numerous other categories. Toddlers make analogical overextensions when they extend a word they know to other words that are perceptually similar. For example, a child uses a ball to refer to all round objects (e.g. the moon). A toddler uses relational overextensions when they extend a word they know to other words that are semantically or thematically related. For example, a toddler may use the word flower to refer to a watering can. overextensions diminish over time as the child receives corrective feedback from parents, teachers, or caregivers.


1.I think that declarative pointing is more challenging for infants than imperative because declarative pointing involves a social process between the infant and the adult and is more linked to the understanding of people’s intentions. Rather, imperative pointing is when the child wants an object that might be out of reach from them. Declarative pointing is more focused on the call to the object as well as comment on the object. I think declarative pointing relates to understanding other people’s intentions because you have to know what the infant or person is asking for and to know you have to learn by failure and trial. For example if a baby wants their toy they will call attention to the adult and point to the toy of interest, the adult must know the intention of the baby of wanting that toy.

2.For infants, Declarative pointing is more challenging because at that certain age they are still trying to process their environment around them. For the infant, it would be hard for them to understand other intentions due to being newborn and having and young brain. But imperative pointing would be slightly easier for infants because it would involve gesturing for them to understand. Since infants don’t know the words on what to do and what not to do gesturing would be slightly easier for them to understand. From what I understated about a declarative point is related to intentions due to being that they both need to have a motivation for action or goal that they want to do.

  1. I feel that declarative pointing is more of a challenge for infants rather than imperative pointing because without the use of words to communicate they will less likely get the response that are looking for. An adult might assume that the infant just wanted to show them something rather than giving it the full attention that the infant was hoping for. An infant probably didn’t want what they were giving attention to, and when an adult just hands it to them, they may become confused or even frustrated. This goes greatly with how we interpret the intentions of a person, because by just pointing to something, we are not giving a full and clear response to what it is we want seen or known.

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