Infant Language Development

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Language is a communicative system of words and symbols unique to humans. The origins of language are still a mystery as fossil remains cannot speak. However, the rudiments of language can be inferred through studying linguistic development in children and the cognitive and communicative abilities of primates as discussed by Bridgeman (2003). This essay illustrates the skills infants have that will eventually help them to acquire language. The topics covered are firstly, the biological aspects, the contribution of the human brain to language development? Secondly, key theories of language development will be considered. Is the development innate? Is there a critical period? Thirdly, what must be learned? What are the rudiments infants must master? Finally, how important are the social aspects of language acquisition? Who else is involved in the linguistic development of the infant? Consideration of empirical evidence and academic view points from experts in the field of psychology will be given. The vocal tract crucial to language acquisition would have been unable to develop unless the human brain evolved with it indicates Bridgman (2003). Speech production writes Carslon (2010) must have brain functionality to support and is a lateralised function. However in the main 90% of language production is left hemispheric. Thus the mechanical abilities are localised in the occipital, temporal and parietal lobes. Broca’s area allows speech production and Wernicke’s area accounts for the production of meaningful words. Aphasia in Broca’s area is indicative of slow and laboured dialogue production whilst Wernicke’s area allows fluidity and un-laboured vocalizations however, lacks grammatical sense. Through development the tongue and m... ... middle of paper ... ..., Messer, D., Moore. S., & Sterling, C. (2009). Cognitive Psychology. In G Davey (Eds), Complete Psychology (2nd ed). (pp 234-301). Oxford:Hodder education. Ault. R.L. (1997). Children’s cognitive development. New York: Oxford university press Bjorkland, D.F. (2005). Children’s thinking, cognitive development and individual differences (4th ed). USA: Thomson Wadsworth. Bridgeman, B. (2003). Psychology & evolution, the origins of the mind. California: Sage publications inc. Carlson, N.R. (2010). Psychology of behaviour (10th Ed).Boston: Pearson international edition. Deloache, J., Eisenberg, J., Siegler, R. (2003).How children develop (1st ed). New York: Worth publihsers Gleitman, H., Fridlund, A.J.,Reisberg, D., (2004). Psychology (6th ed). New York: W.W.Norton and company Kuhl, P. (2010). Brain mechanisms in early language acquisition: Neuron, 67, 713- 728.
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