Year 13: Exam question on Language Acquisition

9 June 2009

Here is Adam, in the year following his first word combinations at the age of 2 years and 3 months (Pinker, 1994a). The numbers by the transcript indicate his age, so 2;3 means two years, three months and so on. Look carefully at the following changes in his language development, and using the systematic framework analyse the ways in which his language has changed, suggesting relevant contextual factors where appropriate, and referring to any further research you have encountered during your studies.2;3: Play checkers. Big drum. I got horn.
2;4: See marching bear go? Screw part machine.
2;5: Now put boots on. Where wrench go? What that paper clip doing?
2;6: Write a piece a paper. What that egg doing? No, I don’t want to sit seat.
2;7: Where piece a paper go? Dropped a rubber band. Rintintin don’t fly, Mommy.
2;8: Let me get down with the boots on. How tiger be so healthy and
fly like kite? Joshua throw like a penguin.
2;9: Where Mommy keep her pocket book? Show you something funny.
2;10: Look at that train Ursula brought. You don’t have paper. Do you want little bit, Cromer?
2;11: Do want some pie on your face? Why you mixing baby chocolate? I said why not you coming in? We going turn light on so you can’t – see.
3;0: I going come in fourteen minutes. I going wear that to wedding. Those are not strong mens. You dress me up like a baby elephant.
3;1: I like to play with something else. You know how to put it back together. I gon’ make it like a rocket to blast off with. You want – to give me some carrots and some beans? Press the button and catch – it, sir. Why you put the pacifier in his mouth?
3;2: So it can’t be cleaned? I broke my racing car. Do you know the light wents off? When it’s got a flat tire it’s need a go to the station. I’m going to mail this so the letter can’t come off. I – want to have some espresso. Can I put my head in the mailbox so – the mailman can know where I are and put me in the mailbox? Can I – keep the screwdriver just like a carpenter keep the screwdriver?

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