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The Language Hoax

By John H. McWhorter

The Language Hoax "argues that that all humans process life the same way, regardless of their language."


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Language and Development in Africa

By H. Ekkehard Wolff

Language and Development in Africa "discusses the resourcefulness of languages, both local and global, in view of the ongoing transformation of African societies as much as for economic development.. "


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Academic Paper


Title: Mothers respond differently to infants' familiar versus non-familiar verbal imitations
Author: Janet Olson
Institution: Northern Illinois University
Author: Elise Frank Masur
Institution: Northern Illinois University
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition
Abstract: Mothers' verbal responses to their infants' spontaneous imitations of familiar and non-familiar words during naturally occurring interactions were examined in a longitudinal sample observed at 1 ; 1, 1 ; 5 and 1 ; 9. Maternal responses to both familiar and non-familiar imitations exhibited structural characteristics likely to be facilitative of early word learning, including shorter and single-word utterances and reproductions of imitated words in sentence-final position. Mothers also responded differentially to infants' non-familiar versus familiar imitations. Mothers produced more return imitations and more exact repetitions, providing an extra exemplar, following infants' imitations of non-familiar words. The familiar words infants imitated were more likely to receive the more complex expanded and reduced+expanded return imitations. Results suggest mothers' responses to infants' verbal imitations could serve as a mechanism for facilitating language acquisition.

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This article appears IN Journal of Child Language Vol. 39, Issue 4, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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