Earlier I discussed that children learn specific aspects of language to do specific things for them.  Speech sounds, for example, are learned to communicate wants/needs/socializations, etc. that contain words that contain those sounds.  Now to expand on that…

In complexity phonology follows phonetics.  Children must learn the phonologic rules of a language as discrete units.  Again there is a natural impulse that if a child does not learn these rules the desire to communicate wants and needs will be frustrated.  Most normally developing kids go through a period of trial and error with phonologic rules.  For some children, this period extends past what we would consider an acceptable period, though eventually almost all children learn their specific language’s accepted phonology with or without intervention.  Without intervention phonology errors often turn into more stubborn articulation errors.

We use morphologic units to communicate increasingly complex concepts.  To learn tense in English you must learn helping verb and verb combinations, and word endings such as –ed, –ing, and –s.  To learn specificity you learn articles (a and the) and demonstrative pronouns (this, that, these, and those).  To refer to people and objects with unknown labels you must learn pronouns.  If you want to understand and communicate where anything is, you’d better learn the prepositions of your language.  To learn to describe concepts by what they’re not, you need to learn negatives like not and no, and the contractions formed from not.  If you want to talk about and understand when others talk about combinations of things you will be forced to learn first basic conjunctions, such as and, followed by the other words we use to communicate complex ideas (such as if, or, because, unless, although, etc.).  Every word and word part serves functions and people in this manner.

To be continued…

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