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Language Development

Syntax

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Syntax is the basic structure of language,it is the way in which humans come to understand meaningful sentence formation ( Shaffer, et.al,2002).
Childern learn to  put meaningful sentences together by  using processing constraints which help them use social and contextual cues to form meanings and placements for words they do not know. There are four different processing constraints that  children use to make meaningful sentences, these are listed below :


Object scope constraint- Is the assumption that words refer to whole objects and not just their parts ex.the word dog refers to a entire dog and not just it's tail or ears.(Shaffer,et.al,2002).
 
Taxonomic constraint- Is the assumption that words lable categories of objects that share simmilar features. ex. cat represents all furry four-legged creatures.
(Shaffer,et.al,2002).
 
Lexical constraint- Is the assumption that every single word has a special meaning. ex.a calico is a type of cat.(Shaffer,et.al,2002).
 
Mutual Exclusivity- Is the assumption that each word represents a different meaning in a sentence. ex. in the sentence the cat chased the mouse.A child  can understand in this case, that cat and mouse are two separate entities ( Shaffer,et.al,2002). 
  

Another way children learn how to make meaningful sentences is through syntactical bootstrapping.
children use syntactical bootstrapping by anaylizing where a new word appears in a sentence.
Children usually are able to guess at whether new word refer to nouns or adjectives, depending on where they are placed in a sentence.
 

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