The University of Sussex

Caregiver speech style and the child's acquisition of deictic expressions

Margaret Walker

This paper argues, on the basis of recorded data relevant to the acquisition of a range of deictic terms, that caregivers switch from adult usage to `motherese' in respect of a particular term during the period of the child's acquisition of that term. This in turn points to the need for much finer grain studies of the temporal pattern of acquisition. Aggregating across a set of terms is likely to obscure the microstructure of the developmental process.


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