Semantic And Conceptual Language Milestones In Bilingual Babies

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Within the study “Semantic and Conceptual Knowledge Underlying Bilingual Babies’ First signs and Words”, Holowka, Brosseau-Lapré and Petitto attempt to gain understanding regarding bilingual babies reaching language milestones and their semantic capacities at the given milestones. The experiment addresses their hypotheses in four parts: Analysis I, which compares the bilingual milestones with monolingual milestones; Analysis II, which regards the use of TEs—or Translation Equivalents—and the bilingual babies’ recognition that they are learning two separate languages; Analysis III, focusing on the constraints of learning languages; and Analysis IV, considering the possibility that babies talk more about things they prefer to talk about. An …show more content…
Through the experiment, the researchers discovered that the babies organized their words in a similar manner to other bilingual and monolingual babies, and that babies tended to talk about similar things in every language. This could be attributed to the general items and events which children are often exposed to, such as food and toys. Nonetheless, the idea is remarkable since no two children will ever have the same environmental experience, yet these children all seemed to talk about the same general categories regardless of different lives and …show more content…
The conclusion was that children talk about things which they prefer first. To prove this, the researchers put the babies’ words into specific categories based on the semantic idea behind the word. The categories had subcategories within them, for a total of three different characteristics behind each word. The researchers split the categories of “Object” and “Nonobject” into “person-related” and “non-person-related”. Words belonging in the “person-related” category were object words such as “milk” and “doll” and nonobject words such a “yes” and “hello”. In the “non-person-related” category were objects such as “car” and “telephone” and nonobject words including “cold” and “good”. To categorize certain words so specifically can be problematic, since words themselves are not that black and white. Words are capable of fitting into many different categories, and the specificity which the researchers use to categorize each word is a bit too ambiguous. Words are capable of having different underlying meanings for the babies than what the researchers assume the babies associate those words with. For example, putting the words “car” and “telephone” in the “non-person-related” category may not be accurate to the child’s scheme regarding those words. A child may associate a car with themselves if they enjoy car rides to and from the store or the

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