Monolingual Milestones

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…
One of the major questions of the study was whether or not babies were confused while learning two different languages simultaneously. The way the researchers decided to determine whether or not this was occurring was to look at the babies’ use of TEs, or translation equivalents. If the babies used translation equivalents, meaning that they used two words or forms that meant the same thing for one referent, the researchers could conclude that the babies understood the fact that they were learning two completely different languages and could organize them as such semantically. If they did not use TEs, the conclusion would be that the babies were confused in regards to recognition of separate languages being acquired. The results were that babies did use TEs often and appropriately, implying that bilingual babies may recognize that two distinct languages are present in their language acquisition. This discovery lends to the intelligence of babies in regard to language acquisition, for this complex awareness that two languages are being presented and understanding the concepts behind languages—knowing that two words can refer to the same referent, each language has its own set of words and sounds, and the two languages are meant to be separate from one another, to name a few—allows people to better understand the deep linguistic capability of …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

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