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date: 14 December 2018

Abstract and Keywords

Children normally start to talk in their second year. In joint attention with adult speakers, they learn to map word forms and meanings, and add words to gestures like pointing and reaching to communicate their intentions. They assign meanings to new words by contrasting them with words already known, and build up their vocabulary from 100-200 words at age 2 to around 14,000 by age 6. But vocabulary sizes vary considerably with the amount of direct adult-child interaction children get to participate in before age 3. Young children rely on common ground (often provided by the adult) and attend to lexical packaging and word collocations as they start to produce word combinations. Early on, they make many errors in pronunciation, morphology, word choice, and syntax. Adults frequently reformulate these errors in conventional form, offering feedback that children attend to and make use of.

Keywords: interaction, joint attention, speaker intention, reformulation, conventionality, contrast, vocabulary size, common ground, word combination

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