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date: 28 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

As children learn to understand and use language, they must identify the units to be interpreted and produced in their speech community. The first units they identify in the speech stream are recurring syllables, words, or larger chunks from adult speech. Children represent these in memory, in adult form, along with any meanings they assign. Their first words in production are syllables, sometimes reduplicated, often distant from the adult target. As their motor skill improves, their words and then combinations of words become more recognizable. The units they use depend on the typology and grammatical structure of the language.

Keywords: comprehension vs. production, memory representation, motor skill, syllable, grammatical structure, typology, language acquisition

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