Category Archives: Language

Word Structure

word structure

Word structure in English We have seen elsewhere (see Phonological Organization) that the sound system is organized at least at three levels:  phonemic syllabic word Monosyllabic words As is apparent, the simplest words consist of just one syllable, i.e. they are monosyllabic. We have noted (see Syllables and Clusters) how some words are constructed from just one nuclear vowel, […]

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World Languages

world languages

English in the world Where is English spoken as an official language? Look at the map below, and highlight the countries where you think English is the official language. What can you notice? What language(s) do you feel would be important to get by in? The following map shows countries that have English as their […]

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Word-Finding Difficulty

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Good communication skills require speakers to use lexical words, function words and inserts appropriately. Communication breakdown can occur in a communication disorder known as a word-finding difficulty.

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Type-Token Ratio

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The type-token ratio (TTR) is a measure of vocabulary variation within a written text or a person’s speech. The type-token ratios of two real world examples are calculated and interpreted. The type-token ratio is shown to be a helpful measure of lexical variety within a text. It can be used to monitor changes in children and adults with vocabulary difficulties.

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Language Transmission

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Transmission of language (our thoughts, feelings, ideas) is carried out using three main methods: speech, writing and signing.

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Vocabulary is the collection of words a person or group knows and uses. Different words are used in different modes of communication, such as speaking or writing. Slang, jargon and cant are used for different social functions. The concept of a word family is used to help calculate the size of a person’s vocabulary.

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Time-limited Language Variation

time-limited language variation

Time-limited language variation means that variations in a speaker’s linguistic choices and pronunciations reflect current social and political fashions and practices. Some linguistic choices are considered to be politically incorrect.

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Semantic Categories

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Back in 1973, the linguist Roger Brown identified several categories of meaning that all children seem to express. He called these categories semantic categories, which literally means ‘meaning categories’. We will consider four of these: (1) AGENT, (2) OBJECT, (3) ACTION, and (4) LOCATION.

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Lengthening Utterances with ‘And’

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Using ‘and’ as a connector is one of the most pervasive ways children extend their utterances beyond the Two and Three Word Stages. It is used creatively for a variety of reasons. Between 25-35 months at least four functions develop: additive, temporal, causal and adversative. There is a cumulative effect to using these functions, each function being dependent upon the function that precedes it.

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Linguistic Performance and Linguistic Competence

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Linguistic competence is an abstract, internalized ability that allows us to reject certain utterances as ungrammatical and the ability to interpret grammatical utterances that we have never heard before. In contrast, linguistic performance is the behavior of producing actual, authentic utterances.

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