Assignment 4


In this assignment, you will use evidence from your speech sample transcription to analyze your child’s syntactic/morphological development. You will code your transcription for the number of morphemes per utterance, calculate your child’s MLU, identify your child’s stage of grammatical development, and discuss the types of sentences your child uses.

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By completing this assignment you will practice the following skills that are essential to your success in this course as well as in the field of child development:

understanding basic methodology used in the field

applying basic disciplinary tools in a real-world context
This assignment will also help you to become familiar with the following important content knowledge in this discipline:

stages of syntactic and morphological development (MLO 2.3)

conventions of speech sample coding (MLO 6.3)

calculation of MLU (MLO 2.3)
Answer the following questions using evidence from your speech sample transcription:

1. Calculate MLU, identify what stage of grammatical development the child is in, and whether this is appropriate for their age.
2. What types of sentences does the child produce? Are there more declaratives, negatives, or questions in the sample? At what stage of negative sentence and question formation is the child? Are there complex sentences at all?

Code each line of your original speech transcription for the number of morphemes per utterance (you can put this number in parentheses at the end of each line)

Calculate MLU, following the detailed instructions given in the lecture

Give actual numbers of declaratives, negative sentences, questions, and complex sentences; do not just say, “Most sentences are declarative.”

Pay close attention to the definition of declarative sentences (these must minimally have a verb and a subject; “yes,” or “the black cat” are not declarative sentences) and of complex sentences (these must have two verbs clauses – they are not just long sentences!)

Provide specific examples from the transcription, accompanied by utterance numbers

Discuss your findings, integrating information from the textbook and lecture

Attach a copy of your transcription to your assignment, with the total

number of morphemes for each utterance clearly marked

Refer to “Sample Assignment 4” to see what is expected

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