Free Essay

Aunt Lou and Ruby

In: English and Literature

Submitted By Judy16
Words 736
Pages 3
Text A is a transcript of Ruby, aged 3 years and 4 months. I believe the language shown in this text shows that Ruby is in the telegraphic stage of development. However she expresses signs of post telegraphic language.
Repetition is used throughout the transcript. Lou often repeats what Ruby says to her if she happens to make a grammatical error within her speech. Ruby says “yeh”; Lou reinforces the correct way to pronounce what Ruby is trying to articulate, by saying “yes” as soon as she has said it. Lou is doing this purposely in order to cushion the idea in Ruby’s head, that she has made an error when pronouncing a certain lexical choice. In this case “yeh” is described as more of a slang word, whereas “yes” is seen as the correct Standard English term. Lou is encouraging that when you say “yeh”, which has the same meaning as yes, it should be pronounced with an ‘s’, as it may be seen as more polite, this supports Skinners theory of language acquisition, he suggested that imitation and reinforcement helps develop a child’s knowledge on how to pronounce and say lexis. We can predict by reading through the transcript that Ruby has taken what Lou has reinforced on board. Ruby later on says “yes”, when Lou asks her if she wants apple juice, Lou again repeats after Ruby “yes”, she does this in order to emphasise the reinforcement that you pronounce “yeh” like “yes”, she has done this more than once as it is more likely to stay in Ruby’s head. This is acting as a kind of ‘role play’ in order to make Ruby learn a fun and effective way. Vivian Pauley emphasises on the importance of play in order to help children develop.
In the transcript Ruby says “bitted”; she has simply added ‘ed’ to the irregular verb ‘bit’, as she believes like regular verbs adding an ‘ed’ will highlight its tense, in this case past tense. However, in order to make it a past participle irregular verb, bit has to become ‘bitten’, something which may be hard for children to pick up straight away. The structure which Ruby has applied is very clever, as it is showing that she understands how to structure sentences, and she knows, to make regular verbs past tense you have to add ‘ed’, however she hasn’t quite understood the concept of irregular verbs, as she hasn’t quite understood the meaning of grammatical rules and its irregularities, this portrays that she is at the telegraphic stage.
We can see by looking through the transcript that several times the collaborative pronoun ‘we’ is used often. Lou says “Shall we take your jacket off”, the collaborative pronoun is used to make ‘take your jacket off’ polite, this supports Robin Lakoff’s Deficit theory as she believes women use certain lexis in order to sound more polite, in this case ‘shall we’. Lou says this in this manner as it is giving Ruby a sense that they are working together, like children do at school, whilst taking her jacket off. The modal auxiliary verb “shall” is also used to make the sentence polite; the syntax structure is almost interrogative however, its main use is to be rhetorical as Lou wants Ruby to take her coat off whether she wants to or not. Lou is Ruby’s auntie, and because of the context in which they are in, it is appropriate to speak this way, as they are informally more comfortable with each other as they are family rather than acquaintances, therefore using the pronoun ‘we’ doesn’t seem contextually miss-used.
Ruby lacks some of the politeness strategies that are required in normal conversation. This is shown by her very short utterances, as she quite often only responds with a “yes” or “no” answer and does not continue. This could be explained easily by Ruby being more interested in something else, for example her breakfast that is being made. However Lou is the person in this situation with the most power indicating that she should be setting the conversation.
In conclusion Ruby is still in the telegraphic stage however she expresses lots of example to show she will shortly be moving into the post telegraphic stage. There are plenty of example to show Aunt Lou has converged her language and is using techniques, whether known or unknown, to aid her niece’s development.

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