Complete 10 page APA formatted essay: Semantic Acquisition (Linguistics).
Usually, young children refer to the objects or people that they are familiar with in their early speech (Barrett 1995). It is interesting that most of the children follow the same process of lexicon acquisition (De Villiers 1978). The process can be divided into five different stages (De Villiers 1978). First, children learn proper names in the first stage as proper names only have one referent for each word (De Villiers 1978). Then, common nouns are acquired soon after the first stage (De Villiers 1978). This is because the structures of common nouns are more complex and children need time to master the application of these words (Barrett 1995). The third stage is acquiring simple verbs and adjectives (De Villiers 1978). These two categories share a similar complexity and similar properties (Barrett 1995). In order to study the verbs and simple adjectives, young children need to master the correlation and interaction between their perceptual development and lexical development (De Villiers 1978). The fourth stage is the acquisition of relational words (De Villiers 1978). These words have more complex meanings (Barrett 1995). It is somewhat difficult for young children to understand the concept of relational words since a comparison for the described object and the context is required (De Villiers 1978). The final stage is the acquisition of deictic expression (De Villiers 1978). Words in this category express the most complex idea of comparison (De Villiers 1978).
Nelson (1973) has suggested that there are significant individual differences in the types of words that young children acquire in stage I (Katherine Nelson (1973) in De Villiers 1978, p. 124). Two kinds of children can be found in the early lexicon development of children (De Villiers 1978). They are identified as “referential children” and “expressive children”, respectively (De Villiers 1978). Referential children can be defined as those children who acquire and use words of