Journal of Psycholinguistic Research

, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp 343–350 | Cite as

A pragmatic description of early language development

  • John Dore
Brief Note


Language acquisition involves more than learning the abstract structures of linguistic competence. The child also has to learn how to use linguistic structures appropriately. In this paper, the speech act is proposed as the unit of analysis for studying the pragmatics of early child language. The results of a study of children's uses of single-word utterances are reported, and the data are analyzed in terms of “primitive speech acts.”


Cognitive Psychology Early Child Language Development Language Acquisition Abstract Structure 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Dore
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Bernard M. Baruch College of the City University of New YorkNew York
  2. 2.The Rockefeller UniversityNew York

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