Skip to main content

Telegraphic Speech

  • Reference work entry
  • 651 Accesses

Synonyms

Early multiword utterances; Three-word phrases and sentences

Definition

Telegraphic speech is a concise message characterized by the use of three-word short phrases or sentences made up of main content words such as nouns and verbs and void of function words and grammatical morphemes such as articles (e.g., the, a), auxiliaries or modals (e.g., is, are, can), prepositions (e.g., in, on), and tense morphemes (e.g., -ing, -ed, -s). The omission of certain words and grammatical morphemes resembles what is typically seen in a brief telegram, hence the term telegraphic speech. Telegraphic speech is seen developmentally when a child moves beyond the two-word, relational stage of language development and begins to express longer, three-word sentences using a finite set of grammatical categories, such as nouns, verbs, and adjectives.

Information regarding language developmental milestones (including the use of telegraphic speech) of children with autism is somewhat lacking. Autism is...

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

Chapter
USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4419-1698-3_1123
  • Chapter length: 2 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
eBook
USD   1,999.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-1-4419-1698-3
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout

References and Readings

  • Brown, R. (1973). A first language: The early stages. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Demuth, K. (1994). On the underspecification of functional categories in early grammars. In B. Lust, M. Suner, & J. Whitman (Eds.), Syntactic theory and first language acquisition: Cross-linguistic perspectives (pp. 119–1234). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hoff, E. (2001). The development of syntax and morphology: Learning the structure of language. In E. Hoff (Ed.), Language development (2nd ed., pp. 201–257). Stamford, CT: Thomson Learning.

    Google Scholar 

  • Tager-Flusberg, H., Paul, R., & Lord, C. (2005). Language and communication in autism. In D. J. Cohen & F. R. Volkmar (Eds.), Handbook of autism and pervasive developmental disorders (3rd ed., pp. 335–364). New York: Wiley.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Cheryl Smith Gabig .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York

About this entry

Cite this entry

Gabig, C.S. (2013). Telegraphic Speech. In: Volkmar, F.R. (eds) Encyclopedia of Autism Spectrum Disorders. Springer, New York, NY. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1698-3_1123

Download citation