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The first step is the connection of a signifier (a word or utterance) and the signified—the step where children learn that a “thing” has a “name” (a sound) and the “thing”can be referred to by “naming” (saying) it. The second step is syntax recognition (by hearing parents’ speech, the child put words together in a recognized order--“Momma go bye-bye,” never “Bye-bye go Momma.” The next stage is recognition of grammar variations (to the question “Did the nursie poke you?” The answer “Nursie poke you” is changed to “Nursie poke me.”) At the last part of this stage, overcorrection and rule conformation appear: “I goed to the playground (because the child has learned that the past tense is made by adding –ed to a verb) but has not learned the exceptions. The fourth stage happens when the child learns that imaginary, nonexistent, non-present things can be named and discussed—language abstraction). Of course, language recognition and language use do not come simultaneously.
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