Speech Analysis Essay, Research Paper
The language sample that was analyzed was taken from a child 4 years and 11 months old. The recording took place in the child s bedroom, and I was the only other person present. The sample analysis is based on approximately 15 minutes of speech or 50 utterances.
After transcribing the sample, I first calculated the Type Token Ratio (TTR). The Type Token Ratio measures the child s lexical diversity. It is calculated by dividing the total number of different words by the total number of words. Your result is then compared to normative data. The Type Token Ratio of my language sample was .424, resulting from the total number of 135 different words divided by the total number of 318 words. Comparing my result to the norm of a child about the same age, there is a difference of .03. This means that the Type Token Ratio of my language sample is not significantly under the mean. The child has about the same lexical diversity as most children her age.
The second analysis was a measure of the child s grammatical or syntactic development. This was determined by finding the Mean Length Utterance (MLU). The Mean Length Utterance can be found by first adding up the total number of morphemes (basic unit of meaning) in the sample and then dividing it by the total number of utterances, which was 50 in this case. The total number of morphemes in the sample was 379. This resulted in a MLU of 7.58. Also comparing this result to the range of children within one standard deviation of the predicted MLU, it can be seen that the child is over the normal range of 4.44-6.82. This could mean that the child is slightly ahead in syntactic development for her age, but it also must be taken into a count that this was only calculated from 50 utterances, which is a small representation of the child s speech and development.
The syntactic analysis was used to determine different stages of linguistic development based on the Production Characteristics of Linguistic Development Organized by Brown s Stages in the areas of negation, yes/no questions, wh- questions, and complex sentences. For negation, the most frequent and also most advanced stage was Late V, which is the highest stage of negation recorded on the chart. Only one yes/no question utterance was recorded in the language sample and that fell into Stage III, which marks a yes/no question with rising intonation. According to the chart, Stage III develops between 31 to 41 months old. Also only one wh- question utterance was recorded and that fell into the Late I/Early II Stage. This stage of development comes between 23 to 31 months. The child exhibited the most frequent level of complex sentences at Early IV, however, the most advanced was Late V. Although at first glance it may be thought that the child is behind because the highest level is not always the most frequent, that is not the case. Even though the child may not use her most advanced level frequently, the fact that she has used it at some point in the language sample proves that she has to some extent mastered that level. According to this sample, the child seems to be developing normally since there are no significant weaknesses.
The final part of the analysis concerned the child s pragmatic development. After looking at each utterance and classifying them according to Dore s Conversational Acts, a few things can be observed. There was a close to equal amount of description and statement utterances, a few less response to request utterances, and the least amount of request utterances. This indicates that in this sample, the child was mostly describing past and present facts and stating facts. The child appears to have alot to tell the listener about her personal experiences. She rarely made requests to the listener and is happy just talking about things that she wants to share. The second part of the pragmatic analysis had to do with turn taking. 82% of the utterances were responses, leaving only 18% to be initiating utterances. The child mostly responded to questions and then elaborated on them by adding more detail. The child is aware to some point of turn taking rules, and only one initiating utterance could be marked as an interruption. The child is very talkative.
From this analysis was can learn about the child s morphological, semantic, syntactic, and pragmatic language development. All of the conclusions drawn are only for this child at the time the sample was taken and only for fifty utterances. The child is slightly above average in syntactic development, slightly below average in morphological development, and exhibits signs of average semantic development. The pragmatic analysis was only descriptive and cannot be compared to any norms. Through these analyses we can see that the child is following a normal pattern of development with no significant strengths or weaknesses.