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Braunwald (Susan R.) Language Acquisition Diaries

About this Collection

This collection is comprised of diaries created by Susan R. Braunwald documenting her second child's acquisition of American English between late infancy (8-months) and early childhood (50-months). The diaries are redacted photocopied versions that are otherwise exact copies of the originals. The handwritten diaries contain information about an inclusive process of language acquisition that encompasses pragmatics, semantics, and syntax and is considered the "most complete diary in existence of one child's development of complex syntax." The daily entries from 12-to-48 months including detailed contextual and developmental notes make these data useful for research in child language and more broadly in many academic disciplines. The daily observations of L’s emergent language describe the developmental transition from the zenith of a constrained and child-specific protolanguage to the first tentative production of many English words. The emergent form of a verb, a vocabulary spurt and displacement—the need to talk about a topic other than one present in the immediate environment—were the overt milestones during the transition from a protolanguage to a natural language. Braunwald’s annotation, data analyses and interpretative hypotheses are included. The data included in this journal may be of interest to researchers in other academic disciplines, including social sciences (e.g., psychology, education, etc.) and any one searching for a longitudinal description of language development in a single child. This collection is referenced by the Braunwald-Max Planck Corpus CHILDES American English, View collection guide.

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