Language Sample Assignment

Lauren Wasmuth
Language Sample Assignment
CSD 300
1. MLU in words:
387/72 = 5.38
MLU in morphemes:
435/72 = 6.04
Percent correct in obligatory context for AUX:
(Utterances: 15, 22, 26, 34, 35, 37, 38, 40, 42, 43, 46, 47, 54, 62, 63)
[11/15] x100 = 73%
Percent correct in obligatory context for 3S:
(Utterances: 16, 33, 50, 59, 65)
[5/6] x100 = 83%
2. A) This child is 3 years and 11 months old. Based on the charts provided in the supplementary
reading, the child has an above average MLU for her age. The charts showed that a child her age
should be producing between 4.40 and 4.60 MLUs. She is producing well over that, with a MLU
of 6.04. Although these charts suggest that the child has an appropriate MLU for her age, we
cannot directly say this. The data from the charts in the supplementary reading were taken from
fairly small sample sizes in Wisconsin, so they may not be an accurate representation of all
children. We can infer that the child probably has an appropriate MLU, but the supplementary
reading is not sufficient material to make a decision.
B) The child did make some other errors in her utterances. In utterance 12, she says “No he
don’t” instead of no he doesn’t. In utterance 48 the incorrect form of have/has is used when she
says, “But he have water and food.” Another example is in utterances 58 and 70. The child uses
overextension by adding an extra ‘-ed’ on the end of the words. Finally, in utterance 67 a
possessive is missing. The child says “what is this one name?” All of these mistakes are minor
errors. They show that the child learning and trying to produce new language. For example,
regarding the overextensions, the child is applying rules she learning in the past to new words.
She may have used them incorrectly, but this is how children learn. Through trial and error she
will eventually learn the correct words. Several of her errors also had to do with Brown’s 14
morphemes. These are difficult concepts for early language learners. Errors are to be expected.
Lauren Wasmuth
Language Sample Assignment
CSD 300
C) The child produced many complex sentences. An example of one of these complex sentences
is, “And when my cat was sleeping he had a balloon in his hand.” But, just because a sentence is
longer does not mean that is it more complex. For example, “I want to do it” is a simple 5 word
sentence, but “I think it’s a girl” is a complex 5 word sentence. “I think it’s a girl,” is only 5
words, but it has an embedded clause. The MLU does not always represent the complexity of
the child’s sentences. To get a better index of grammatical complexity, we could mark
utterances that use embedded clauses or conjunctions. This would allow us to tell if the child is
developing grammatically or only able to produce simple sentences.
D) I think that this child is developing normally. The utterances are coherent and understandable
and the errors are minimal. Her MLU seems pretty high for her age, but all of this is just based
on my opinion. As stated in the supplementary reading, MLU is only a general indicator of
language development. The MLU must also come from a representative language sample and
can only be interpreted when it is between 1.01 and 4.49. We must use MLU cautiously and use
it only as a relative gauge of language development. We can get a general idea about this child’s
language development based on the MLU, but we cannot make an informed decision based on
this information.