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April 1937

Studies in Infant Speech and Thought: Part I. The Development of Sentence Structure in Infancy from the Viewpoint of Grammar.

Arch NeurPsych. 1937;37(4):980. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1937.02260160280027

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Dr. Low became interested in the development of language in the young child through his studies of the disintegration of language functions in aphasia. He found that the existing work on language development emphasized the size of the vocabulary, the first appearance of various forms of speech, or the length of sentences but had little to say of the integration of grammatical structure. He therefore planned a study of this problem and developed a method for the quantitative analysis of progress in the acquisition of grammatical forms.

The method was tested on two children, a boy of 1 year and 2 months at the beginning of the study and another boy of 2 years and 8 months. The mothers of these children each kept verbatim records of speech for more than two years. Similarities and differences between the two children are brought out by comparing the records at functionally equivalent