The Development of Negation in Early Child Language Roy D. Pea (1980). The ways in which children acquire language seems quite easy to understand. Language theorists still have difficulties figuring out how children do this.
-i.e. how they construct meaning from words in conversation that includeactions, gestures, and objects etc.
e.g. “Do you want a cookie?”, “No.”
i.e. “no” or “not” or “gone” are similar but can mean different things
i.e. a child’s use of “no” to reject an object along with a pushing away gesture is similar to the child’s use of “no” in rejecting a prohibition that constrains his/her action.
–shook his head on 5 different occassions: 3 in response to different questions such as “Do you want ___?” where referent was visible, once responding to a prohibition by his mother and once to reject bicycle clips offered to him.
Consequence of these differences is the range of the different meanings of negation.
The social environment for negation provided by the adults can also affect the meanings of negation the child uses to express.