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Language Development of a Child from Rwandan Context between 16 and 24 Months: Syntactic Aspect

Jacques Sabiti
Jean Paul Ngoboka
Patrick Ujwiga Anguru


This study explored the language developed by Gavin, a child raised by Kinyarwanda speaking caregivers, focusing on syntactic aspect. Data collection tools employed in this study are direct observation, recording and diary to maintain the study subject utterances.  The study revealed that Gavin’s syntactic structure was limited to one word use from 16 months until 24 months; two or three words between 19 and 24months, multi-words at the age of 24 months,  using different parts of speech with emphasis on those belonging to open class like nouns, verbs, adverbs and adjectives. He was able to construct subject–verb structure but unable to produce subject-verb-object structure. The findings recommend further research in the area to see if other children can develop the same language as the study subject. Studies should be extended to children over two years until school age to ensure the proper mastery of the mother tongue before introducing other languages like French or English as medium of instruction in nursery and primary education.  

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eISSN: 2714-2132
print ISSN: 2714-2183