Laureate's Linguistic Hierarchy

hierarchy icon Laureate's Linguistic Hierarchy can help you choose software to meet an individual's needs. The Linguistic Hierarchy describes seven stages of language development from birth to adulthood.

Although this hierarchy depicts typical stages in language development, it can also be used to assess the linguistic functioning level of children and adults with language disabilities and Developmental Disabilities. In addition, it can provide a basis for choosing appropriate software for adults with Traumatic Brain Injury and aphasia.

For each stage, we have outlined language characteristics and recommend software. Please select the stage you would like more information about.

The Seven Stages:
  1. Interpreted Communication (0 to +/- 4 Months)
  2. Intentional Communication (4 to +/- 9 Months)
  3. Single Words (9 to +/- 18 Months)
  4. Word Combinations (18 to +/- 24 Months)
  5. Early Syntax (24 to +/- 36 Months)
  6. Syntax Mastery (3 to +/- 5 Years)
  7. Complete Generative Grammar (5 Years to Adult)

The approximate age at which typically developing children are in each stage is shown in parentheses.