LING 1010 Exam 3 Study Guide
LING 1010 Exam 3 Study Guide LING 1010
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This 5 page Study Guide was uploaded by Sarah Skinger on Friday April 29, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to LING 1010 at University of Connecticut taught by Hendrikus Van Der Hulst in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 364 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Languages and Linguistics in Linguistics and Speech Pathology at University of Connecticut.
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Date Created: 04/29/16
Study Guide: Exam 3 Language and Personality are Genetic Every part of ourselves is determined by our genes: hair color, brain size and shape, toe length, etc The pieces of genes that are not used (not encoded to make proteins) are called “Junk DNA” However, there are sections of “Junk DNA” that interact with the environment, and turn on or off certain genes. o The environment could include the foods you eat, chemicals you come in contact with, the temperature outside, etc. o This can be thought of as a system of switches, and is collectively called the Epigenome Epigenome Turns your genes on or off, tells your genes what to do, including what proteins to make, what proteins not to make, etc. It is the way your nurture impacts your nature. The nurture we receive, including our environment, experiences, diet, etc, influences how our nature works. o In other words, our epigenome (influenced by our nurture, to an extent) effects our genes (what is there by default). Genetic Determinism Everything about you comes from genes (including language and personality) Environmental Determinism Everything about you comes from the environment (accepted as too radical) Genes and Language Genotype What our genes say. Everything that we have the capacity to do, such as building muscles or learning any language. Phenotype What we end up expressing. For example, having either very large or very small muscles depending on how often we go to the gym. Or, learning how to speak Hungarian instead of English, Japanese, or Dutch In this way, our genotype (our capacity to express traits, or all the traits we could express) is influenced by our environment (like going to the gym or growing up in Hungary) to produce our phenotype (speaking Hungarian and having large muscles). This can also be thought of as the genes determining all the possible principles, and experience strengthening the neural connections for one parameter (explained in next section). The human capacity for language relies on specific genes. We know this because our genes create regions in the brain that house the mental grammar. And without those regions, we would not be able to create, use, or maybe even have the mental grammar. There are many different brain regions that are important for mental grammar We know that genes are very important and influential because of what we have learned from separated identical twins and adoption studies. Connectome Your brain is made up of an enormous network of nerve cells, called neurons, which are all interconnected in a web. Those neurons talk to each other, and everything that you know is represented (and reliant on) the connections they have with each other. That network is the connectome. We are born with lots and lot of connections more than we need. And as we learn things as we age, many of those connections disappear. We also gain new connections every time we learn something new, and strengthen existing connections when we practice something, like the multiplication table or the tuba. Specific Language Impairment If a language disorder is NOT due to a physical defect, psychological problems, or the person is not mentally challenged, then the language disorder is a SLI and the impairment is genetic. An example of this is seen in the KE family. They have a genetic mutation on the FOXP2 gene, which has been passed down for three generations. The mutated gene causes the affected individuals to have difficulty articulating words, as well as difficulty with grammatical rules. They have difficulty developing and using language. Brain Functions Frontal Lobe In charge of organization and planning, reasoning, personality, emotions, and decision making. o Premotor Area Stores motor patterns. Ex: remembers the sequence of muscles that need to contract in order for you to write the word “tree”. o Motor Area Causes the muscles in your body to move o Broca’s Area In back of frontal lobe. Is involved in speech production. Parietal Lobe In charge of body movements, sensory integration (processing sights, smells, pain etc). Occipital Lobe Processes visual information Temporal Lobe In charge of being able to perceive auditory stimuli (Ex: being able to understand that that noise you hear is someone calling your name) o Wernicke’s Area Helps with being able to perceive what people are saying. The brain is made up of two hemispheres, which are connected through the neural network called hr corpus callosum. o Your RIGHT hemisphere receives and sends information to and from the LEFT side of the body. o Your LEFT hemisphere sends and receives information to and from the RIGHT side of your body Dichotic Listening A sound heard by your right ear will travel to the left side of your brain (where Wernicke’s area is located). And a sound heard by your left ear travels to the right side of your brain. In order to get to Wernicke’s area, it will need to go through the corpus callosum first. o Because of this, if two different sounds are played in each ear simultaneously, your brain will understand/register the sound in your right ear first. Aphasia Aphasia is a disorder that results in a language problem. This is most commonly due to the brain being damaged, such as if a person has a stroke. Blood flow to an area of the brain could be restricted, and the brain cells will die as they are deprived of oxygen. Broca’s Aphasia: Problem with Broca’s area o Patients have difficulty articulating, and commonly have slow or telegraphic speech Wernicke’s Aphasia: Problem with Wernicke’s area o Patents have trouble processing syntax For instance, if given the sentence “The bird that the cat is watching is hungry”, they would get confused and think that the cat is hungry, because it was mentioned before the word hungry. o Impaired auditory comprehension Animal Communication Systems Are innate Are specific to that species. Ex: birds can’t understand dogs, and humans can’t understand lizards. Our language does have an innate component, but is primarily learned. Birds their songs have meaning when sung, but parts of the song do not have meaning when they are on their own. The song seems to be used to attract a mate Vervet Monkeys, Chickens, and Meerkats Have different call signs for different predators. If they hear the call sign for a predator, they will respond to that call as though the predator is nearby. o A call system is a limited array of noises that the animals can make. Each call represents a different predator For instance if a chicken makes the call that means there is an aerial predator nearby, other chickens will duck in response. o This is a language without grammar or syntax. They can’t create a complex message Bees Have a more complex language system. They use dances to demonstrate where food is located. The angle of the circle during the dance, the intensity of the wiggle, and the length of the line made during the dance give other bees information about the direction the food is in (the angle they should fly in relation to the sun), how far away it is, and the quality and quantity of the food Animals Can’t Really Learn our Language, Either Properties of human language can be seen in other species, but we have not found all aspects of human language in another species. Communication systems are species specific The communication systems of other animals seem to be innate Animals can learn some of our vocabulary, but cannot use hierarchical structure o Ex: cannot combine words into sentences or break down words into smaller meaningful units The fact that other species cannot learn human language cannot be attributed to nurture, because they have tried treating a chimp like a human and nothing changed. Alex the parrot Had a vocabulary of about 150 words, could recognize materials, shapes, and colors. Could answer simple questions. o He showed us that animals can be very intelligent, but can’t really learn our language. Vicky the ape Tried to teach language through speech but that didn’t work, partially because apes don’t have the motor control required to pronounce words Lana was taught Yerkish, which is a keyboard language. Each key has an image on it that corresponds to a meaning. She could use the signs to ask for food, but couldn’t do much more than that, and couldn’t really respond to things that weren’t present. Koko the gorilla was taught sign language she could do a number of signs, but would only sign about things that were in the immediate environment, and couldn’t really combine the signs into reasonable sentences Nim Chimpsky also taught sign language, but it was determined that he mostly just repeated the signs of his teachers. Kanzi Understood a lot of spoken english. Perception is ahead of Production. How did Language Evolve? 7 million years ago, there was a split in Africa, and chimps ended up on one side of this divide, and our ancestors on the other. Due to the difference in climate and landscape, we had to come down from the trees, maybe because there weren’t as many as there had been before. Once on the ground, over the next few million years we eventually began walking upright, as that made us taller and gave us a height advantage on the flat lands. We developed language, and that ability to collaborate with each other allowed us to outcompete neanderthals for resources, and they eventually died off. The cultural big bang theory says that something changed in the minds of these people living 40,000 years ago. That change allowed them to produce art and language (the number of artifacts increased around that time) o The problem: This dates the beginning of language as much too late language began far before this. lternative to cultural big bang theory There has been a gradual increase in artifacts, which could correspond with a gradual increase in language. Adopting language was a gradual stepwise process (Ex: one step was protolanguage) A call, like the ones made by animals, is made when a concept in their “lexicon” identified a referent in the environment (like a predator), and they produce the form that goes along with recognizing that thing. o For instance, A chicken recognizes a hawk, then produces the sound that means “there’s an aerial predator” o Concept → Referent → Form But for us, we don’t need to see the referent in order to say something about that. We can say something about something else without seeing it. The referent does not need to be present in order for us to talk about it o Ex: We might say “snake!” as a joke, even if there is no snake there. When the mind no longer tied together concepts and referents, it became disconnected from the here and now, which allows us to think and talk about things that are not present in our immediate environment.
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