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UTD / CLDP / CLD 104 / What is habituation?

What is habituation?

What is habituation?


Normal Language Development Exam #2 Review

What is habituation?

1. Evidence that communication drives language development: the outcome  from learning from TV (can’t learn communication from TV). Children exposed to live interaction learned most, then people who spoke different language,  and least learning with using videos of a second language. This shows that  infants learn language with live exposure to communication. Social gating is  where the social function of a language ‘gates’ the child’s attention which  allows for learning. This is because a child needs a social component to learn  before the age of 2.  

a. Young infants can discriminate phonemes from different languages, but at 12 months they only know their native language phonemes.

2. Gaze following, communicative pointing, joint attention

a. Gaze following: around 10-15 months, the child follows someone’s eye  gaze to learn more about the environment.

What is eye tracking?

b. Communicative pointing: around 12 months, the child points and looks  at a person to request or share information. The child wants to engage  someone.

c. Joint attention: gaze following and communicative pointing are  examples of joint attention. It increases at 10-15 months and can  predict language development

3. Children can read the intentions of others from a young age around 6 months of age. This is proven with the missed string in a cup experiment and by 18  months old they can correctly imitate the behavior if it is by a human.  

4. Development of spontaneous gestures is important because it predicts  vocabulary and syntax development. It is symbolic communication and  conventionalized, not baby signs. The child has to make up the gesture such  as opening and closing hands (give me).

5. Habituation/dishabituation, head turn, preferential looking, eye tracking:

What is universal listeners?

a. Habituation: when child becomes acclimated to seeing something.  Dishabituation: when the child regains interest in something. This  shows preference to something and shows that they can categorize  and differentiate. Don't forget about the age old question of Who is laurie anderson?

b. Head turn paradigm: when baby hears a new sound, they look towards  the box to get rewarded. This shows that they can differentiate sounds.

c. Preferential looking: shows a visual preference. It works with 10  months - 2 ½ year olds.

d. Eye tracking: allows us to understand visual preferences and visual  information used by kids. It can test autism to see what the kids prefer  to look at. It is also used for reading studies and speech processing.

6. Habituation and sucking paradigm:

a. Testing categorization and discrimination using habituation: it shows  grouping and categorization like when 4 sided objects are shown and  then suddenly there is a round object shown. They habituate and get  bored, which shows categorization. When are shown a different object,  they regain interest, and that is dishabituation.  

b. Testing a child’s preference for native language using high amplitude  sucking paradigm: the native language would be played whenever the  sucking rate is where it is supposed to be. They either suck faster or  slower to get to hear the native language which is the preference.

7. Universal listeners: when the baby can differentiate between all the  languages. Language specific listeners: at 12 months, can only hear native  language and can’t tell the difference between other languages. Distribution  of sounds facilitate the change because some languages have different  sounds, but others don’t, so the native sounds is what sticks, and after 12  months, they can’t differentiate between non-native sounds. If they do  differentiate non-native sounds, their native language learning is impaired.  When infants tune their native sounds earlier, they have more rapid language development. If you want to learn more check out What two parties does john locke’s social contract bind?

8. It is important that children categorize objects, properties of objects, and  motion events before they learn language because it shows us that they can  identify nouns and adjectives and the need to identify groups.  

9. Statistical learning: counting the frequency with which one stimulus is  followed by another. This is domain general. It helps children identify word  boundaries by seeing a different stimulus that follows another stimulus. This  is important because it shows patterns and rule learning of a language.  

10.Phonological memory: capacity to remember newly encountered sound  sequences. Remember, hold, and reproduce sound. If there is better  phonological memory, there is better language development in vocabulary,  grammar, and second language learning.  

11.Central executive center: executive functions oversee other functions and  allocate resources. It inhibits distractions. It uses working memory and  impacts language development. It is domain general. Children with a poor  central executive center have language disorders and have trouble with  sentence comprehension.

12.Statistical learning is improved if babies nap between learning and a test.  Sleep improves the retention of new words in preschoolers.  

13.Co-occurrences in speech aid the learning of syntax because of the common  syntactical structures that are repeated over and over. Example: “This is a - __________." The blank would have a noun in it. We also discuss several other topics like What are the principles of economics?

14.Prosody of speech: melody of speech, stress patterns. Prosodic and  phonological bootstrapping: use prosody and phonology to learn syntax or  word meaning. It influences other aspects of language development with:  Stressing open class words, nouns vs verbs in syllable stress, and pauses at  phrase boundaries.

15.Infant directed speech: Uses higher and wider range of pitch, shorter phrases  and slower tempo, longer more prototypical vowels, highlights particular  words, preferred by infants, and improves phonological processing. It  influences emotional development with approval-voice and prohibition-voice.

16.Feedback given to children in response to language: factual errors, bad  words, some mispronunciations, but not grammar. Children know they are  wrong when parents expand or reframe sentences that children say.  If you want to learn more check out What are the key principles of the scientific method?

17.Maternal responsiveness influencing language development: engaging in  conversation, responding to babbling, cooing, crying, and following child’s  attention. When mothers are more responsive, children have better language  earlier. When a child is in a lower SES class, the mother doesn’t respond to  child as much, which decreases language development in child. SES status  features that impact language development: variety and amount of  information, type of language (directives vs eliciting speech), stress in home,  culture, responsiveness, mother’s education. If you want to learn more check out How is recidivism defined?

18. Phonology:

a. Phonological knowledge: knowledge of the sounds and sound patterns  of a language.  

b. Distinctive feature: a feature of language that differentiates meanings.  

c. Phones: different sounds a language uses. 200 possible, each language uses about 45.  

d. Phonemes: a phonetic feature that creates a difference in meaning.  Example: “bat” vs “pat” or “zoo” vs “sue”, “lent” vs “rent” in  English, /z/ vs /s/ in English Don't forget about the age old question of What is the gilded age in us history?

e. Allophones: Sounds that occur in a language but do not differentiate  meaning. Example: /r/ vs /l/ in Japanese, /z/ vs /s/ in Spanish,  aspirated /p/ in “pin” vs non-aspirated /p/ in “spin”

19.Adults represent speech sounds on the phoneme level. We know this because of note onset and errors called ‘spoonerisms’. Example: The dear old Queen   the queer old dean

20.Phonology rules:

a. Phonotactic knowledge: constraints on sound sequence. Example: /st/  is possible in English, but not in Japanese

b. Phonological rules: rules of how sounds go together in a language

c. Voicing assimilation: consonants match in voicing. Example: “wugs” vs  “wugz”

d. English speaking children display voicing assimilation correctly by age  4.  

e. Phonetic feature: a characteristics of the speech sound production.  Example: /s/ and /z/ differ in voicing

21.Phonemic basics:

a. Articulatory phonetics: speech sounds in terms of how they are  produced

b. Vowel articulation: airflow not obstructed. Consonant articulation:  airflow obstructed.

c. Manner of articulation in consonants: how the airflow is obstructed.  Example: stops (stop airflow: /g/, /d/, /b/) and fricatives (airflow is not  completely stopped: /v/, /th/, /f/)

d. Place of articulation in consonants: where airflow is obstructed.  Example: bilabial, labiodental, velar, alveolar

e. Voicing: time the vocal cords start vibrating relative to the release of  air. Voiceless: cords vibrate after air release. Voiced: cords vibrate  before air release

f. Vowels are difficult for children to differentiate and categorize because  it varies greatly and it is hard to find commonality.  

22.Prelinguistic development:

a. Vegetative sounds: accompany biological functions. Cry, burp, etc. At  birth.

b. At 16 to 30 weeks babies advance with the use of vocal play (increase  in types of sounds). All babies sound about the same at this point.  

c. Cooing: at 6 to 8 weeks create noises that include vowels when happy.  This is related to brain development because babies start to coo the  same time the limbic system is forming.


a. Canonical babbling: reduplicated babbling, true syllables.

b. Nonreduplicated babbling: range and type increase

c. Jargon: babbling with prosody (melody). Around 10 months. 24.Prelinguistic development:

a. Prosody of speech: melody.

b. Babbling drift: sound like their native language. Around 6-9 months old. c. Deaf children:  

d. Test 1: adult French raters listened to babbling from French, Arabic and  Chinese learning babies at 6, 8, and 10 months of age. Novice raters:  identified French at 8 months. Expert raters: identified French at 6  months.  

e. Test 2: Experts identified vowels and consonants: Differences at 9  months because no prosody (melody).

25.Speech sound development in production:

a. Physical growth: vocal tract gets smaller, changes shape, and muscles  develop. Facial skeleton gets larger

b. Brain development: limbic system (emotion - cooing) and motor cortex  c. Experience: children who are deaf vs. hearing

26.Newborns represent speech sounds in comprehension:

a. Represent as syllables, not as phonemes (adults). Example: Ba vs. Bu -  1 difference. Ba vs. Du - 1 difference (instead of 2 like adults view it)

b. Representation of speech sounds changes at 18 months.  

c. Experiment to reveal this: phonological similar or distinct novel words  as new labels at 14 vs 18 months. Example: toma vs brack and toma  vs tomy.  

27.Lexical selection: early words are biased towards words that have the  phonemes that they can pronounce.  

28.Understanding phonology increases word learning. Tested with 14 and 18  month olds. 14 month olds can learn labels and hear the differences between  the words, but not both at the same time like 18 month olds can do. 18  month olds can coordinate both, and 14 month olds cannot.  

29.Children can still comprehend words even with mispronunciation of some  syllables, but they are faster with correct syllables. They realize the wrong  syllable is indeed wrong. We know this with the testing of 18 month old  babies when they hear /baby/ vs /vaby/ and they realize /va/ is incorrect.  

30.Errors that young children make in production: Reduplication (ball: baba),  deletion of weak syllable (banana: nana), stopping: making a fricative a stop  (see: tee). Production errors tells us that children represent their words as  whole words in production. This relates to phonological idioms: child produces sound correctly in one word, but mispronounces in another (ex: “wa-bit” but  “horsey”. There is a difference in production and comprehension because the  child can hear when a word is said wrong, but when they produce the word,  they believe it is correct.

31.By age 7, children’s phonology should be mastered in their native language,  but most are by age 4.

32.Phonological awareness: Ability to analyze the sounds that make up language (rhymes, syllable counting). This starts around 2 years of age. It helps in  reading abilities

33.Theories of phonological development:

a. Behaviorist: imitation and reinforcement. Problem: the parents don’t  correct phonology of their children, can’t explain “system of  

regularities”, (voicing) subconscious abilities. Responsiveness of the  parent does help the child.

b. Biology: Phonology develops the way it does because of the physical  abilities developing. Evidence: Similar early development across all  babies, some cross-linguistic similarities. Problem: it doesn’t explain  voicing, and why would languages differ at all?

c. Connectionist: Type of usage based account that is shaped by input.  They are connections based on association.  

i. Self-babbling: association between sound and motor  


ii. Hearing sounds by others: link your sound to my sound.  

iii. From there, I can produce sounds correctly as needed. This  accounts for: universal to language specific sound perception,  error production (weak connections), and learning the system of  regularities.  

34.Mental lexicon: Includes grammatical class, pronunciation, and semantics.  35.Word:

a. Features of a word: arbitrary symbol and reference

b. Reference: “word to world” mapping. A symbol stands for a whole  concept

c. Context-bound word: tied to particular context (Ex: up, ducky).  Referential word: not bound to a specific use.  

36.Early vocabulary is a mix of both types of words, but it slowly changes to  more referential words and less context-bound words.  

37.At 15-20 months old, a young child usually hits the 50 word milestone for  language, but they have a noun bias and early errors, which adults do not  have. Noun bias is where children can produce more nouns because it is  easier to understand and there are many more potential meanings for a verb. After to 50 word point, they have word spurt.

a. The human simulation study proves the noun bias. The mom interacts  with a toddler and nouns and verbs are beeped out. When guessing  the words, nouns are 45% correct and verbs are only 15% correct.

38.Theory and hypothesis:

a. Natural partitions theory: (Gentner) The noun bias is caused by the  nature of things in the world to be labeled. Objects (nouns) are  naturally partitioned in the world, but verbs and adjectives are not.  

b. Relational relativity hypothesis: (Gentner) Nouns are more consistent  across different languages than verbs, adverbs, and adjectives are.  Different languages encode actions differently.  

c. What it tells us about nouns and verbs: Objects (nouns) are easier to  find and label compared to actions (verbs) and attributes (adjectives).  

39.Nouns and verbs:

a. Noun bias is less in some languages than others because: syntax (the  verb is embedded: “She hit him”), what the verbs encode (specificity;  English verbs are not specific), and parental interactions (English  moms label objects a lot).  

b. Syntax:

i. Verb embedded languages: Noun bias languages. Ex: She hit  him.

ii. Verb final languages: No noun bias languages. Ex: She him hit. iii. Noun drop languages: No noun bias languages.  

c. Parental interactions: English speakers often label nouns a lot more  than other words, which leads to noun bias, where as other cultures  equally label nouns and verbs to their children.  

40.Overextension and underextension:

a. Overextensions: using a word too broadly. Ex: Dog = dog, cow, horse,  cat

b. Underextension: using a word too narrowly. Ex: Dog = my dog Fluffy

c. Using overextensions as a guide to a child’s comprehension can be  misleading because it doesn’t reflect the child’s actual meaning. The  child just can’t find the word fast enough so they overextend  (sometimes just to get a parent’s attention). They also produce words  that they don’t fully understand such as ‘uncle’ or ‘late’.

d. When a child says “moon” for both the moon and the sun, they are  overextending because of the similarity between the two. They might  actually know the difference and the word for it, but can’t produce the  two distinct words quickly enough to say it.

41.Children show more advanced production than comprehension around the 50  word point. Ex: 8-11 words per month to 22-37 words per month

42.The word spurt: Around 50 words, an increase in word learning. Causes of the word spurt: children have a naming insight, they can figure out rules or  constraints about how a language works, they are better at identifying  category boundaries, and they are better at phonological abilities. This is  under debate because some children show a big increase, while other  children are more linear.

43.Speed of comprehension is a lot faster than production of new words.  Production has a noun bias and comprehension is more equal. They know  more verbs than they can use.  

44.Causes of individual differences in vocabulary growth: sex (biology and  environment), birth order differences (older child learn faster), SES,  phonological memory

a. Environmental factors: the parent’s behavior towards a girl vs a boy,  SES

b. Strongest predictor: SES and phonological memory

c. Birth order: the oldest child tends to learn vocabulary faster because  more time is spent with the oldest child

45.Speech segmentation cues children use: statistical learning, phonological  cues such as stress patterns, child directed speech (stressing new words).  Mapping problem: indeterminacy of word meaning (solved easily by an adult). Fast mapping: by 16 months old, children know the word. A constraint that  may promote fast mapping in children would be to guide the child by  constraining possible interpretations of new words.  


a. Mutual exclusivity assumption: novel word refers to a novel object. Ex:  show a ball and new object and ask which is a “blork”, the new word is  the new object.

b. Whole object assumption: assume that the new word is talking about  the entire abject. Ex: show a bottle, and name it ‘bottle’, don’t name it  ‘cap’

c. Pragmatic principles: child using “social logic” and social interaction  more than innate constraints

d. Principle of conventionality: the agreed upon meaning

e. Principle of contrast: different words have different meanings which  allows for multiple labels. Ex: ‘dog’ vs ‘animal’

47.Syntactic bootstrapping hypothesis: Determining meanings of words based  on syntax. Transitive verbs need an object. Ex: give, throw, get, and lend.

Intransitive verbs have no object. Ex: run, walk, and talk. They have different  sentence structures. Experiment: view duck and cat doing 2 actions, 1  transitive and 1 intransitive. 24 month olds use syntax to limit possible  meanings.

48.Word extension: rules that children follow

a. Taxonomic extensions: words that refer to a whole category b. Shape bias: what shape it looks like

c. Function bias: what function is has

d. Shape and function bias both show appearance, but one is more of  what it looks like and the other is more of what it actually does.

49.Concept relating to word learning: The language you speak dictates how you  view the world (horfian hypothesis/linguistic determinism). Cross-linguistic  research could show us these differences by testing exactly how kids view the world compared to what language they speak.

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