PSYC Ch. 9
Popular in General Psychology
Popular in Psychlogy
This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kristen Pruett on Monday April 18, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Psych100 at University of Delaware taught by Kristen Begosh in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 11 views. For similar materials see General Psychology in Psychlogy at University of Delaware.
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Date Created: 04/18/16
Ch. 9 Language What is language Language: spoken, written, or signed words and the ways we combine them to communicate meaning Do other species have language? Animals can communicate with each other Bee dance Vervet monkeys Different calls for “snake” “eagle” “leopard” Chimps and other primates Relatively successful Washoe could use more than 245 signs Can create new combinations of words Can access some abstract concepts Human language is unique Human language is recursive: sentences can be infinitely long by embedding Human language is productive (and creative): you can make sentence and words no one has heard before Human language can be more abstract than animal language has ever been shown to be Even the most advanced chimp has never surpassed a 3 year old in terms of language ability Phonemes Writer or rider: pronounced the same Called a “flap” not pronouncing the “t” or the “d” Phonetic inventory Languages have different phonetic inventories Some languages use “clicks” as phonemes Some languages use tones to express different meanings Language rules Cat cats: s sounds like s Dog dogs: s sounds like z Morphemes Morpheme = smallest unit of meaning in a language E.g. ‘unbreakable’ > ‘unbreakable’ Some languages have very rich morphology Languages vary in the concepts they mark morphologically Types of morphemes 2 types Content morphemes: carry most of the meaning Ex. dog, soda, curtain Function morphemes: add details to meaning, servce grammatical purposes Ex. by, on, the Syntax When sentences have a structure that sounds good to native speakers of a language, we say they are g rammatical E.g. I like movies Grammatical judgments may differ depending on dialect Grammatical does not mean meaningful Pragmatics Sometimes we encode meaning by what we don’t say Grice’s Maxims Quantity don’t say too little; don’t say too much Quality tell the truth; say what you mean Relevance contribute relevant info within the conversational context Manner be direct and logical, avoid ambiguity The brain and language Aphasia: impairment in language, usually caused by lefthemisphere damage Broca’s aphasia: difficulty with language production Wernicke’s aphasia: difficulty with language comprehension 4/15 Review Language is composed of rules in your mind that you are often not consciously aware of Ex. flapping (t/d) rule, sentence structure Universal grammar Explaining language development Noam chomsky universal grammar properties of language that are common across all languages Language acquisition device (LAD) Predictable progression of language development Receptive language Ability to understand language Phonemes 4 months: distinguish speech sound Pair sounds with face that makes the sounds 7 months: sound segmentation Universal phoneme perception 6 months: universal phoneme perception 7 months: develop ability to segment sounds 8 month: already starting to develop language specific phoneme perception How to identify words? How do babies figure out “cup” from “This is a cup?” Speech is not like writing there are no spaces between every word Statistical word learning Babies use statistics to figure out where word boundaries are Statistical learning Stats also affect the age at which certain sounds are acquired Children acquire the ability to produce the sounds of their language between ages 18 (most sound by age 4) However the older in which the acquired sounds can differ between languages English children learn to pronounce /v/ rather late, closer to 5 Swedish children learn to pronounce /v/ relatively early, close to age 3 Syntax comprehension Syntactic development usually begins during the child’s 2nd year, and is largely complete by 4 years of age Around 12 months, prefer to listen to correct word order Around 17 months (before can combine words in production) children can use wordorder to interpret sentences example, “Cookie Monster is tickling Big Bird” vs. “Big Bird is tickling Cookie Monster” Respond better to wellformed command (e.g. Throw me the ball) at “two word stage” than poorly formed command (throw ball) Especially interesting given that the poorlyformed commands correspond to their own productions Receptive skills summary Phonology Babies start acquiring the sounds of their language at 4 months lose the ability to perceive sounds of phonemes not in their language around 78 months Morphology Babies learn word boundaries through statistical learning Syntax Children start to understand syntax at age 2 Pragmatics Babies can not learn a second language from nonhuman sources Productive skills Understanding comes much early than production By 5 months babies can respond to their name By 8 months children begin to understand common phrases (e.g.stop it!) By 16 months children's receptive vocab ranges between 90320 words Stages of babbling 1. Reflexive vocalization (02 months) a. Crying, coughing, sneezing 2. Cooing and higher (24 months) 3. Vocal play (4 6 months) a. Experimental play with sounds b. Sounds become more consonantlike and vowellike c. Repertoire is limited: (g, k) early on, (m,n,p,b,d) later on d. Loud vs. soft, high vs. low, sustained vowels Early words First word occurs between 1015 months Syntactic production One word stage age 1 to 2; speak mostly in single words Two word stage: begins about age 2; speak in 2 word statements Telegraphic speech: use mostly nouns and verbs (e.g. want juice) Critical period hypothesis Period in early life when exposure to certain stimuli or experiences produces normal development Universalism vs. linguistic relativism Chomsky proposes that not only is there a universal capacity to learn language, but also that all languages are the same underlyingly Your brain has a set of “switches” (called parameters) that you turn on and off depending on language Linguistic relativism Contrasting theory:linguistic relativity The language you speak does affect the way you think/perceive the world Sapirwhorf theory (aka linguistic determinism): language determines the way we think Older theory, obviously inaccurate because you can understand things that you don't have words for Linguistic relativity: revised theory, language merely influences the way you think in certain aspects Color Language you speak can affect perception of color Material Developmental pattern for english and yucatec classification preferences with stable objects: material versus shape Spatial Guugu yimithirr speakers can tell what direction they are facing at all times (even in a closed room) The language has only geographic directions, no “left” or “right” Speakers of egocentric languages like english do not have this ability Perception Japanese subjects: detected difference 9% of time French subjects: detected difference 95% of time Working memory Piraha No words for number
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