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Chapter 6: Language Development
Terms in this set (100)
systems for representing our thoughts, feelings, and knowledge and for communicating them to other people
understanding what others say (or sign or write)
speaking (or writing or signing) to others
refers to the idea that through the use of the finite set of words in our vocabulary, we can put together an infinite number of sentences and express an infinite number of ideas
what is the cost of generativity?
the elementary unit of meaningful sound used to produce languages
example of phonemes
"rake" differs by only one phoneme from "lake" but the two words have completely different meanings
which cultures don't have phonemes "r" and "l"?
the acquisition of knowledge about the sound system of a language; first component to language acquisition
the smallest units of meaning in a language, composed of one or more phonemes
examples of single morphemes?
"I" and "dog" since each refers to a single entity
What is an example of a word containing two morphemes?
dogs since it refers to two entities
the learning of the system for expressing meaning in a language, including word learning; second component to language acquisition
rules in a language that specify how words from different categories (nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc.) can be combined
the learning of the syntax of a language; third component of language acquisition
the acquisition of knowledge about how language is used; fourth component of language acquisition
an understanding of the properties and function of language - that is, an understanding of language as language (knowledge about language, including it's properties and how it is used)
What type of behavior is language?
species specific, in that only humans acquire it in their normal environment
How is it also species-universal?
virtually all young humans learn language; it takes highly abnormal environmental conditions or relatively severe cognitive impairment to disrupt children's language development
Do other animals have language?
no, just other forms of communication
Why do other primates lack the ability to acquire language?
they don't even have the vocal ability to speak
Why doesn't the communication done by other primates qualify as language?
it lacks syntax
Where is most of language in right handed people?
left hemisphere of cerebral cortex
the condition in which language functions are severely impaired
Where is Broca's Area?
front part of the left hemisphere, near the motor cortex
What is the issue with Broca's aphasia?
patients have difficulty producing speech; may say a single word over and over or haltingly produce short strings of words with little or no grammatical structure
What is the issue with Wernike's Aphasia?
damage in the area next to the auditory cortex (Wernike's area)... people with this aphasia have no trouble producing speec, but what they say makes no sense, and their language comprehension is impaired
What is the impact of left-hemisphere damage in deaf signers?
Left-hemisphere damage produces aphasia in deaf-signers just as it does for users of spoken language. This suggests that the left hemisphere is actually specialized for the kind of analytic, serial processing required for language, not for the specific modality (spoken words or signs) in which it is expressed
critical period of language
the time during which language develops readily and after which (sometime between age 5 and puberty) language acquisition is much more difficult and ultimately less successful
Do Genie and Victor necessarily support the critical period hypothesis?
most likely, but not necessarily because Victor could have been retarded at birth and abandoned for that reason and Genie's could have been due to her bizarre inhuman treatment
What is a better example of critical period?
adults who suffer damage to language areas past their critical period suffer permanent language impairment from brain damage than are children because in children other parts of the brain are able to take over;
also, second language acquisition is in the left hemisphere in the first few years and becomes more to the right hemisphere
(IDT) Infant-directed talk
the distinctive mode of speech that adults adopt when talking to babies and very young children
what was infant directed talk originally called?
characteristics of IDT
-exaggeration (higher voices then lower)
-talking more slowly and clearly and elongate between utterances
What is the result of these IDT?
the babies listen to the tone of the sentence rather than the content
Do people learn language better when taught in IDT or in adult directed talk?
Necessities for learning language
the characteristic rhythm, tempo, cadence, melody, intonational patterns, and so forth with which a language is spoken
Who's prosody do infants prefer?
their mother's from when they were in the womb
the perception of speech sounds as belonging to discrete categories
ex of two phonemes in the same category?
"b" and "p" only difference is time in whih air passes through lips
VOT (Voice Onset Time)
the length of time between when air passes through lips and when vocal chords start vibrating (much shorter for b than for p)
What is the VOT that divides p from b
those with VOT of less than 25 ms are perceived as b and those that have VOT greater than 25 ms are perceived as p
were babies who were better at distinguishing between sounds better at vocabulary ad grammar tests a year later?
Do infants eventually specialize in their language, by only being able to differentiate between their own language's sound?
yes; around 7 months
the phenomenon that in any language, certain sounds are more likely to appear together than are others
"cocktail party effect"
attending selectively to the sound of their own name among a stream of speech sounds they are hearing
producing syllables mde up of a consonant followed by a vowel "pa, ba, ma" and then repeated in strings "papapa"
Do deaf babies do this as well? Is anything different about their babbling?
yes, deaf babies babble as well. However, they babble later and are more limited.
What about those exposed to sign language early on, what is the result for their babbling?
they begin to babble more on time but they do it manually or using their hand (ASL)
First indication of communicative competence?
turn-taking; alternating between speaking and listening
What other things do successful communication require?
intersubjectivity and joint attention
How are intersubjectivity and joint attention established?
early on, the parent follows the baby's lead, looking at and commenting on whatever the infant is looking at
When does the infant become capable of following the direction of another's gaze, as long as the person is looking at something the infant can see
By 18 months what can they do?
they can use the direction of an adult's gaze to determine the location of an object
When can babies do joint attention?
9 months; before that they just look at your outstretched finger
Do infants for recognize or comprehend words?
they recognize words first
When do children learn their own name?
about 4.5 months of age
Are babies more or less likely to learn a word if it is used after their own name?
more likely to learn the word
in language and speech, the associating of words and meaning
the words a child is able to say
what qualifies first word?
it can be any specific utterance that the child makes consistently to refer to or express something
the strategies that young children enlist in beginning to speak
referential (analytical) style
speech strategy that analyzes the speech stream into individual phonetic elements and words; the first utterances of children who adopt this style ten to use isolated, often monosyllabic words and start with the same consonants that were dominant in early babbling
expressive (holistic) style
speech strategy that gives more attention to the overall sound of language - its rhythmic and intonational patterns - than to the phonetic elements of which it is composed
-not a lot of recognizable words, but full sentences that don't make any sense
speech strategy that typically involves a late start in speaking, but a large vocabulary once speaking begins
-wait for a long time then once they do talk, they talk very well
What predominates early productive vocabularies? Why?
nouns; because their meanings are easier to pick up from observation than are the meanings of verbs
the period when children begin usin the words in their small productive vocabulary one word at a time
the use of a given word in a broader context than is appropriate
ex: using dog for any 4 legged creature or daddy for any man
when does the "word spurt" occur?
around 18 months until about 1st grade children learn 5-10 words/day
children exploit the context in which a word was used; the process of rapidly learning a new word simply from hearing the contrastive use of a familiar and the unfamiliar word
mutually exclusive assumption
children expect that a given entity will have only one name
leads children to expect that a novel word refers to a whole object, rather than to a part, property, action, or other aspect of the object
aspects of the social context used for word learning
ex: "let's dax Mickey mouse" Then the adult performs a task on mickey intentionally or clumsily and indicated "there" or "oops" to the child and the child assumes "dax" means the thing the adult did intentionally
ex: "you're not going to believe this, but this is actually a dog"
When Roger Brown pioneered a study of language development, described the pic on pg 240 as "sibbing" "a sib" or "some sib" preschoolers made different assumptions about the meaning of sib
the noun-category and adjective-property linkages are even made by infants and toddlers
the strategy of using the grammatical structure of whole sentences to figure out meaning (using the whole sentence for context to figure out what something means)
dax ex: people think shape stays the same regardless of texture, size etc
the term describing children's first sentences that are generally two-word utterances ex: "More juice"
speech errors in which children treat irregular forms of words as if they were regular
ex: "Mans goed" instead of "Men went"
What do children do before perfecting the irregular forms of words?
they alternate between the overregulization errors and the correct irregular word endings
What causes this oscillation between the correct irregular form of the words and the overregulization?
retrieval failures; as practice continues, children have retrieval errors less frequently
who, what when, where and why questions that children often begin to ask around age 2
What problem do children often have with the wh words?
they start off by putting them at the beginning of an affirmative statement
what is private speech often accompanied by?
solitary play; and as much as 1/2 of speech made in presence of others is directed at themselves
conversation between children that involves a series of non-sequiturs, the content of each child's turn having little or nothing to do with what the other child has just said
descriptions of past events that have the basic structure of a story
usually produced by 5 year olds: different from 3-year olds who's conversation include occasional brief references to past
how does social scaffolding help children with narratives?
by asking them elaborative questions and even if child doesn't respond, they still reflect
How do children acquire language?
1) the relative roles of nature and nurture in language development
2) the degree to which language acquisition is supported by language-specific versus general-purpose cognitive abilities
3) the role of social interaction and communication in language development
Nativist view on acquiring language
language is too complex to arise from experience alone, so there must be some preexisting, innate structures that enable young humans to acquire it
-because of their inborn knowledge, children only require minimal input to trigger language development
a set of highly abstract, unconscious rules that are common to all languages
the idea that human brain contains an innate, self-contained language module that is separate from other aspects of cognitive functioning
What things are evidence of the nativist theory?
critical period, as well as specific links between brain structures and language abilities
Evidence against nativist theory?
universal grammar. special language-specific mechanisms; criticism has also been placed on how importance has been focused on syntactic development rather than communicative role of language
virtually everything about language development is influenced by its communicative function
Opposite from nativist views of language development; These theories maintain that language development is based not on innate linguistic knowledge or language-specific abilities but on general-purpose learning mechanisms
a type of information processing approach that emphasizes the simultaneous activity of numerous interconnected processing units
the idea that a symbolic artifact must be represented mentally in two ways at te same time - both as a real object and as a symbol for something other than itself
What age does dual representation become a capability?
3 years (2.5 yr olds can't do it)
when a child is actually trying to draw something (Around 3-4 yrs old)
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