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Flashcards on language in AP Psych unit.


Smallest speech unit that can be perceived (100 in human language, 40 in English)


Smallest unit of meaning (root words, prefixes, suffixes)

Properties of language

Symbolic representation of things, concepts, and ideas (words or gestures). Words are arbritrary pairings between sounds, symbols, and meaning.


Set of rules used to derive meaning from morphemes, words, and sentences


Sytem of rules that specify arrangement of words in sentenced

3-10 months development

Cooing and babbling, phonemes @ 3 months, phenomes of household words @ 12 months, understand words at 7-8 months

10-13 months

First words, similar in most languages

18 months and under

3 to 50 word vocabulary, large understanding vocab (receptive)

18-24 months

Telegraphic speech: give doll
fast mapping: children map a word onto a concept after only one exposure

Grade school

1st grade: 10,000 words
5th grade: 40,000 words

Metalinguistic awareness

Grade school
able to reflect on speech, understand puns, jokes, and sarcasm

Behaviorist theories

Language learned through reinforcement
vocab is shaped with reinforcers until correct
imitation is used for syntax

Nativist theories

Native propensity for language
there are an infinited number of sentences--could not imitate
children overgeneralixr syntax rules (eated)
parents respond to meaning and factual accuracy, not grammar

Language acquisition device (LAD)

Innate mechanism or process thar facilitates the learning of language
brain strictures and neural wiring leave humans prepared to distinguish phonemes, morphemes, and to acquire rules of syntax
Noam Chomsky

Universal Grammar

Deep structure gives semantic component of a sentence. Surface structure gives the proper syntactical information to express that thought
deep: boy kisses girl
surface: the boy kissed the girl. The boy is kissing the girl, etc.

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