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Language Acquisition Final Review
Terms in this set (67)
Noam Chomsky's "Universal Grammar" argues that
all children are born with innate pre-dispositions that guide them in acquiring their native language
The study of continuity and discontinuity in language development
asks if children's early grammars are qualitatively different from the grammars of adults
Quine's "gavagai" problem refers to which of these puzzles in language development
There are infinitely many potential meanings for any novel word
When a language learner combines the plural marker "-s" with a novel word like "wug" to produce a word they've never heard before, "Wugs," they are demonstrating which design feature of language?
Roy's study of his son's language learning where he recorded video and audio in all rooms of his house is an example of what kind of design and method?
Longitudinal design, observational method
Studies of children "without language" such as Psammeifhus's study, Goldin-Meadow's studies of homesigning children, and the "Wild Boy" from Aveyron, provide:
Evidence about the roles of input and the child's biological capacities in acquiring language.
The connectionist approach to language research:
attempts to show how grammatical rules can emerge in children's grammars as the result of a complex network of connections
The biological approach to researching child language acquisition
examines how language and language development are related to biological processes
The social approach to researching child language acquisition
is based on examining the social phenomenon supporting children's language development
CHILDES is an online data bank containing
language samples from hundreds of children speaking many different languages
Language is composed of
Phonology, lexical development, syntax, and morphology, and communicative competence
The invariance hypothesis refers to the view that
the left hemisphere is specialized for processing language from birth
What is a consequence of developmental changes in brain plasticity?
Children recover their language abilities more completely from brain injury than adults do
The critical period hypothesis states that:
There is a critical age range during which children are able to develop language
Which properties of the human vocal tract are advantageous for producing spoken language?
-Human lips and tongue are capable of moving rapidly and flexibly.
-The position of the human larynx is lower relative to other primate species.
-Human teeth are even and upright.
A Creole is a language that:
Is learned by children born into a community in which a pidgin language is used as a common means of communication. The children add to the language and develop syntax complexities.
The development of Nicaraguan Sign Language (NSL):
Has demonstrated the importance of young children for adding complexity to a developing language.
Attempts to teach primates human language have found:
that they have been unable to learn the grammar of a human language.
The FOXP2 Gene
is involved in the formation of the basal ganglia, important for motor control
an impairment of language due to brain injury
Human language differs from honeybee's waggle dance in that
human language can be combined to convey many concepts, included abstract objects and events
Because we can only observe animal's immediate behavior in response to communication, what design feature of language would be very difficult to observe in prairie dog communication systems?
Dichotic listening experiments examined adults and found that there is
a right-ear advantage for adult users of language
The equipotentiality hypothesis holds that
the right and left hemisphere have equal capacity for language at birth
The relationship between phonemes and letters of a conventional alphabet is
in a many-to-many correspondence: each sound may correspond to many different letters and each letter may correspond to many different sounds.
The content of infants' babbling is
influenced by the language the infant hears
The development of infants' speech sounds follows the following trajectory
Phonological awareness is
the ability to think about and reflect on the sounds of one's language
The phonological development of individual children
depends on the particular language children are learning and also on the particular strategies that each child prefers to use
The development of phonology depends on
both biological and environmental factors
What do biologically and usage based theories of phonology focus on?
Biologically based theories focus on the role of anatomical and physiological factors in development while usage based theories focus on the role of environmental input
Which of the following constitute evidence that children's phonological development is influenced by environmental factors?
-parents who treat infant babbling as conversational speech encourage their children to produce more vocalizations than parents who do not
-the inventory of children's early sound systems differs depending on the language of the surrounding adults
-infants adjust their speech as a result of feedback they receive from their own vocalizations during vocal play
True facts about children's early word recognition
-Before they reliably produce words, infants can recognize when a word has been mispronounced by as little as one sound
-Before 10 months of age, infants have difficulty recognizing that a word is the same one if it is spoken by speakers of two different genders
-Before 12 months of age, infants have difficulty recognizing familiar words when they are spoken in a different accent
both in the inventory of sounds that they use and in terms of which sounds convey changes in meaning
Phonological processes are
systematic sound changes that children make when producing sounds in their early words
The sounds that create differences in meaning are called
Children's on-line processing of words
is positively correlated with their vocabulary size: children who are faster processors have larger vocabularies
A child is presented with a picture of an unfamiliar animal and told it is called "a hyrax". That child can use the Taxonomic assumption to draw which of the following inferences?
The word "hyrax" can be extended to refer to all animals that look like animal in the picture
Fast-mapping refers to
the ability to learn the meaning of a new word based on only a few instances
True statements about the process of word segmentation:
-infants are able to use melodic and rhythmic cues to help them find word boundaries
-infants are able to use statistical cues within the speech signal to help them segment words by 9 months
-it can be facilitated by properties of child directed speech, such as shorter utterances
The vocabulary Word Spurt
is idiosyncratic: some children show them and some do not
The definition of a word is
an arbitrary symbol that refers to elemtns in the word
Children's first 50 words
consist of a variety of kinds of words, but at least in English, contain a relatively large number of nouns
True statements about nouns and verbs in children's early word learning:
-In some languages, nouns and verbs are present in approximately equal quantities in children's early vocabularies
-Children require different kinds of information to learn nouns and verbs: noun meaning can often be learned through observation alone while many verb meanings require children to use syntactic information as well.
-Nouns and verbs typically refer to different kinds of meanings, and the meanings of nouns may be easier for children to learn.
Syntactic Bootstrapping is a word learning process that
allows children to draw inferences about a word's meaning from the sentential context in which it is used
A child is presented with a picture of an unfamiliar object and told that "This is a pagoda. Do you see the fancy finial?" The child determines that the entire item is called a "pagoda" and that the ball on the top is called a "finial." What word learning process did this child make?
The Whole Object assumption and the Mutual Exclusivity assumption
Children typically say their first words around
One of the first words of a young child was "go." For almost a month, the child said this word only when her mother was buckling her in her car seat. This is an example of
Context-bound word use.
Young children's ability to comprehend language
are generally ahead of their ability to produce the same language
Constructivist and Nativist accounts of language development DISAGREE about
Whether or not a child is born with language-oriented biases that help them use input from adults to learn their native language
Children's ability to correctly infer the meaning of nonsense words in different morphological and syntactic contexts demonstrates that
children have productive grammatical rules describing those contexts
The Mean Length of Utterance (MLU)
is a good predictor of children's grammatical abilities
The progressive morpheme "-ing" (as in "Amy is singing") is:
a bound morpheme, because it adds meaning to the verb but it cannot stand alone in the sentence
The development of children's use of questions shows that
children understand both interpretations of a complex wh-question ("When did the boy say he hurt himself?") while still in preschool
The Type-Token Ration (TTR)
can be used to measure the semantic richness or lexical diversity of children's speech
Language productivity (or generativity) refers to the fact that
human knowledge of language can produce an infinite number of different sentences
Which of the following is true about Open and Closed class words in language?
Open class words are content words and closed class words are function words
Telegraphic speech is missing which of the following?
Function words and bound morphemes
Children omit function words in telegraphic speech because
-function words are less prominent
-children have limited processing abilities and omit the words that are less necessary for conveying meaning
-children do not understand their meaning and omit words they see as irrelevant
The meanings expressed by children's 2-word utterances
include several kinds of basic relations among actors, objects and actions.
children generally learn morphemes which are highly frequent and perceptually salient first.
What is are factors in children's ability to become bilingual?
-the community attitudes about the languages, such as whether or not one is prestigious or valued
-the amount of input that a child receives in each language
A critical task for simultaneous bilinguals is:
differentiating between their languages
Resistance to bilingual education programs in the US:
-is based on political and cultural attitudes towards speakers of languages other than English
-is based on reactions to poorly implemented programs
-is based on scientific research demonstrating that bilingual children perform worse on a variety of academic measures
True about bilingual education programs in the US:
dual language programs that provide instruction in a child's home language and English improves academic performance
Sequential bilingualism is when
a child begins to learn a second language after having already started to learn a first one
Bilingual children acquire lexical knowledge in each language
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