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Lecture 4

LING 3P61 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Habituation, Negative Feedback, Voice-Onset Time

Course Code
Lynn Dempsey

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Social and communicative foundations
Why is the communicative function of language for acquisition?
The fact that you use language to communicate and connect with others
motivates kids to learn language
Social gating
Kuhl (2007) american babies learned mandarin sound contrasts after
being read to live but not after viewing recordings on video
Infants learn from auditory signals only from live people who are
O’doherty et al. (2001) 2 year olds learned words only in experimental
conditions involving interaction
Two year olds were taught new words either by an adult in person,
watching an adult teach an adult in person, watch an adult teach
an adult in video or be taught themselves with a video
They only learned in first three conditions because there
was interaction and communication between others
Joint attention
Child and adult both attend to another entity
9-12 months of age
Cognitive changes: from primary intersubjectivity (capacity to share oneself with
others, such as smiling etc) to secondary intersubjectivity (capacity to share
one’s experiences with others)
Communicative pointing (and other gesturing advancements)
Gaze following (they learn to follow other people’s gaze)
Interacting with somebody about something else is joint attention
Relationship between joint attention and language
Correlation between
Joint attention skills and scores and subsequent language measures
Less joint attention and LI in children with autism
Joint attention can help vocab building
If child looks at mom who looks at pen and then looks at pen and
mom says “look, a pen!” the child will likely attach the word pen to
that object as opposed to if they were just staring at the ceiling
when mom said it
But perhaps
Joint attention and language correlation can be due to relationship to a 3rd factor
Brain maturation
Maybe brain aging increased joint attention and language ability
Social interaction
Maybe the language development is a result of increased
interaction as a result of joint attention
Parental role
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Maybe parents who create a lot of joint attention episodes also do
a lot of other things to facilitate language development like
reading, take them to play groups etd
Joint attention episodes are supportive but not essential
Some cultures parents and adults do interact with child and these children
still learn language so it must not be a requirement
If they don't receive joint attention they have other routes to gain
language skills
Relationship between gesture and language
Objects child point to become part of their early vocabulary
positive Correlation of number of objects kids point to and the size of early vocab
Declarative pointing is especially benficial for language growth
Sometimes kids gesture with a word combination like open closing fist and
saying “juice”
The age at which they do gesture + word impacts the age they do word +
word. Earlier gesture and word the earlier word combinations
Gestures give kids opportunity to communicate with others
Gestures lead to adult verbal responses and increases language input
Sensory and perceptual foundations
Important part of language is hearing and being able to discriminate different sounds
Methods of study
High amplitude sucking procedure
Used from birth to four months
Kids are given rubber nickel to suck on that is attached to device that
measure pressure and rate of sucking
Kids lose interests in stimulus presented repeatedly
Introducing new stimulus will gain interest back
Shifts in sucking rate
Compare sucking rate after sound shift with sucking rate of babies
who continued to hear same stimulus
Head turn technique
5 months of age
Sound played repeatedly
Sound change
Toy appears
Baby looks at toy
Infant hearing
Sensitivity to sound even in utero
Fetal memory
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