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Lecture 4

LING 3P61 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Executive Functions, Intentionality, Object Permanence

Course Code
Lynn Dempsey

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Environmental Supports for Language Acquisition
A) -Infant directed speech (IDS)
-they talk about the present, match language to actions
-variable intonation, but a higher pitch; longer pauses between words (slows
rate of speech,
stretching words)
-repetition; grammatically simple utterances
-adults do things that make it easier for babies to learn speech
-infants have preference for IDS over adult directed speech
-preference is found cross linguistically
What do they like?: At 1 month, they liked everything about IDS but at 4 months,
they like the pitch contour alone (associated it with warm lovingness
Bene*ts that IDS provides:
-Prosodic bootstrapping: prosody, melody of adult speech is pulling babies
into lang acquisition
-accessible content: makes meaning more accessible; talk about here and
B) Information Available in Speech
-adult speech is poor database and full of errors?
-syntactic bootstrapping: babies understanding a word order is pulling them into
lang acquisition
-cues to identify nouns and verbs
-“You _____ it” =verb (repeated exposure to this pattern, they learn which
words are verbs;
same pattern with nouns
-prosodic bootstrapping:
-intonation and pausing = phrase and clause boundaries
-stress di2erences for content and function words
-stress di2erences for nouns (*rst syllable of noun REcord) and verbs (second
syllable – ReCORD)
C) Negative feedback
-evidence that something is wrong
-parents don’t provide children with negative feedback on the grammaticality of
their utterances
-parents DO provide subtle cues: repeat with corrections (If the child says “Why dog
wont eat? Parents repeat with correction: “Why wont the dog eat?” ; ask for
clari*cations (Can you say that again? That’s a cue for child that there wasn’t
something right with what they said)
-parents don’t usually correct syntactic errors
-(correct for mispronounciations and if they call something a dog if its not a cat;
correct for naughty words; correct for overregularizations)
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