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Lecture 6

LING 1100 Lecture 6: Ling 1100 - how do children learn lang.docx


Department
Linguistics
Course Code
LING 1100
Professor
All
Lecture
6

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How do children learn Lang?
Challenges – word boundaries
Word learning
Syntax
Poverty of the stimulus (no negative evidence)
Universal grammar hypothesis
- Are born with the ability to learn
- Contributed with Chomsky
- Some aspects of Lang (grammar are innate
Critical period:
Hypothesis – Penfield and Roberts 1959, Lenneberg 1976): there is a critical period of
Lang acquisition
If you don’t get exposed to Lang before a certain age you will not gain full proficiency
Different ages posited by different researchers
Mothers
- Child- directed speech
- Cultural specific ways parents talk to kids
- The way mothers or caretakers speak to children – slower, more deliberate, nice,
simple, high pitch, repetitive
Stages
- Babbling
- One word stage
- Two word stage
- Content words before function words
Kids tend to learn content words before functional words
Content- describing
Function- will, the
Sounds
- Allophones
- Variation In acoustic signal
Categorical perception
- Voice onset
- Sucking rate
- Babies can make discriminations also between categories that arent distinguished
on there Lang
- Voice, place, vowel high, and backless
What do the categorical perception results teach us?
- Children are prepared for the distinction
- Note: some of the rest replicate in chinchillas, macaque, monkeys
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