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Lesson 6- Language.pdf

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Joe Kim

Language Module: Introduction Natural Language: • Language is regular: meaning that it is governed by rules and grammar (sentence can be reorganizes and still retain its meaning). • Language is arbitrary-: lack of resemblance between words and their meaning. • Language is productive: limitless ways to combine words to describe objects, situations, and actions. Whorf Sapir Hypothesis: • Whorf Sapir Hypothesis: language influences our thoughts and the way we perceive and experience the world The Structure of Language: • Morpheme: The smallest unit of sound that contains information (or signs), not the absolute smallest units • Often a word, but some words contain multiple morphemes Phonemes: Constituent sounds when breaking up a morpheme
 • ▯ Syntax and Semantics: • Syntax: rules that govern how sentences are put together,AKAgrammar. Some languages assign gender to objects (french). • • Semantics: Meaning of each individual word (meaning of the sentence). Module: Developmental and the Segmentation Problem Language Development: • Milestones: 12 weeks: make cooing sounds • • 16 weeks: turns head towards voices 6 months: imitates sounds • • 1 year: babbles • -2 years: uses 50-250 words, uses 2 words phrases • 2.5 years: vocabulary > 850 words
 ▯ • Babbling: characterized by drawn-out sounds made of a variety of combinations of vowels and consonants • May sounds like real sentences or questions because of the use of inflection and rhythm in the production of the babble • Combination progresses to become real words, forms basis for first words. Language Explosion: • 1.5-6 years children enter language explosion and vocabulary increases rapidly and have for the most part mastered major aspects of language The Segmentation Problem: • Translates into perception that a person speaking an unfamiliar language often sounds like they are speaking very quickly. • Caused by difficulty to segmenting word stream into word units. • Spacing of words • Newman and colleagues: detect target word from speech stream (dog). Strong positive correlation between infant segmentation ability and expressive vocabulary at 2 years. Implications: • Children who now had larger expressive vocabulary had earlier demonstrated good speech segmentation skills as infants (and vice versa) • Findings could lead to infant screening tests to predict later problems in language development and allow for early treatment interventions ▯ ▯ Subtopic: Different Phonemes • Infants can discriminate more phonemes that adults can • Radio vs Ladio, Jada vs Jjada ▯ Universal Phoneme Sensitivity • The ability of infants to discriminate between virtually any sounds they’re tested on • Adults cannot do so • Includes sounds from non-native languages • Clinicians test this by doing the “Head turn procedure” • Usually lose this ability by 1 year old • Learning new language at young age leads to superior mastery of all aspects of language • Test using hindi phonemes: Hindi adults = infants from english speaking families, english speaking adults (lowest score). • Infants can discriminate non-native sounds that are absent from the language of the culture in which they are being raised. ▯ ▯ ▯ ▯ ▯ ▯ ▯ ▯ ▯ ▯ Social Learning Theory: • Children learn language through a combination of imitation and operant conditioning Baby b
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