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Lecture 24

PSYC1003 Lecture Notes - Lecture 24: Steven Pinker, Noam Chomsky, American Sign Language

2 pages70 viewsFall 2016

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Dr.Harald Taukulis

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o Meta-linguistic awareness
Develop executive control earlier and can juggle tasks more efficiently
Second languages more easily acquired early in life
Greater acculturation facilitates acquisition
Can Other Animals Develop Language?
Other animals:
Issue: vocal apparatuses are different
Solution: American Sign Language
Allen and Beatrice Gardner:
Washoe the chimpanzee
Approached it as though Washoe were a deaf child
160-word vocabulary in 4 years
Combined words into telegraphic phrases
Is this operant conditioning or language learning?
Sue Savage-Rumbaugh:
Kanzi the Bonobo
Used geometric symbols on computer to represent words
Receptive language- 72% of 660 requests
o Receptive language greater than expressive language
Could teach his sister the language
Language in Evolutionary Context
Steven Pinker: Language is an innate human characteristic- we are born with the ability to learn
language. Language is a product of natural selection- historically it would have been an
important advantage.
Behaviourist: Skinner- learning of specific verbal responses (learn language through
conditioning or observation)
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