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Lecture 7

PSY315 - Lecture 7.docx

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Craig Chambers

Language Learning and the Language Environment Continued Example scenario - Non-proficient users o Haven’t mastered the language - Might struggle with second language - Input that’s going into young children’s ear is input from non-proficient speakers o Not the normal input in the language learning scenario in that context  In many ways it is defective (populated with grammatical errors/ word selection errors) • Populated with errors? What is the consequence? o Children seem to often surpass their parents, behave as if input they got is regular  Defects seem to be passed over in the course of acquisition Confound - Can’t be sure that children aren’t getting exposure to language outside the home - Idea that parent’s are the sole source is probably wrong - Difficult to isolate the effects to the adults The Case of ‘Simon’ - Parents learned ASL from their community and videotapes - Characterized by inconsistent patterns (way they express certain kinds of meaning) - No resources nearby, residential schools, etc. o Parents were the only source of ASL - What should Simon’s use of ASL look like? Simon’s signing - Adopted a regularized pattern - Notion of a blueprint o Some basic idea of how language is supposed to look o Maybe blueprint isn’t supposed to be specific - Going beyond what his parent’s are doing Another case of improving on the input: Pidgins and Creoles - Creole o Children bring something special to the table o Evidence o Something about the acquisition process Nicaraguan Sign Language - School for deaf was created - Pidgin situation o All these children being brought together with different home signs o Pidgin situation results where rudimentary sign language has been developed to just get by in terms of basic interactions with others - Next generation is exposed to pidgin as the ‘language model’ o Language input into the second generation of signers Senghas & Coppola (2001) - Next generation refined on the language of the earlier language o Made it more complex o Added onto the patterns - Gradual Specific Language Impairment - Characterized by a deficit in language abilities; leaves other aspects of cognition unaffected SLI: Diagnosis - Exclusionary criteria o Do tests and say it’s not that - Not strong inclusionary criteria - More exclusionary criteria than inclusionary criteria Same family, different researchers - Facial apraxia o Muscles involved in talking Despite equivocal evidence… - Language and cognition are two things - Unclear whether there is anything specific about specific language impairment Movie - Learning is shaped by experience - Brain is plastic - Michael o Hard to understood o Difficulty with words had nothing to do with words - Younger brain shows greater ability to change compared to older brain - Whether baby’s brain records a sound when a physical change occurs o Able to hear differences between all the sounds used in the languages of the world o 7 months – still citizens of the world o 11 months – specialists in one language  Behaving like their parents  Not responding to the changes between “she” and “chi”
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