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Lecture 6

PSYB20 - Lecture 6 Notes

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Diane Mangalindan

PSYB20 -Lecture 6 Language and Communication October 23, 2013 What is language? • Systematic and conventional use of sounds/signs/symbols. • Communication or self expression. • Learned at a fast rate. Subcomponents Measures MacArthur Communicative Development Inventory (CDI)  Infants and toddlers.  Productive and receptive language; use of symbols and gestures. Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT)  Select picture denoted by word provided.  Verbal ability. Language Acquisition Nature vs. nurture • Innate predisposition. • Environment unimportant to development. • Reinforcement and imitation. • Environment is key to development – parents/caregivers. Approaches of Study Biological approach • Language = biological phenomenon • Universal features of language – biology and heredity. • Language exists because humans exist. Neurological bases Kimura (1967) • Dichotic listening task with adults. • “Ba” vs. “Ga”. • Right ear > left ear. Neurological bases Critical/Sensitive period • Biology determines when organism is most responsive to environmental input. • Period of responsivity. • Feral children – isolated from human contact; no (or little) experience with social behavoiur and language Linguistic approach • Nature of child’s innate linguistic knowledge. • Language = mapping of sounds to meanings. • Language Acquisition Device (LAD). • Universal Grammar = innate set of rules shared by all humans. • Positive vs. Negative Evidence • Poverty of stimulus Krentz & Corina (2008) • Examined 6- and 10-month olds. • Preference to speech specific to sound (verbal language) or general bias for human language. • American Sign Language Experiment 1 Experiment 2 Non-Linguistic variables - Gestures and motoric behaviours Sylabbic/canonical babbling • Appears around 7 months. • Reduced subset of possible sounds found in spoken language. • Strict syllabic organization (CV clusters). • Without apparent meaning or reference. Motoric theory • Non-linguistic, motor activity tied to the opening and closing of the mouth and jaw. • Emerging control over these parts lead to babbling. Linguistic theory • Linguistic activity reflecting: a) sensitivity to specific patterns of human language b) natural propensity to produce human language • Social interactions serve as sources of such information. • Is there a requirement of audition? Manual Babbling • Reduced subset of possible linguistically-relevant signs. • Sign-syllabic organization . • Without apparent meaning or reference. Social approach • Language = social phenomenon. • Social processes that produce language acquisition; social interactions relevance; social-cognitive skills developed. Domain-general cognitive approach • Language acquisition = learning problem. • Application of domain-general cognitive processes (e.g., memory, attention). Rose et al. (2009) • Examined pre- and full-term babies. • 12 to 36 months. • Information-processing measures: a) Memory b) Representational competence c) Processing speed d) Attention • PPVT & MacArthur’s CDI – Language development Humour What is humour? • “quality which appeals to a sense of ludicrous or absurdly incongruous” • “something that is or is designed to be comical or amusing” • “ability to be funny or to be amused by things that are funny” • Psychological perspective: a) Social context b) Cognitive-perceptual process c) Emotional response d) Vocal-behavioural expression of laughter Social context • Social phenomenon. • Engage when with others or pseudo-social. • Context of play. • Can last for brief moment or extended period. Cognitive-perceptual process • Involves an idea or event that is incongruent or unexpected. • Holding contradictory images of the same object at the same time. • Synergy (Apter, 1982). E
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