PSY270H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 13: Universal Grammar, Noam Chomsky, Language Development

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Language, very broadly, is a set of rules used to communicate. Can be spoken or written (or signed) Language is a very complex skill that we master effortlessly. Arbitrariness signal doesn"t resemble what it represents. Flexibility and naming referents have labels and they can be changed. Duality of patterning the signal can be broken down into smaller units. Productivity we can create an infinite number of new meaningful utterances from a finite number of meaningful signals. Displacement we can communicate about things that aren"t present. Language is acquired according to the general laws of learning and is similar to any other learned behaviour. Language development is a result of adults" reinforcement and gradual shaping of infants" babbling. Many aspects of children"s language acquisition can"t be explained by learning theory models. Children say things they"ve never heard: i holded the baby rabbit. Children don"t say things they hear a lot: e. g. , a and the.

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