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Lecture 8

Lecture 8

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Eileen Wood

Michael Matthews January 26, 2011 Psychology 8 • Theories of Language acquisition: o Behaviourist-environmental o Nativists- in born o Interactionism- • Behaviourists o Learn through direct reinforcement/ punishment o Imitation o Shaping o Problems- doesn’t explain creativity in utterances or errors in speech • Nativists o Biologically and physiologically equipped for speech and language o LAD (language acquisition device) input, processing, theorizing, grammatical competence o Critical Period most proficient at learning a language between 2 and puberty. o Limitations:Acquisition not completed as early as nativists thought (adults can learn, and do so effectively). Diversity of world languages and grammars hard to explain o Account of grammar and its development is limited. • Interactionism o Language is learned/ used in a social context o Biological contribution supports language learning • Signing o Different forms of language o ASL o Let’s learn to sign • Kanzi- Bonobo Chimpanzee (1980 born, 500 word lexigrams) • Koko- Gorilla (40 years old, 1000 signs, internet chat, keeps pets) • Do animals have language? Can they learn it? o Vocabulary- yes can acquire quite a number of words Michael Matthews
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