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Chapter 8.docx

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Mindi Foster

Chapter 8: Language and Thought Principles of Language  Symbolic o Language is a set of symbols that represent the things we want to communicate  Semantic o Symbols convey meaning o How words, phrases and syllables convey meaning  Generative o We can combine how parts of language come together to symbolize new meanings o We can combine symbols in an unlimited way to generate/create new meanings  Structure o Phrases/sentences o Words  Combinations of morphemes o Morphemes  The smallest unit of sound that has meaning, such as prefixes, suffixes, articles o Phonemes  The tiniest unit of sound that can be distinguished Developing language  Initial stage o “parentese”  practiced by parents, high pitched exaggerated way of speaking in order to convey the rhythm of language o vocalizations  cooing  laughing  crying o recognition of all phonemes  before one years old; ex. La, ra are recognized by Japanese babies, but no adults  optimal period for bilingualism (?)  it is not a concrete principal, it is, however, easier to become bilingual when you are younger  so the answer is yes because multilingualism is easier earlier  Acculturation  the more integrated, the easier language acquisition  Motivation  Positive Attitude  toward a second language communication Next Stage:  Babbling o Maturing physical capacity?  Babbling occurs because of greater physical control of the tongue and lips o Maturing Language Capacity ?  Babbling is the first step to language but deaf babies also babble Next: 10 months to a year  Word recognition, symbolic gesturing o They listen longer to unfamiliar words which suggests that they are familiar with others o Ex. Shrugging shoulders  Vocabulary spurt (18 – 24 months)  Mistakes  mistakes indicates their attempts to learn grammar o Overextensions (applies a word to a wider category than it should)  “doggies” can mean a bigger category “pet” o Underextenstions (applies a word to a narrower category than it should)  “cat” only means their cat vs. all cats Next:  Telgraphic speech o Two or three word combinations  “I go now”; “daddy milk”; “go bye-bye”; “no night-night”  Mistakes  mistakes actually mean that they are learning the rules o Overregularizations (over-applying grammar rules)  “ I goed to the zoo”; “Two mans” Finally  6 to 8 years of age  Metalinguistic awareness (an awareness of how language works) o Begin to understand how language works and understand when they are making mistakes o They start to learn that there are ambiguities in language such as sarcasm Issues in bilingualism Cons:  Processing speed  the only cognitive disadvantage with some evidence suggesting that processing speed is slightly lower  Forced bilingualism  forced second language decreases self-esteem and the heritage culture because so much of culture is wrapped up in language o Seen in Canada with residential schools and with missionaries during colonialism Pros  Language development is similar o Going through the stages of language development is the same for both mono and bi – linguals  Enhanced literacy  bilinguals are more literate  Selective attention/controlled processing  reading comprehension skills are better because they are able to selectively able to attend to the meaning of the thing at hand o Ex. Reading comprehension  Reduces age-related loss in cognition skills o Bilingualism may prevent age-related loss of ability memory, etc. Theories of Language Acquisition Behaviourisms  Classical conditioning o Associations are made with baby vocalizations (crying, laughing)  Operant Conditioning o Vocalizations aren’t reinforced and fade away o Parents positively reinforce language  Animal Language o The fact that animals, non-human, can learn language also suggests we do Nativist Theories  language is innate  Mistakes aren’t observed (?) o Chomsky argues therefore language isn’t learned because if you cannot
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