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Chapter 8 These are my own notes taken from the textbook, this chapter was not covered in class but it will be on the 3rd test.

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PSYC 1010
Rebecca Jubis

Chapter 8 Language and Thought Language  Symbols that convey meaning  Rules for combining those symbols to generate infinite variety of messages  Language properties o Language is symbolic  Ex. Spoken word, words that have different meanings  Symbols allow for people to refer to objects in another place and events that happened another time o Language is sematic  The symbols used in language are arbitrary in that no built-in relationship exists between the look and sound of the word to its meaning.  Ex. Pen – in English, stylo- in French and Pluma in Spanish o Language is generative  We are capable of generating meanings by placing words in different orders and such.  There is an infinite possibility of generating novel messages o Language is structured  Even though there is an infinite possibility of combining words to create new messages, there are rules which must be followed.  Ex. “the swimmer jumped into the pool” not “pool the into the jumped swimmer” The structure of Language  Phonemes o The smallest speech units in a language that can be distinguished perceptually o In other words: they are the pronunciations of letters in different words”  Ex. A is differently pronounced in “father” “had” “call” and “take”  Morphemes and Semantics o Morphemes are the smallest units in a language o The use of multiple words in one to create different meaning  Ex. Un, friend, ly – each one is a morpheme o Semantics is the areas of language concerned with understanding the meaning of words and word combinations.  Syntax o A system of rules specifying how words can be arranged into sentences  Ex. There must be a subject and a verb or “the” before the subject and not after (the swimmer, not swimmer the). Milestones in Language Development  Moving towards producing words o In the first year infants make progress towards learning sound structures in their native language o In the first 6 months babies are cooing, crying etc. as a form of communication o Later they begin to babble and produce phonemes and eventually repeat constants and vowel combinations, “ex. Lalalala” o Later babbling becomes more complex and developed and the baby moves on to the next stage  Using Words o Around 10 to 13 months children being to utter sounds corresponded to words o Dada, papa, mama are easy sounds to produce, so they are often first words o Toddler receptive vocabulary is greater than their productive vocabulary o Fast mapping – process kinds use to map words onto an underlying concept after only one exposure o An overextension- occurs when a child uses a word incorrectly to describe a wider set of objects or actions than it is meant to o Under extension- occurs when a child uses a word incorrectly to describe a narrower set of objects or actions than it is meant to  Combining words o Begins occurring after age 2 o Telegraphic speech- are early sentences containing articles. Prepositions and less critical words are omitted.  Ex. “Give doll” – instead of “please give me the doll” o Mean length utterance (MLU) – the length of average statements spoken by youngsters o Over regularizations- occur when grammatical rules are incorrectly generalized to irregular cases when they do not apply  Refining Language Skills o Their language stills become more complex and accurate o Metalinguistic awareness- the ability to reflect on the use of language Learning more than one language-Bilingualism  Bilingualism – acquisition of two languages that use different speech sounds, vocabulary and grammatical rules  Does learning two languages slow down the development? o Research shows that children learning two languages have smaller vocabularies in each language but then the vocabulary is added together is similar or slightly superior to other children o The children develop much the same but in two languages and are able to distinguish between the two before they begin to talk.  Does Bilingualism affect Cognitive Processes and Skills? o The research is mixed o There are both advantages and disadvantages to being bilingual  What factors influence the Acquisition of a second Language? o Age- the younger the easier o Acculturation-the degree by which a person is socially and psychologically integrated into a new culture. o Motivation and attitude Can Animals Develop Language?  There have been a few species that have been taught language skills, dolphins, sea lions, chimps and African gray parrot. o Chimpanzees were tested to see if they could learn to use sign language- one did but it was clear it was just imitation and not understanding o Another chimp was taught by a computer program – he was able to generate a simple and basic understanding o Although this was miraculous, toddlers could easily surpass even the most well trained chimps, so what is so special about humans?  Language in an Evolutionary Context o Steven Pinker-  We have a species-specific trait which is a produce of natural selection  Enormous adaptive value  There are many genes that account for language and more will be discovered that account for language disorders o Dunbar  Argues, language evolved as a device to build and maintain social coalitions in increasingly large groups T
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