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Lecture 6

Lecture 6 - Possible Theories of Language Development

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC 2110
Professor
Maxine Wintre
Semester
Winter

Description
Class Notes – November 11th, 2010 1 - Language = well ordered system of rules that each adult member of the language community taskedly (tasedly) comprehends in speaking, listening, and writing - Tasedly = not necessarily know the rules involved, cant be stated. 2 Elements of Language: Phoneme, Morpheme - Phoneme = most basic fundamental units of the study of language - Morpheme = basic sounds - Diff languages employ diff number of sounds - English: 36 phonemes, other languages have 25, or maybe 50 - Many alphabetical letters can have several alternative phonemes associated o “a” = “ehhhh” or “ahhh” o “c” = “kaaa” or “ssssss” - Study of sound system = phonology o Concerned with which sound typically occur (sequences of sound) = ax, br, cl. (not typical) = bc, pq, mx o These rules to combine phoneme is diff from diff countries, but all have similar rules - Morpheme is string of sound that conveys meaning (will have distinct meaning of its own) o “book”, “let”, “booklet” - Morphology = study of rules used to combine morphemes with each other - All words in a language consist of more than 1 morphemes tied together - Not all morphemes are words Ex: prefixes (pre, re, ex, con) suffixes (tion, est, icly) verb tense markers (-ed, ing) - Some languages use morphemes to mark the case of the noun of the sentence o Latin/greek/Russian = depending on ending of the word, you know the subject / object of the sentence - Morphological rules = certain sequences of words occur in language o Help with spelling o Cvc (consonant vowel consonant) = if add a morpheme o If the word ended in a cvc then you double the consonant before you add the (morpheme)  Stop (CVC)  add extra p + morpheme (stopped) Elements of Grammar - Morphology in syntax = rules for combine words to produce acceptable phrases in sentences - Syntax children use is different than syntax rules adults use - Grammar = a formal description of a speaker’s syntactical rules (the rules they use when speaking) - In school’s grammar = diagram your sentence (what is the subject, verb, predicate) - There are other rules = semantics (expressed meanings, meaning of words in sentences) with 2 components - (1) appropriate use of words in social context o What word one uses in the playground with your friends or with parents o Child’s vocab increases, they start to learn which word is appropriate in which social settings o Differ in culture norms - (2) appropriate use of words in sentences o More complex developmental process o Not meaningful if don’t use the appropriate use of words in sentences - An opening transformational grammar = kids able to produce novel sentences that are grammatically correct in unique ways that are meaningful and have never heard before (without instruction) Possible Theories of Language Development Imitation - learn to speak/write/understand of the language by imitating the language we hear around us - There is a high positive correlation between socioeconomic status and language skills o More education available to them (read more, more books) Class Notes – November 11th, 2010 2 - Development of language of only child is better, than children with siblings (eldest child has better language development than younger ones) o More interaction with adults, younger child mostly learn from older sibling instead of adults - Imitation have meanings, but children can understand and produce sentences they’ve never heard before - kids’ language error are not random (appear to be overt generalization of rules or overextension of rules) - imitation is not the best theory to explain how kids learn complex language so quickly Cognitive Development - Children have to first learn the concepts first prior to language development - Language actually comes before the concept - Kids will use assimilation and accommodation (use dog to describe all 4-legged animal and then learn to differentiate from diff animals) Conditioning and B.F. Skinner - Skinner’s work include imitation if one were to adapt Bandura’s to Skinner’s theory - Skinner: the children will emit to some sounds, sounds will be reinforced, then probability of those sounds will increase. Sounds that aren’t reinforced, they will be extinguished - Cultural differences: most English speaking CAN aren’t brilliant to trill their “rrrrrrrr” - Giving the individual that meets their primary needs, secondary reinforcers (attention) say something that gets attention, then parents will say something back and exchange - Child’s own voice will be another reinforce (they like to hear themselves talk) - Children emit language that imitates that of their parents - Language acquisition is not linear (not a gradual steady progression of more and more words/rules) - Problem: when parents hear child’s talk, they will reinforce true value rather than grammatical correctness - Cant account for the fact that children’s errors are not random, appear to be over generalization/extension of rules (kids cant tell you about, but they can do it) - Doesn’t allow to explain how children have an open transformational grammar (come up with expressions that they have never heard before, can manipulate those expressions) Information Processing (Noam Chomsky) – most predominate right now - Chomsky: all children acquire comparable grammar (phonemes, morphemes) of great complexity with remarkable speed, suggests human are genetically capable of acquiring language (nativist) - All human are born with an innate prewiring for language (potential to develop rules for language) - Language acquisition device (LAD) = no physiological language device, but refers body of language in the child’s environment as the corpus, the corpus gets processed in the LAD (like computer processing model) o Receives input, classify the input/data, construct rules to take into account, regularities, applies these (ir)regularities to new utterances which
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