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PSYC 2510 (86)

Language and Cognition

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PSYC 2510
Agnieszka Kopinska

LANGUAGE AND COGNITION  Memory  Language comprehension  Internal lexicon (vocab)  Social functioning  Speech production  Conversational interaction LANGUAGE  the rule-directed used of symbols to convey a message  symbolic – present objects, ideas; can reflect to things in the past, present, future, not in physical proximity, etc.  semantic – the symbols are arbitrary but they’re used to convey a meaning  generative – it evolves based on new needs  structured – it is rule-based  Structure of language  Phonemes – basic sounds  Morphemes – words, prefixes, suffixes  Sentences – phrases  Meaning – thought, idea  Language acquisition (infants)  2 months – attend ore to speech sounds than non-speech sounds  3-4 months – can distinguish phonemes from all languages (ability lost after 4 months)  7.5 months – recognize some words  10-13 months – uses words LANGUAGE PROGRESSION (INFANTS)  babbling  production of strings of phonemes  e.g. ga-ga-ga, ba-ba-ba  follows the pace of a conversation  one word  at about 18 to 24 months  tendency towards nouns  fast mapping – dramatic increase in vocabulary because the child associates a word with a concept after only one exposure  two words  telegraphic/broken speech  e.g. mommy come  three words  overregularization – incorrectly generalizing a rule to an irregular case  e.g I drawed a picture (the verb draw is irregular)  simple sentences and plurals  by 3 years old  four- and five-word sentences  complex syntax  metalinguistic awareness  by 6 years old  understanding metaphors, sarcasm  can make their own jokes  reflecting on one’s use of language  errors in speech  overextension – incorrect generalization of a word to other similar objects or actions  underextension – use of a word to describe a narrower set of objects than it intended  possible that there’s a critical period to learn a language/sensitive period for language development  acquisition of a second language  bilingualism – being fluent in two distinct languages  largely similar language development  bilinguals overall have a slightly larger lexicon  linked to cognitive advantages  controlled processing  linking to constant “juggling” of both languages  persists into adulthood  protective effect – bilinguals have less chances of getting Alzheimer’s, dementia, etc.  disadvantage: have lower language processing speed  Factors that facilitate the learning of a second language  Young age – learning before 7 means you’ll most likely be able to speak it like a native speaker, the proficiency gets lower as you get older  Acculturation – degree of social and psychological integration into new culture  Motivation and attitude THE EVOLUTION OF LANGUAGE  Primates can “learn” some language  Sign language taught to chimpanzees successfully  Unclear whether they were imitating or generating language  Complex language remains a human characteristic  Language is the product of evolution  Saves time – learn information second hand (without having to experience it ourselves)  Social mechanism THEORIES OF LANGUAGE ACQUISITION  Skinner and behav
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