Review Qs 6- Phrases.docx

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Department
Cognitive Sciences
Course
PSYCH 150
Professor
pearl
Semester
Fall

Description
Psych156A/ Ling150 Spring 2012 Review Questions: Phrases (1)Terms/concepts to know: Phrases: Word clusters into larger units Optional phrases: An optional phrase is something that could be taken out of a sentence (Example: The goblin chases a chicken in the castle) Repeated phrases: More than one NP (Noun Phrase) is used in the sentence (Example: The goblin chased a chicken in the castle) Moved phrases: Prepositional phrase is moved to the front of the sentence (Example: In the castle the goblin chased a chicken) Experimental condition: Control condition: Identifying categories: Identifying phrases: (2)Describe one way you could tell that the phrase “the girl who danced with the goblin king in the crystal ballroom” is a noun phrase. Make sure to be specific. You can tell that this phrase is a noun phrase because the nouns can be replaced with pronouns like “he”, “she”, “it”…. In the example you could replace “the girl” with “she” and you can replace “the goblin king” with “him.” One way that we can tell the phrase “the girl who danced with the goblin king in the crystal ballroom” is a noun phrase is because there is a subject, which is “the girl”, who is doing a specific action, “dancing”. The phrase “the girl who danced” means that we are focusing on the girl or the noun and what she is doing in the sentence. The noun can be replaced with pronouns like “he” “she” or “it”. (3)Why do optional phrases in a language alter the transitional probabilities between phrases in general? Optional phrases in a language alter the transitional probabilities between phrases in general because it lowers the probability across phrase boundaries than within phrases. The control has the same probability across. Optional phrases in a language alter the transitional probabilities between phrases in general because optional phrases have lower probability across phrase boundaries than within phrases. (4)Is it reasonable for Thompson & Newport (2007) to use adults in their experiment, which is meant to explain how children identify phrases in language? Explain both why this may be reasonable and why this may be unreasonable. This is unreasonable because it didn’t show it with children but it did show it with adults. Thompson & Newport to use adults in their experiment because they assumed that adults who are learning an artificial language will behave like children who are learning their first language since the adults have no prior experience with the artificial just as children have no prior experience with their first language. This is a reasonable assumption because if children’s brains behave like adults’ brains, then the fact that adults can learn phrases from TP means children should also be able to learn phrases from TP. However it might not be because there are other factors that could interfere such as adults having more cognitive resources to process information or using their native language experience to help them learn something about the artificial language. Just because adults succeed doesn’t mean children will also succeed. (5)Given the experiments by Hudson Kam & Newport (2005) and (2009), how do adults differ from children in making generalizations from inconsistent data? Hudson Kam & Newport (2005): Adults and 5- to 7-year-old children differ in their willingness to make generalizations. Adult learners matched the input and did not generalize, while child learners often generalized. Adult learners often generalized only the dominant determiner when given inconsistent input and childlearners often generalized one determiner. 1. Hudson Kam & Newport found that adults and children were presented with an artificial language that used determiners inconsistently in noun phrases. Sometimes determiners would appear and sometimes they wouldn’t. Adults learners matched the input and did not generalize determiner usage to all noun phrases. Child learners often generalized determiner usage to all noun phrases. (6)Under what circumstances are subjects in the Thompson & Newport (2007) experiment supposed to think that two categories (ex: category A and category B) form a phrase in the artificial language if these subjects can track transitional probability? The subjects in Thompson & Newport are supposed to think that two categories form a phrase in the artificial language if these subjects can track TP when the TP between phrases were at a minimum. (7)In the Thompson & Newport (2007) experiment, were the transitional probabilities between phrases in the experimental conditions higher or lower than the transition
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