Chapter 9 Notes.docx

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Steve Joordens

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Chapter 9 Notes  five key higher cognitive functions: acquiring and using language, forming concepts and categories, making decisions, solving problems, and reasoning.  Language is a system for communicating with others using signals that are combined according to rules of grammar and convey meaning.  Grammar is a set of rules that specify how the units of language can be combined to produce meaningful messages  Language allows individuals to exchange information about the world, coordinate group action, and form strong social bonds.  The 3 Striking differences distinguish of human language  First, the complex structure of human language distinguishes it from simpler signaling systems.  Second, humans use words to refer to intangible things, such as unicorn or democracy.  Third, we use language to name, categorize, and describe things to ourselves when we think, which influences how knowledge is organized in our brains  The smallest units of sound that are recognizable as speech rather than as random noise are phonemes  Every language has phonological rules that indicate how phonemes can be combined to produce speech sounds  Phonemes are combined to make morphemes, the smallest meaningful units of language  A sentence–the largest unit of language–can be broken down into progressively smaller units: phrases, morphemes, and phonemes  Morphological rules indicate how morphemes can be combined to form words.  Content morphemes refer to things and events (e.g., “cat,” “dog,” “take”).  Function morphemes serve grammatical functions, such as tying sentences together (“and,” “or,” “but”) or indicating time (“when”).  Syntactical rules indicate how words can be combined to form phrases and sentences  Every sentence must contain one or more nouns, which may be combined with adjectives or articles to create a noun phrase. A sentence also must contain one or more verbs, which may be combined with noun phrases, adverbs, or articles to create a verb phrase  Deep structure refers to the meaning of a sentence.  Surface structure refers to how a sentence is worded  Three characteristics of language development are worth bearing in mind  First, children learn language at an astonishingly rapid rate  Second, children make few errors while learning to speak, and as we’ll see shortly, the errors they do make usually result from applying, but over generalizing, grammatical rules they’ve learned.  Third, children’s passive mastery of language develops faster than their active mastery.  Fast mapping, in which children map a word onto an underlying concept after only a single exposure, enables them to learn at this rapid pace  telegraphic speech because they are devoid of function morphemes and consist mostly of content words.  B. F. Skinner’s behaviorist explanation of language learning, we learn to talk in the same way we learn any other skill: through reinforcement, shaping, extinction, and the other basic principles of operant conditioning  The behavioral explanation  First, parents don’t spend much time teaching their children to speak grammatically.  Second, children generate many more grammatical sentences than they ever hear.  Third, as you read earlier in this chapter, the errors children make when learning to speak tend to be overgeneralizations of grammatical rules.  nativist theory -The view that language development is best explained as an innate, biological capacity.  language acquisition device (LAD)-a collection of processes that facilitate language learning  genetic dysphasia, a syndrome characterized by an inability to learn the grammatical structure of language despite having otherwise normal intelligence.  . Broca’s area is located in the left frontal cortex; it is involved in the production of the sequential patterns in vocal and sign languages  Wernicke’s area, located in the left temporal cortex, is involved in language comprehension (whether spoken or signed).  Four kinds of evidence indicate that the right cerebral hemisphere also contributes to language processing  First, when words are presented to the right hemisphere of healthy participants using divided visual field techniques  Second, patients with damage to the right hemisphere sometimes have subtle problems with language comprehension.  Third, a number of neuroimaging studies have revealed evidence of right- hemisphere activation during language tasks. Fourth, and most directly related to language development, some children who have had their entire left hemspheres removed during adolescence as a treatment for epilepsy can recover many of their language abilities.  Allen and Beatrix Gardner were the f
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