PSY100H1- Final Exam Guide - Comprehensive Notes for the exam ( 53 pages long!)

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29 Mar 2018
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PSY100H1
Final EXAM
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1
N.KIM
Chapter 9: Language and Thought
9.1 What is Language?
Productivity: creation of new messages
Ex: Koshik, the elephant, uses his trunk to manipulate his mouth to mimic sounds that he
overheard but does not demonstrate productivity like Chaser, the dog that knows and speak 1000
English words.
9.1.1 Development of Language:
Children exposed to tonal languages (which rely on change in pitch to alter a word’s meaning)
become skilled at detecting pitch differences and become pitch perfect
Simple changes in tone can largely impact a message
Merriman (1999): Language and grammatical structure vary between cultures, but stages of
acquisition are nearly the same.
- Grammar: systematic rules of a language which includes the words, tenses, and syntax
(structure and order of words within a language)
9.1.2 Theories of Development:
B.F. Skinner argued that environmental influences strongly dictated language development
Chomsky urged for the consideration of biological constraints on development
9.1.2.1 Nurture: The Role of Environmental Factors on Behavior
At early age, we know which vocal changes signal good deeds:
- Higher pitches are used to encourage, while lower pitches are used to scold.
- Happy, rewarding tones elicit smiles from babies, and low, warning tones are met with
cautious frowns (Jaswal & Fernald, 2002)
Stephenson-Opsal & Bernstein (1988) experiment:
- The rate of mother’s speech is related to child struggling with stuttering
- Slowed speech = Decrease in time spent struggling to produce words
Environmental Contributions of a caregiver affects child’s progression of language skills
but does not explain the rapid development of human language in early childhood.
9.1.2.2 Nature: The Role of Genetic Factors on Behavior
nativism: the belief that certain abilities are built into our brains
language acquisition device (LAD) (Chomsky)
- Helps children quickly learn and understand language
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2
N.KIM
Critical Period:
- a maturational stage in the lifespan of an organism during which the nervous system is
especially sensitive to certain environmental stimuli.
Ex: Babies undergo a relatively slow period of acquisition until the age of 7-12 months,
but then shift and absorb words at a lightning pace until around age five.
Sensitive Period:
- refers to several overlapping periods of development where a child is sensitive to a
particular stimuli or type of interaction.
- Neurological system is more malleable during early development but modifiable later
with proper environmental stimulation
Experiments:
Bornstein et al. (2004) conducted a cross-cultural study spanning Spanish, Dutch, French,
Hebrew, English and Korean cultures and found that children show similar patterns in acquiring
nouns faster than verbs.
Goldin-Meadow and Mylander (1983) reported that a small group of congenitally deaf children
created structured gestures to communicate
Speakers use same order of objects and events
Either gesture subject-object-verb (SOV) or subject-verb-object (SVO)
9.1.2.3 An Emergentist Perspective
- there is a “dynamic” interaction between inherited biology and environmental exposure.
Nativist approach: focus heavily on how an inherited speech bias and early flexibility prepare
us to learn language.
Environmental Perspective: emphasize that our development of speech is dependent on our
exposure to, and familiarity with, our native language.
Being exposed to our native sounds, shape our language faculty and influences our late abilities
and decreases sensitivity to non-native sounds
9.1.3 Language and the Brain
Dr.Paul Broca:
- Treated by Patient Tan after being kicked by a horse
- Introduced Broca’s aphasia or nonfluent aphasia: difficulty producing words
- performed an autopsy in lower frontal lobe and concluded that front lobe region was
necessary for language production
- 2 important contributions:
1) There may be a module in the brain controlling speech
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Document Summary

Ex: koshik, the elephant, uses his trunk to manipulate his mouth to mimic sounds that he overheard but does not demonstrate productivity like chaser, the dog that knows and speak 1000. Children exposed to tonal languages (which rely on change in pitch to alter a word"s meaning) become skilled at detecting pitch differences and become pitch perfect. Simple changes in tone can largely impact a message. Merriman (1999): language and grammatical structure vary between cultures, but stages of acquisition are nearly the same. Grammar: systematic rules of a language which includes the words, tenses, and syntax (structure and order of words within a language) B. f. skinner argued that environmental influences strongly dictated language development. Chomsky urged for the consideration of biological constraints on development. 9. 1. 2. 1 nurture: the role of environmental factors on behavior. At early age, we know which vocal changes signal good deeds: Higher pitches are used to encourage, while lower pitches are used to scold.

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