review session 9 final review ling 51.docx

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University of California - Irvine
Biological Sciences

Review Questions: Lexical Development (Cited from Dr. Lisa Pearl’s Class Notes and Finals Review Session Ling 51) Words refer to things (referential)—link to a coherent concept. Not enough to simply have associations of sound with something (ex: saying “Eeek! every time you see a spider is non- referential b/c it’s not a referential use of the word “eeek!”). Some greetings and social routines like “Hi” or See ya!” might be considered non-referential language (not meaningful in its own way). 1) Words can label non-existing real world referents (i.e. The Crown Prince of Massachusetts or unicorns don’t exist). 2) Words can refer to abstract referents (i.e. Infinitiy or inevitably) 3) Same referent but different meaning a. i.e. morning star vs. evening star: both refer to the same object (the Sun) but have different descriptions/meanings b. if there’s no meaning in the reference, there’s no meaning in the object • Classical theory definition: “word meanings are a set of properties that are necessary and sufficient for membership in the category” o meanings are analyzable into bundles of semantic primitives (features)  ex: Triangle: a closed, 3 sided figure, whose angles add up to 180 degrees  ex: fish: aquatic, water breathing, cold blood animal, etc • Not easy to come up with the set of necessary and sufficient features (i.e. definition of a game—not necessarily amusing or a competition, etc) --Lecture 9 • Still sometimes run into trouble when forming meanings on new phrases (i.e. “bachelor” has a different definition for different people) • Graded membership: some members of a category are reliable rated as “better” members than others (numerical value) • Category membership is based on a weighted sum of features (not only a single feature) • Because words and concepts do not map one-to-one. • Lexical gaps: concepts that have no words associated with them; all coherent concepts do not have a name (i.e. couch hole) • Words pick out some, but not all, conceptually available distinctions (i.e. fingers vs. toes) Noun bias: vocabularies of children with 50 or less words are heavily concentrated on experiences the child has (i.e. names for people, food, body parts, clothing, animals, household items, = a lot of nouns); • nouns are easier to learn than verbs and the meaning of nouns is easier to identify than the meaning of other words like verbs o beep experiment (Lec 10) with mother and child • Noun bias not true for all children –Korean, Japanese, and Mandarin children show less noun bias though there still is some noun bias (use verb information more often (i.e. as last word of the sentence and nouns are optionally omitted) Beep experiment (identify the mystery word represented by the beep =stimuli preparation experiment (Lecture 10 notes)** 3 Types of info used by children to learn the meaning of verbs: 1) Learn from scenes (only situational contexts and learn only very concrete words like object labels) 2) Learn from Nouns: (make utterances or set of nouns and child can learn concrete relational words like spatial prepositions like “near” and many verbs; object labels provide richer representation of linguistic context) 3) Learn from Syntactic Frames: a. learning relational words allows the child to learn the basic grammar of her language b. utterance is represented as a syntactic structure + known words c. this representation allows the child to learn more abstract words d. most effective at indicating verb meaning **Superiority of using all the available information (Scenes, nouns, and frames) than separate Word spurt occurs for most but not all children around 18 months.. Word spurt: after 50 words learned, about 22-37 words are added every moths and words are often added after a single exposure (word explosion, naming explosion). Production usually lags behind comprehension. Word support refers to words children actually produce. Yes, production vocabularies are usually smaller than comprehension vocabularies because communication works just fine with minimal verb vocabulary. I.e. “go” is very versatile to use. Phonological memory: ability to remember a sequence of u
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