Language Review Questions 8.docx

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University of California - Irvine
Cognitive Sciences

Language Review Questions 8 1. Terms/concepts: a. Navajo Code Talker Paradox – b. Universal Grammar – c. Parameter – d. Parameter values – e. Greenberg’s generalizations – f. Overhypothesis – g. Variational learning – h. Unambiguous data – 2. A movement rule in syntax means that the order of the syntax can be changed. An example of this would be in the typical subject, verb, object order of grammatical categories in English that can be moved in other languages. German for example, has a different pattern, which is subject, object verb. Movement rules allow for the verb to be moved from the end of an utterance to the beginning and still keep the same meaning. The movement rule also allows for the subject to be moved to the beginning of the sentence as well as the object to the end. 3. The child cannot be certain about how the word order of SVO was produced because other languages use different ways to generate that same pattern. For example, German uses SOV, but the verb in main clauses moves to the second position and some other phrase moves to the first position. Therefore they are also using the SVO word order, but they generated it in a different way. 4. Artificial intelligence researchers studied the relative difficulty of playing chess compared to the relative difficulty of translating language and found that computer’s poor performance on language is not about insufficient computational power, since there is enough computational power to solve the chess-playing problem. 5. Language learning under Chompsky’s Universal Grammar relies on combinations of different basic elements or parameters that will yield the observable languages. A relatively small number of syntax parameters yields a large number of different languages’ syntactic systems. Children do not require knowledge, they are born knowing the parameters of variation. Input from the native linguistic environment determines what values these parameters should have. 6. If there are three language structure parameters with two values each there will be 8 languages represented. If there are two language structures parameters and three values in each there will be 27 languages represented. 7. According to Greenberg, languages that have SVO basic word order are more similar than they first appear on the surface, especially if we consider their structural properties. The preposition comes before the noun phrase and the possessed comes before the possessor. Languages that have SOV basic word order are also very similar when viewed through structural descriptions. The possessor is always before the possessed and the noun phrase always proceeds th
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