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PSYCH 56L- Final Exam Guide - Comprehensive Notes for the exam ( 30 pages long!)


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYCH 56L
Professor
Lisa Pearl
Study Guide
Final

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UC-Irvine
PSYCH 56L
FINAL EXAM
STUDY GUIDE

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Ling 51/Psych 56L: Acquisition of Language
Lecture 1: Introduction
9-29-17
What is language?
A language is a system of signals, such as voice sounds, gestures or written symbols, that encode or
decode information.
Human languages also referred to as natural languages, and the science of studying them is linguistics.
The term "animal languages" is often used for non-human languages
- not as complex or expressive as human language; better described as animal communication
- Some argue there are significant differences separating human language from the communication of
other animals, and that the underlying principles are unrelated.
Knowledge of language
Its so atual fo us to podue ad opehed laguage that e ofte dot thik about what an
accomplishment this is.
Or how we learned language in the first place = language development
Why study language development?
The big picture, theoretically speaking:
The stud of laguage auisitio still plas a etal ole i the deate over how to characterize
human cognition, for the same reason that language acquisition played a central role in the cognitive
revolution. That is, it is so difficult to explain how language acquisition is possible that accounting for
language acquisition is a test not likely to be passed by inaccurate cognitive theories.
Hoff (2008), p.8
More on the big picture:
…thee is the hallege of explaining why language has the particular properties that it does
(the problem of language design) and how those properties emerge so reliably in the course of early
childhood (the problem of language acquisition). It is the search for answers to these two problems that
makes work in linguistics central to the larger enterprise of cognitive science. OGad 
More practically speaking, applications of language development research:
Understanding how normal language development proceeds so that we can help children who
have problems with their language development (language pathology)
Understanding how learning more than one language works, and how to best teach children
who are learning multiple languages simultaneously (language pedagogy)
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The interaction of theory & practice
These to aeas aet alas sepaate - insights from one can help understanding in the other.
Example: Research on children with autism (Tager-Flusberg, 1994, 2007)
Autistic children have severe communicative deficiencies.
However, they still acquire language structure.
Implication: Learning language involves more than learning how to fulfill a need to
communicate.
What this means: applied language development research influences understanding of the
process of language development (you can still learn a language but miss the way to communicate well)
Whats all the fuss aout laguage deelopet?
Babies are amazing at learning language
Wait…hat eatl do ou know when you know a language?
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