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Chapter 4

PSYCH 1X03 Chapter Notes - Chapter 4: Metalinguistic Awareness, Language Acquisition Device, 6 Years

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Joe Kim

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Chapter 4: Language
1. Language is symbolic
2. Involves arbitrary associations
o Allows various languages to use different sounds to label the same item
o Words whose sounds are associated with their meanings: onomatopoeia ( meow,
splash, hiccup)
3. Language is productive: small number of components to produce and understand a wide range
of symbols
o Made up of phonemes: smallest sound units of language (40 in English)
4. Language is rule governed
Section 2: structure of Language
Morphemes: Symbols of language
Symbols of language used to transmit information
Smallest units of sound that contain information
Lady 1 morph
Ladybug 2 morphs (lady/bug)
Bugs- 2 morphs ( bug/s)
Laptop computer- 4 morphs ( lap/top/compute/r)
Phonemes: the building blocks of symbols
Morpheme can be broken down into its constituent sounds
Drag 4 phonemes ( d/r/a/g)
Some are complicated like “c” ( s/k sound)
Consistent letter-to-sound correspondence, so that a given letter will always make the same
sound transparent orthographies
Syntax: the rules of constructing sentences
Refers to the rules that govern how we put words together to form a sentence
Order in which words occur in a sentence ( subject-verb-object)
Gender assignment( French)
Automatically understood
Semantics: the meaning of it all
Refer to the meaning contained within
Can have meaning and be understood without syntax
Understand different meanings for a word depending on the context in which it is presented
o The word “present” can be used in different contexts
Section 3: Language Development
table 5.4 page 149
Universal phonemic sensitivity
o ability to discriminate between virtually all phonemes even before they learn language
o conditioned head turn procedure( playing two diff. Phonemes with speakers ba/da)
o process of losing the ability to distinguish between contrasts in sounds not used in
native language perceptual narrowing
o UPS is lost during first year of life
o When people talk to infants they tend to use higher pitch infant- directed speech
Foreign accent syndrome
o Damage in brocas area- difficulty in production of speech
o Damage in wernickes area- speak fluently, but speech makes no sense
o FAS- suffered from a head injury or stroke that damaged areas in the left hemisphere
involved in motor control of speech
Able to speak their native language but seem to have a foreign accent
Damage in the cerebellum
Early language skills
Still face procedure: adult looks at an infant while maintaining a non responsive neutral facial
Cooing: begins at the ages of 2-4 months, making sounds that combine consonants with “oo”
and “ahh”
Pragmatics: allow children to communicate appropriately and affectively in a social situation
Babbling: 4-6 months
Holophrastic phase : where a single word is used to indicate the meaning of an entire sentence
( 10-18 months)
Naming explosion/ word spunt: acquire a vocab of about 250 words by the time they are 2
years old
Fast mapping : children learn the meaning following only 1 or 2 encounters with a new word
Around 6 years of age, the increase in vocabulary starts to slow down and most children have
mastered a large majority of the vocabulary of their language
1. Makes cooing sounds
2. Turns head
3. Imitates sounds
4. babbles
Receptive and expressive vocabulary
Expressive: words that children use to speak
Receptive: words that children can understand, but may not yet use
Receptive is developed before expressive vocabulary
Section 4: further characteristics of language development
Characteristics of early language
Overextensions: errors that involve using fairly specific word for a broader set of related items
o Car used as bus, truck, or wagon
o Open for door, light, peeling an orange
Undextensions: general term is used for only a very particular instance of an item
o Dog for only his dog not other dogs
Overextensions in production persist longer than overextensions in comprehension
o calls every vehicle a car, but can point out differences if asked
telegraphic speech: ( 18-24 months) use short phrases that contain only the most crucial info
they are trying to communicate
o “ more juice”
o “where teddy
Overregularizations: syntactic errors which involve using a grammatical rule too broadly
o Foots (feet)
o Goed( went)
o Mans (men)
o Runned (ran)
Higher language skills
Metalinguistic awareness: ability to reflect on language as a symbolic, rule- based
communication system
Identifying homonyms( word with several meanings) develop between 3-4 years of age
Sarcasm and irony- middle childhood ( 9-10)
Whorfian hypothesis
Very thoughts are shaped by language
Whorfian hypothesis/ sapir-whorf hypothesis: language may influence how we perceive and
experience the world
o Piraha language only count from 1, 2, many
o Contradict: uncle , father, brother differences