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Chapter 11

PSYC 2450 Chapter Notes - Chapter 11: Bound And Unbound Morphemes, Empiricism, Oneword

Course Code
PSYC 2450
Heidi Bailey

of 6
PSYC *2450 Week #8
Chapter #11
The Five Components of Language
becoming an effective communicator requires both these five aspects and ability to
interpret nonverbal signals (facial expressions, gestures and so on) that often help to
clarify the meaning of verbal messages and are important means of communicating in
their own right
Referrers to the basic units of sound, or phonemes, that are used in a language and the
rules for combining these sounds
Rules of morphology specify how words are formed from sounds
Refers to the meanings expressed in words and sentences
The smallest meaningful units of language are called morphemes, and there are two
oFree morphemes- can stand alone as words (eg. Dog)
oBound morphemes- cannot stand alone but change meaning when attached to a
free morpheme (eg. Adding a bound morpheme s to the word dog means the
speaker is talking about more than one)
The rules that specify how words are to be combined to form meaningful phrases and
Knowledge of how language might be used to communicate effectively
It also involves sociolinguistic knowledge- culturally specified rules that dictate how
language should be used in particular social contexts
Theories of Language Development
The Learning (or Empiricist) Perspective:
The idea that children learn language and they are likely to say that children imitate
what they hear, are reinforced when they use proper grammar and are corrected when
they say things wrong
Careful analyses of conversations between mothers and young children reveal that a
mothers approval or disapproval depends far more on the truth value (semantics) of
what a child says than on the statements grammatical correctness
PSYC *2450 Week #8
The Nativist Perspective:
According to the nativists, human beings are biologically programmed to acquire
Chomsky proposed that only humans come equipped with a language acquisition device
(LAD)- an inborn linguistic processor that is activated by verbal input, it contains a
universal grammar or knowledge of universal rules common to all languages
Language-making capacity (LMC)- A set of cognitive and perceptual abilities that are
highly specialized for language learning
Brain Specialization and Language
oThe major language centres are in the left cerebral hemisphere
oBroca’s area- near the frontal lobe of the left hemisphere typically affect speech
production rather than comprehension
oWernick’s area- on the temporal lobe of the left hemisphere, injury can cause
difficulty understanding speech but may speak fluently nut nonsensically
Sensitive period Hypothesis
oThe notion that human beings are most proficient at language learning before
they reach puberty
The Interactionist Perspective:
The notion that biological factors and environmental influences interact to determine the
course of language development
Biological and Cognitive contributions- what is inborn is not any specialized linguistic
knowledge or processing skills but rather a sophisticated brain that matures very slowly
and predisposes children to develop similar ideas at about the same age ideas that they
are then motivated to express in their own speech
Child- directed language or motherese- the short simple high pitched (and often
repetitive) sentences that adults use when talking with young children (also called child
directed speech)
Lessons from negative evidence
oExpansions- responding to a child’s ungrammatical utterance with a
grammatically improved from of that statement
oRecasts- responding to a child’s ungrammatical utterance with a nonrepetitive
statement that is grammatically correct
The Prelinguistic Period: Before Language
Early reactions to speech:
Prelinguistic phase- the period before children utter their meaningful words
PSYC *2450 Week #8
Newborns are programmed to tune in to human speech. When spoken to they often
open their eyes, gaze at the speaker, and sometimes even vocalize themselves. By 3
days and an infant recognizes their mothers voice and clearly prefers it to other females
Producing Sounds: The Infants Prelinguistic Vocalization:
Coos- vowel like sounds that young infants repeat over and over during periods of
Babbles- vowel consonant combinations that infants begin to produce at about 4-6
What do prelinguistic Infants know about Language and Communication?
Babies know more about language than they can possibly tell us, young infants coo
trying to harmonize when someone is talking to them and by 7-8 months of age infants
are typically silent when talked to showing they have learned that their time to talk will
come after
Receptive language- that which the individual comprehends when listening to others
Productive language- that which the individual is capable of expressing (producing) in
his or her own speech
The Holophrastic Period: One Word at a Time
Holophrastic period- the period when the childs speech consists of one-word utterances
some of which are thought to be holophrases
Holophrase- a single-word utterance that represents an entire sentence’s worth of
Early Semantics: Building a Vocabulary:
Naming explosion- the term used to describe the dramatic increase in the pace at which
infants acquire new words in the latter half of the second year; so named because many
of the new words acquired are the names of ejects
Multimodal motherese- an older companions use of information that is exaggerated and
synchronized across two or more senses to call an infant’s attention to referent of
spoken word
Referential Style- an early linguistic style in which toddlers use language mainly to label
Expressive Style- an early linguistic style in which toddlers use language mainly to call
attention to their own and others feelings and to regulate social interactions
Most first born’s in Western cultures adopt a referential style perhaps reflecting parents
willingness to label and to answer questions about interesting objects that have captured
their attention . So later born’s may spend somewhat less time talking with parents about