Textbook Notes (362,796)
Canada (158,054)
Psychology (3,256)
PSYC 3440 (22)
Chapter 6

Cognitive- Chapter 6 .docx

7 Pages
Unlock Document

University of Guelph
PSYC 3440
Meghan Mc Murtry

Chapter 6: Language Development (183-208) Children exemplify several key properties of language development  They communicate meaning  The statements are cryptic o When children first learn to speak, they include only essentials, omit many prepositions, articles, adverbs  Language is internally motivated Children engage in variety of mental activities that enable them to comprehend and produce speech  Well-developed auditory perception system allows them to divide speech into individual words  Accurate perception of other people’s speech and their early-developing ability to imitate help them learn to pronounce words correctly  Children attend to meanings –meaning is an intelligent approach to language acquisition  Family members help promote language learning Four Main Aspects of Language  Phonology o Concerns the structure and sequencing of speech sounds o Developed soon after birth  Meaning o Emphasizes correspondences between particular words and phrases, and particular objects, properties of objects, events and ideas o Becomes important in the 1 year o Most infants demonstrate understanding of a few simple words by 6 months, produce first words around 1 birthday  Grammar o Focuses on the system of rules through which people form sentences o By middle of 2ndyear, most cjldren deomstrate sime understanding of differences among various syntactic constructions o Soon after this age most children vegin to string together pjraases of two or more words  Communication o Involves the ways that phonology, syntax, and semantics are used to convey messages to other people and to understand what they have in mind  Children’s developing knowledge of these aspects is reflected in both their ability to comprehend language and to produce it o Comprehension precedes production for all aspects Is Language Special?  Chomsky: o People possess a “language organ” that allows them to acquire language easily – embodies innate knowledge of aspects of grammar that apply across all the world’s language, known as ‘universal grammar,’ allows child to recognize which of a few possible types of grammar their language uses  Without one it would be impossible for children to learn language because rules of grammar are too complicated and the input to inconsistent o Impossible for general learning mechanisms (imitation and reinforcement) to yield knowledge about language  MacWhinney o Capacity to learn language has evolved over 6 million years o During this period, evolution occurred in the brain structures specifically relevant to language learning, and in general cognitive capacities and in the social structure of primate groups o Language is special because it emerges from a unique complex interplay of neural, cognitive, and social factors  Evidence supporting the claim that language is special o Universality  Occurs quickly across a wide range of environments  Children learn in cultures  In which adults converse with children on topics of special interest to child  In which adults refuse to discuss such topics  In which they discourage young children from talking to parent at all o Self-motivating properties  All children sufficiently interested in language  Due to desire to communicate o Relation to disorders that affect thinking in general  Ex: Down Syndrome and Williams Syndrome  Children with these syndromes tend to have lower IQs, however language skills of children with Williams Syndrome tend to be much better than those with Down Syndrome  Children with Williams Syndrome score higher than expected on IQ tests of vocabulary and complex syntax  Speak well enough to be mistaken for typical adults Problem with Chomsky’s view  Evidence for the existence of universal grammar is weak: o Grammars of the world’s languages reveal tremendous diversity Biological Basis of Language  Localization o Idea that brain activity that underlies a specific cognitive function is concentrated in a particular part of the brain o Evidence  Studies of patients with damage to Broca’s Area & Wernicke’s Area show that language competence is harmed  Lesions to Wernicke’s area  Cause inability to say color names  Evidence that words with specific grammatical functions are processed at different locations in the brain  Grammatical words are processed primarily at the front of the left temporal lobe  Plasticity o The idea that brain functioning changes in response to experience o Damage to left hemisphere early in development results in less impairment in ability to understand and produce language than would damage later in development  If damage is in the 1 year children’s language learning in first three years is slow, but by age 4 or 5 language ability is generally within normal range  After 1 year old, damage will produce more lasting consequences Phonology  From about 2 months of age, infants can distinguish among similar sounds such as: o Ba and pa o Or a and I  Early on they are sensitive to distinctions among sounds not used in their native language  Late in first year, lose sensitivity to distinctions that are not meaningful different in their native language  Likely that infants learn something about the sounds of their native language in utero, because infants as young as 2 days old prefer to listen to their native language rather than another language  Infants use their knowledge about the sounds of their native language to help them identify individual words within the stream of fluent speech  Even before they can produce any words, infants are effective at tra
More Less

Related notes for PSYC 3440

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.