Textbook Notes (362,842)
Canada (158,078)
Psychology (1,851)
PSY100Y5 (771)
Dax Urbszat (643)
Chapter 8


8 Pages
Unlock Document

University of Toronto Mississauga
Dax Urbszat

Chapter 8: Language and Thought Notes Cognition refers to the mental processes involved in acquiring knowledge. Language:Turning Thoughts into Words 1. What is Language? A language consists of symbols that convey meaning plus rules for combining those symbols,that can be used to generate an infinite variety of messages. Language is... Description Symbolic - language symbols are flexible in that a variety of somewhat different objects may be called by the same name(ex. lamps) Semantic - language is meaningful Generative - a limited number of symbols can be combined in an infinite variety of ways to generate an endless array of novel messages. Structured - rules govern the arrangement of words into phrases and sentences 2. The Structure of Language: a) Phonemes: Phonemes are the smallest speech units in a language that can be distinguished perceptually. • english is composed of about 40 phonemes • a letter in the alphabet can represent more than one phoneme if it has more than one pronunciation. • working with these sounds, people can understand and generate all of the words in the english language-and invent new ones. b) Morphemes and Semantics: Morphemes are the smallest units of meaning in a language. • there are 50000 english morphemes,which include root words as well as prefixes and suffixes. Semantics is the area of language concerned with understanding the meaning of words and word combinations. • a word’s meaning may consist of both its denotation,which is its dictionary definition, and it connotation, which includes its emotional overtones and secondary implications. c) Syntax: Syntax is a system of rules that specify how words can be arranged into sentences. • ex. a sentence must have both a subject and a verb. 3. Milestones in Language Development: Age General Characteristics 1-5 months - Reflexive communication: vocalizes randomly,coos,laughs,cries,engages in vocal play,discriminates language from nonlanguage sounds. 6-18 months - Babbling: verbalizes in response to the speech of others;responses increasingly approximate human speech patterns. 10-13 months - First words: uses words,typically to refer to objects. 12-18 months - One-word sentence stage: vocabulary grows slowly; uses nouns primarily; 18-24 months - Vocabulary spurt: fast mapping facilitates rapid acquisition of new words. 2 years - Two-word sentence stage: uses telegraphic speech;uses more pronouns and verbs. 2.5 years -Three-word sentence stage: modifies speech to take listener into account; over-regularizations begin; 3 years -Uses complete simple active sentence structure; uses sentences to tell stories that are understood by others;uses plurals. 3.5 years -Expanded grammatical forms: expresses concepts with words; uses 4-word sentences. 4 years -Uses 5-word sentences. 5 years -Well-developed and complex syntax: uses more complex syntax; uses more complex forms to tell stories. 6 years -Displays metalinguistic awareness. Fast mapping is the process by which children map a word onto an underlying concept after only one exposure. An overextention occurs when a child incorrectly uses a word to describe a wider set of objects or actions than is meant to(ex. a child might use the word ball for anything round). An underextention occurs when a child incorrectly uses a word to describe a narrower set of objects or actions than is meant to(ex. a child might use the word doll to refer only to a single,favourable doll). Telegraphic speech consists mainly of content words;articles,prepositions, and other less critical words are omitted(ex. “Give doll” rather than “Please give me the doll”). Mean length of utterance(MLU) - the average length of youngsters’ spoken statements(measured in morphemes). Overregularizations occur when grammatical rules are incorrectly generalized to irregular cases where they do not apply(ex. The girl goed home). 4. Learning More Than One Language: Bilingualism: Bilingualism is the acquasition of 2 languages that use different speech sounds,vocabulary, and grammatical rules. a) Does learning 2 languages in childhood slow down language development? bilingual children have smaller vocabularies in each of their languages than monolingual children have in their • one language. • there is no evidence of language disadvantage-bilingual children follow normal pacing of language milestones. b) Does bilingualism affect cognitive processes and skills? when bilingual subjects who are fluent in both languages are studied,they tend to scores somewhat higher • than monolingual subjects on measures of cognitive flexibility,analytical reasoning,selective attention,and metalinguistic awareness. • bilingualism is associated with higher levels of controlled processing on tasks that require control of attention. • bilingual children learn to “juggle” both languages. bilingual individuals show an increase in the density of grey matter in the left parietal cortex. • c) What factors influence the acquisition of a 2 language? • age is a significant correlate of how effectively people can acquire a 2nd language-and younger is better. • a second factor that influences the acquisition of a 2nd language is acculturation. Acculturation is the degree to which a person is socially and psychologically integrated into a new culture. • also learner’s motivation and attitude toward the other group that uses the language to be learned. 5. Can Animals Develop Language? researchers have tried training chimps to use a non-oral human language-American Sign Language(ASL) • • Kanzi, a chimpanzee, has learned to communicate with his caretakers in surprisingly sophisticated ways via computer-controlled symbol boards. 6. Language is an Evolutionary Context: • humans’ special talent for language is a species-specific trait that is the product of natural selection. • effective communication among our ancient ancestors could have aided hunting,gathering,fighting,mating and the avoidance of poisons,predators, and other dangers. 7. Theories of Language Acquisition: a) Behaviourist theories: • first outlined by Skinner who argued that children learn language the same way they learn everything else: through imitation,reinforcement, and other established principles of conditioning. behaviourists assert that by controlling reinforcement, parents encourage their children to learn the correct • meaning and pronunciation of words. • according to their view, children learn how to construct sentences by imitating the sentences of adults and older children. b) Nativist theories: Chomsky pointed out that there are an infinite number of sentences in a language and it’s therefore • unreasonable to expect that children learn language by imitation. • he argues that children learn the rules of language,not specific verbal responses. • nativists also argue that parents may not engage in much of the language shaping. • Nativist theory proposes that humans are equipped with a language acquisition device(LAD)-an innate mechanism or process that facilitates the learning of language. c) Interactionist theories: • they believe that parents do provide their children with subtle corrective feedback about grammar. • these theories assert that biology and experience both make important contributions to the development of language. • there are 3 types of interactionist theories: 1) Cognitive theories - assert that language development is simply an important aspect of more general cognitive development-which depends on both maturation and experience. 2)Social communication theories - emphasize the functional value of interpersonal communication and the social context in which language evolves. 3)Emergentist theories - argue that the neural circuits supporting language are not prewired but emerge gradually in response to language learning experiences. 8. Culture,Language,and Thought: Linguistic relativity - the hypothesis that one’s language determines the nature of one’s thought. • Whorf speculated that different languages lead people to view the world differently. Problem Solving: In Search of Solutions 1. Types of Problems: Problem solving refers to active efforts to discover what must be done to achieve a goal that is not readily attainable. problems can be categorized into 3 basic classes: • 1) Problems of inducing structure - require people to discover the relatioship among numbers,words, symbols,or ideas. 2)Problems of arrangement - require people to arrange the parts of a problem in a way that satisfies some criterion. 3)Problems of transformation - require people to carry out a sequence of transformations in order to reach a specific goal. 2. Barriers to Effective Problem Solving: • psychologists have identified a number of barriers that frequently impede subject’s efforts
More Less

Related notes for PSY100Y5

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.