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Chapter 9

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Steve Joordens

thMonday January 7 2013 Chapter 9 Learning and ThoughtCognition is composed of distinct abilitiesFive key higher cognitive functions 1 Acquiring and using language 2 Forming concepts and categories 3 Making Decisions 4 Solving Problems 5 Reasoning 91 Language and Communication From Rules to MeaningSocial species have systems of communication that allow them to transmit messages to each otherEg honeybees waggle danceVervet monkeys have three different calls depending on who the predator isLanguage is a system for communicating with others using signals that are combined according to rules of grammar and convey meaningGrammar is a set of rules that specify how the units of language can be combined to produce meaningful messagesThree main differences between human language and monkey yelps 1 Complex structure of human language differs from simple systems because humans can create an infinite amount of sentences while animals cannot 2 Humans use words to refer to intangible things 3 Language is used to name categorize and describe things to ourselves when we think Knowledge in our brains is effected by this92 The Complex Structure of Human LanguageHuman language has only recently evolved in the past 13 million years ago speech and 6000 years ago written Basic CharacteristicsPhonemes the smallest units of sound that are recognizable as speech rather than as random noise Phonemes are produced differentlyEg ba and paPhonological Rules a set of rules that indicate how phonemes can be combined to produce speech soundsMorphemes the smallest meaningful units of languagePhonemesMorphemesWordsPhrasesSentencesMorphological Rules a set of rules that indicate how morphemes can be combined to form wordsContent Morphemes refers to things and eventsFunction Morphemes serve grammatical functions like connecting sentences together or indicating time whenHalf of the morphemes in human languages are function morphemesSyntactical Rules a set of rules that indicate how words can be combined to form phrases and sentencesEg in English every sentence must have a noun and a verb combined with adjectives adverbs or articles Meaning Deep Structure vs Surface StructureSoundsRules Meaning in human languageSemantics meaningDeep Structure the meaning of a sentenceSurface Structure how a sentence is wordedEgThe dog chased the cat The cat was chased by the dog both mean the same but look differentTo create sentences start with deep structuremeaning then create surface structureTo understand a sentence start with surface structure then go to deep structureIn an experiment sentences with same deep structures but different surface structures were hard to recollect when asked to do so 93 Language DevelopmentThree characteristics of language development 1 Children learn language at a really fast rate 2 Children make few errors when they speak 3 Childrens passive mastery of language develops faster than their active masteryChildren understand language better than they speak in every stage of development Distinguishing Speech SoundsAll infants are able to distinguish between contrasting sounds in all human languages until the age of 6 months where they lose that ability just like adultsBabies start to babble sounds between 46 monthsUsually start with the sounds t and d before m and nBabbling is a natural part of the language development process because even deaf babies can babble too so its not linked to the sounds they hearIn order for vocal babbling to continue babies need to be able to hear themselves Language Milestones1012 months babies utter first words18 months can say about 50 words
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