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York University
PSYC 1010

THE LANGUAGE AND THOUGHT (CHAPTER 8) cognition: mental processes involved in acquiring knowledge. -cognitive psychologists investigate language, inference, problem solving, decision making and reasoning. -language: consist of symbols that conveys meaning, plus rules for combining those symbols that can be used to generate an infinite variety of messages. -symbolic: people use spoken and written language to represent objects, actions, events and ideas. -semantic (or meaningful): symbols used in a language are arbitrary in that no built-in relationship exists between the look or sound of words and objects they stand for. -generative: limited number of symbols can be combined in an infinite variety of ways to generate an endless array of novel messages. -structured: theses sentences must be constructed in a limited number of ways. -phonemes: smallest speech unit in a language that can be distinguished perceptually. -english composed of about 40 phonemes corresponding with 26 alphabets. -morphemes: smallest unit of meaning in language. -50000 morphemes in english many words are combinations of morphemes + prefixes (friend-ly, un-friend) -semantics: the area of language concerned with understanding the meaning of words and word combinations. -a words meaning may consist of both denotation (dictionary definition) and its connotation (emotional overtones and secondary implications.) -syntax: system of rules that specify how words can be arranged into sentences 1-5 mints: reflexive communications: vocalizes randomly (non language sounds) 6-8 months: babbling: verbalizes in response to speech of others (increasingly approximate human speech patterns) 10-13 months: first words - typically referring to objects. 12-18 months: one word sentence stage: vocabulary grows slowly: uses nouns: over extensions begin. 18-24 months: vocabulary spurt: fast mapping facilitate rapid acquisitions of new words. 2 years: two word stage: telegraphic speech 2.5 three word sentence stage: over regulations begin. -fast mapping: process by which children map a word into an underlying concept after only one exposure. -overextensions: occurs when a child incorrectly uses a word to describe a wider set of objects or actions than it is meant to -underextension: occurs when a child incorrectly uses a word to describe a narrower set of objects or actions than it is meant to. -telegraphic speech: consists mainly of content words; articles, prepositions and other less critical words are omitted. -overregularizations: occur when grammatical rules are incorrectly generalized to irregular cases where they do not apply. -metalinguistic awareness: ability to reflect on use of language. -between ages 6 and 8 sarcasm and irony -irony: convey implied meaning that is opposite of a statements literal meaning (i failed, oh that just great) -sarcasm: a variation of irony in which there is a caustic element directed at a particular person (my husband, the genius) -bilingualism: acquisition of two languages that use different speech sounds, vocabulary and grammatic rules. -no disadvantage children go at the same pace if bilingual can facilitate third language -conveys cognitive advantages, language processing speed is faster. cognitively more flexible, better analytical reasoning, better selective attention and metalinguistic awareness -bilingual subjects do not have phonemic awareness -language learning more effective prior to age 7, still proficient when younger than age 15. -acculturation: The degree to which a person is socially and psychologically integrated into a new culture. -greater acculturation= rapid acquisition -integrative motivation: willingness to be like valued members of the language community. -B.F skinner: environmental factors govern language development (imitation, reinforcement and other established condition principles) (ex: water before supplying requested drink) -noam chomsky: biological determinism children learn the rules of language not specific verbal responses --> nativist theory: language acquisition device: an innate mechanism of process that facilitates the learning of language. -interactionist theories: cognitive theories: assert language development is simply an important aspect of more general cognitive development. (maturation and experience) -social communication theories: emphasize the functional value of interpersonal communication and social context. -emergenist theories: argue that neural circuits supporting language are not prewired but emerge gradually in response to language learning experience. -linguistic relatively: hypothesis that ones language determines the nature of one's thought -problem solving: active efforts to discover what must be done to achieve a goal that is not readily attainable -problem of inducing structure: requires people to discover the relationships among numbers, words, symbols or ideas. (ex: series completion problems or analogy problems.) -problems of arrangement: require people to arrange a problem in a way that fits a criterion (ex: string problem, anagrams) (usually associated with insight.) -problems of transformation: carry out a sequence of transformation in order to reach a specific goal. (ex hobbits and orcs problem and water jar problem) -insight: sudden discovery of the correct solution following incorrect attempts based on primarily trial and error. -functional fixedness: tendency to perceive an item only in emirs of its most common use. -young children are less vulnerable. -mental set: exists when people persist in using problem solving strategies that t
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