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Unformatted text preview: What is language? System of symbols Rules for combining symbols in ways that can produce infinite number of possible messages or meanings Thinking, reasoning and problem solving = involve use of language Critical Properties of Language Symbolism o Use of sounds, signs, gesture o Allows communicators to form and transfer mental representations Rule-governed structures o Dictate how symbols can combined to make meaningful units Generativity o Symbols can be combined to generate an infinite number of messages that can have novel meaning Displacement o Past, future, imaginary events and objects can be symbolically represented and communicated Surface Structure of Language Consists of ways symbols are used and order Syntax rules for such combinations Rules that govern how words are ordered Deep Structure of Language Underlying meaning of the combined symbols Semantics : the meaning of words and sentences Sam ate the cake. (follow a synthetic rule) The cake was eaten by Sam (following rule as well) Eaten by Sam the cake was. (might not make sense or follow the rule Phonemes Smallest units of sound recognized as separate in a given language 100 phonemes in human speech, every language is made up of basic units of sound ex: the k sound in ski and c in cat same sound Morphemes Smallest units of meaning in a language Consist of one syllable Combined into words If you have word girl you have one meaning and when you add the s and make it to girls then you will 2 morphemes and a different sound. Discourse Most comprehensive level of language Sentences combined into paragraphs, articles, book, conversation The appropriate use of text in subject Language Acquisition Device o Biologically primed Innate mechanism in us to understand language o Contain general grammatical views common to all languages Children are born with this device and allows them to detect features and rules of language Brocas Area o Speech production o Located in frontal lobe left hemisphere o Damage to Wernick;s Area o Speech comprehension Aphasia: damage to either area of causing disturbance to language Sensitive Period Infancy to puberty Time when the brain is most responsive to language development from environment Social Learning Processes Parents talk with children in high pitched intonations (motherese) Using simple phrases or words and will gain the attention of the child and maintain that connection Parents name objects and ask questions Biological basis of language acquisition and the idea that infants can master language early with ease, minimal destruction Types of communication: first couples of months it is cooing, crying from birth At 6mths we see babbling constant vowel formation At 12 mths and 1 year first words develop By the end of 2 nd year, we will see distinct vocabulary Around 200 words are learned: receptive vocabulary...
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This note was uploaded on 04/17/2008 for the course PS 101 taught by Professor Hoffman during the Spring '07 term at BU.
- Spring '07