Lecture 8_ Language and Thought

Lecture 8_ Language and Thought - Lecture 8 Language and...

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Lecture 8: Language and Thought Language: System of symbols that convey meaning Rules of combination that allow for communication Linguistic relativity: (Benjamin Whorf) One’s language determines one’s thoughts Data does provide support for this theory Language Acquisition Device: (Chomsky) Humans possess an inborn language mechanism. Hard-wired to sort input from 20-80 phonemes. Lose by 12 months Structure of Language Phonemes: smallest units of sounds which can be distinguished; change in sound can alter meaning Initial phonemes: ‘c’at or ‘b’at Middle phonemes: b ‘i’ t or b ‘a’ t Morphemes: smallest units of meaning in a language ‘cat’ or ‘bat’, un-friend-ly Semantics: understanding the meaning of words and combinations Syntax: the structure of a language, underlying rules of order/function for how words can be combined to form phrases and sentences Gleason Study: language rules are generative Overregularizations: grammatical rules incorrectly generalized to “exception” cases Examples: he ‘goed’ to the park, he ‘bringed’ cake to the party Fast-mapping: children may add words to their vocabularies after one exposure Overextensions: one word is over applied to a broader range of objects or actions. Example: all animals are ‘doggie’ Underextensions: one word is incorrectly believed to apply to only one member of a group or classification. Example: ‘sissy’ is the only sister that exists
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Expressive (productive) Language: the ability to produce language Receptive Language: the ability to comprehend, process and integrate the meaning of language Children usually have a greater capacity for receptive speech Stages in Language Development Crying Cooing: vowel like noises Babbling: consonant/vowel: ba ba, da da First Words Holophrases: simple word conveys meaning
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