PSYReview - Psychology Review Chapter 9 Language~ Language-...

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Psychology Review Chapter 9 Language~ Language- system of signals, including voice sounds, gestures, or written symbols, which encodes and decodes information; the distinction between language and the dialect of a language is as much due to political divisions as it is because of cultural differences, distinctive writing systems, and mutual intelligibility Acquiring language- most human languages use patterns of sound or gestures for symbols, which enable communication. Babbling begins in all languages (phonemes), then babbling of household speech (sounds resemble characteristics of household speech, after that one-word stage (Doggy!), then two-word stage (Want Juice!), then they begin developing longer phrases and eventually sentences. Skinner: operant learning- believed that we can explain language development with familiar learning principles, such as… >association- something linked in memory or imagination with a thing or person (of sights of things with sounds of words) >imitation- where an individual observes and replicates (of words and syntax modeled by others) >reinforcement- any change in an organism’s surroundings that 1) occur regularly when the organism behaves in a given way (that is contingent on a specific response) and 2) is associated with an increase in the probability that the response will be made or in another measure of its strength (with success brings smiles and hugs when right) Chomsky: inborn universal grammar- thinks Skinner’s ideas naïve; thinks children learn environment’s language; however, they acquire untaught words and grammar at too extraordinary a rate to be explained solely by learning principles; they generate sentences they’ve never heard believes given adequate nurture “language just happens” Animal language- modeling of human language in non-human animal systems; while term is widely used, most researchers agree that animal languages are not as complex or expressive as that which they attempt to model Language influences thinking- Whorf contended that language determines the way we think (linguistic relativity(determinism)) ; different languages impose different conceptions of reality (would not occur to people who speak only one language and view that language as simply a vehicle for thought); to expand
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language is to expand thought You have thoughts even if you don’t know language Phoneme- a theoretical representation of a sound; a sound of a language as represented (or imagined) without reference to its position in a word or phrase; conception of a sound in the most neutral form possible distinguishing between different words or… when you are born the different sounds you make (oo- gah gah, boo boo), different languages (Chinese, Hindi, etc) have different phonemes Morphemes- changing an element of a word from one phoneme to another produces either a different word or obvious nonsense the meaning of a language (dog- one morpheme dogs- two morphemes because its saying dog and then more than one dog)
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This note was uploaded on 03/19/2008 for the course PSY 305 taught by Professor Reeves during the Fall '08 term at University of Texas at Austin.

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PSYReview - Psychology Review Chapter 9 Language~ Language-...

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