Psych Notes 10/09/2008 • Language • Phonemes: where accents come from • Morphemes: smallest unit of meaning in a word. 80,000 morphemes in English language • Language Acquisition • in chimpanzees: experiment where people raised chimps as kids. Chimps have no language but they screech. Chimps don’t have social structures to be able to study and learn. • Using sign language and smarter chimps. We can try and teach american sign language to chimps. Chimps are good at learning vocab but can’t create complex sentences. They learn vocab vocab, not grammar. • Explanations • Learning--Skinner. You learn language just like you learn how to walk, drive, etc. • Innate Neutral mechanics--Chomsky. People don’t learn, they come up with rule. Critical period for learning language. After 12 years, learning language becomes harder. LAD (Language acquisition device) somewhere in the brain. • WILD Childs: children that were abandoned to see if they would lack language and behave
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chimps, Physiology of Language and Language disorders