Language and Thought

Language and Thought - Language Language Thought PSY 120...

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1 PSY 120 Professor South 10/22/09 Language 1. Universals 2. Structure 3. Acquisition 4. Innateness Referential Interpersonal Structured 1. Universals of Language Creative (or novel) Hierarchical 2. Language Structure • Grammar sets language apart from other communication systems – Set of rules that allow the communicator to combine arbitrary symbols to convey meaning – Three aspects: • Phonology: Rules for word sounds • Syntax: Rules for combining words • Semantics: Rules used to communicate meaning 2. Language Structure The Structure of Sentences • Rules of syntax determine how words combine into phrases, and phrases into sentences • Chomsky’s idea of how sentences work: – Surface structure: Superficial appearance, literal ordering of words – Deep structure: Underlying representation of meaning – Producing sentences requires transformation of deep structure into a surface structure
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2 100 90 80 70 6 Percentage able to discriminate Hindi t’s 3. Language Acquisition 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Hindi- speaking adults 6-8 months 8-10 months 10-12 months English- speaking adults Infants from English-speaking homes 3. Language Acquisition “Genie” • No language exposure until after puberty • Good at acquiring a large set of words – Still had trouble with syntax • “The boy is being pulled by the girl.” – Trouble with production of negative sentences • No more ear is hurt vs. My ear doesn’t hurt 0 – 4 months ~7 months Babbling ~ 12 months First Words 3. Language Acquisition ~ 18 months Two Word and then to Sentences 2-5 years Learn about 11 words per day ~ 7 years
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Language and Thought - Language Language Thought PSY 120...

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