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6 - development of language and symbol use

6 - development of language and symbol use - Language...

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Language Development 19:00 Language comprehension: Understanding what others say  Language production: Actually speaking to others  Language comprehension precedes language production  o Children understand many words and linguistic structures before they are  able to include them in their own utterances  The Components of Language Acquiring a language involves learning its sounds and sound patterns, its  specific words, and the ways in which the language allows words to be  combined  o Generativity: Using the finite set of words in our vocabulary  Phonemes: The elementary units of sound used to produce languages, and  they distinguish meaning  o Phonological development: The acquisition of knowledge about the sound  system of a language Morphemes: The smallest units of meaning; composed of one or more  phonemes  o Semantic development: Learning the system for expressing meaning in  language Meaning depends on how words are put together  o Syntax: A large set of rules that specifies how words from different  categories can be combined  o Syntactic development: Learning the grammar of a language Pragmatic development: Involves acquiring knowledge about how language is  used  o Understanding a variety of conversational conventions  Metalinguistic knowledge: Knows what language is, knows that the sounds  the person is uttering constitute words, knows that words are combined to  form sentences, knows that only certain combinations are acceptable, and  knows a host of conversational conventions  What is Required for Language? A Human Brain o Language is a species-specific behavior, in that only humans acquire  language in the normal course of development in their normal environment 
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Language is a species-universal, in that virtually all young humans  learn language  o No other animals naturally develop anything approaching the complexity or  generativity of human language  o Brain-language relations Language processing involves a substantial degree of functional  localization  There are hemispheric differences in language functioning  Language is primarily represented and controlled by the left  hemisphere of the cerebral cortex Listening to speech is associated with greater electrical activity in the  left hemisphere than in the right  Specialization for language is evident within the left hemisphere  Aphasia can result from damage to parts of the left hemisphere Broca’s aphasias: Associated with injury in the front part of the  left hemisphere o Have difficulty producing speech  Wernicke’s aphasia: Associated with damage in an area next to the 
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