Language+development - Language acquisition Today What...

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Language acquisition
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Today What makes learning language challenging? What makes learning language possible? Three theoretical approaches Behaviorist explanations (e.g. Skinner) Nativist explanations (e.g., Chomsky) Interactionist explanations Milestones in language development 2
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What makes learning language challenging? 3
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Challenges The child has to distinguish which sounds are speech 4
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What does language sound like to a baby? 5
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Fig. 9.3 6
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To identify words, and their meanings, the baby uses: Verbal context: words the baby already knows Physical context: What's going on when words are spoken 7
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Challenges The child has to distinguish which sounds are speech segment speech into words 8
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Semantics: Meaning 9 Gavagai! Gavagai means ___________.
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10
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Semantic overextension Child’s word Used for Meaning? bird cows, dogs, cats animal fly all small insects, small size specks of dirt, crumbs, his own toes mooi moon, cakes, round round marks on window, letter "o", postmarks 11
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Semantic underextension daddy’ refers only to my father ‘doggie’ refers only to my dog 12
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Challenges The child has to distinguish which sounds are speech segment speech into words figure out the meanings of words: semantics 13
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Syntax Rules that govern how words and phrases are combined to form grammatical sentences Change the structure and you have changed the meaning Fido bit Joey 14 Joey bit Fido
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What makes language learning challenging: The child has to distinguish which sounds are speech segment speech into words figure out the meanings of words: semantics figure out the rules governing word order: syntax 15
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What makes language learning possible? Behaviorist explanations Nativist explanations Interactionist explanations 16
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Theoretical approach 1: Behaviorist explanations We learn to talk in the same way we learn any other skill: through reinforcement, shaping, extinction, and the other basic principles of operant conditioning 17 “da da”
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Chomsky argued that language (especially syntax) is too complex for children to pick up from environmental input alone
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  • Fall '10
  • GaryRichardGermo
  • sensitive period, behaviorist explanations, segment   figure

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