Nov+15 - Language Acquisition Todays outline Whats the big...

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Language Acquisition Today’s outline What’s the big deal? -Child as scientist generating hypotheses -Poverty of the Stimulus Lateralization of Hemispheres Critical Periods Social Deprivation
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Language Acquisition Task : From a small sample of sentences, derive the grammar of your language. [child as scientist] Which vocal contrasts are What is a word and how do I divide speech stream into words? What word orders can I use? Does order impact the message? How do I generalize across words & utterances?
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Paradox of Language Acquisition Task: from a small sample of sentences, derive the grammar of your language [Allows you to generate novel grammatical utterances and judge the grammaticality of any novel utterance] Its impossible All normal children accomplish it
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Stages of Language Acquisition From birth – Reflexive vocalizations (crying, coughing, burping) 6 wks – Cooing 6 mo – Babbling 10 mo – One word stage phonology, word meaning, word categories, message meaning & syntax 18 mo – Two word stage 2 yrs – Telegraphic Speech 2.5 yrs – Full Sentences
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Target Grammar Why is it Impossible? The subset problem Utterances child has heard An infinite set of possible grammars is consistent with any sample. Child can not induce the right grammar from positive examples (Gold’s Theorem – Gold 1967) Possible early grammar Ruled out by positive evidence
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Postulating Rules from Positive Evidence Child hears: I gave the book to Kim . I gave Chris the toy.
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This note was uploaded on 02/13/2011 for the course PSYCH 242 taught by Professor Epstein during the Fall '08 term at University of Michigan.

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Nov+15 - Language Acquisition Todays outline Whats the big...

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