Oct13 - What do we know when we know a language? Outline...

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What do we know when we know a language?
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Outline Quick Historical Review Levels of Linguistic Knowledge
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B.F. Skinner & Behaviorism (1927-1960) Operant and Classical conditioning Emphasis on observable behavior Published “Verbal Behavior” in 1957 Speech is learned response to environmental stimuli Sentences as associative chains 1.The dog sat in the mud puddle. 2.The mud sat in the dog puddle. 3.The sat mud in the dog puddle.
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Noam Chomsky’s nativist critique of Skinner’s book (1959) Sentences have hierarchical structure Structure is independent of meaning 1. The dog sat in the mud puddle. 2. The mud sat in the dog puddle. 3. The sat mud in the dog puddle. 4. Sat the in dog the puddle mud. Syntax is generative Poverty of the stimulus much of syntax can’t be learned Universal Grammar
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Chomsky on Syntax (1968) For a language, the best grammar is the smallest set of categorical rules (syntactic categories like NP, VP) that generate all & only the possible sentences (not an ungrammatical sentence…UG). S = NP + VP NP = Det (Adj) N VP = V (NP) Grammar should describe idealized linguistic competence , not actual performance , which can be impacted by non-linguistic factors. The misplaced, greenish, small, dirty, jagged, broken,  round… Sentences can be difficult to understand or ambiguous, but still be grammatical.
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•Speech production: thought syntatic structure phonological structure
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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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Oct13 - What do we know when we know a language? Outline...

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