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PSC140Lec6_6.29.10 - Language Development Lecture 6...

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Unformatted text preview: 6/28/10 Language Development Lecture 6 June 29th, 2010 PSC140 SSI Uniquely human Language is species ­speci<ic Language is species ­universal   Attempts to teach human language to chimpanzees     The brain and language 1 6/28/10 Precursors to language Developing communication skills Joint attention   Intersubjectivity       Primary   Secondary   The power of pointing Language acquisiAon Language comprehension Language production The components of language   Phoneme   Smallest unit of sound used to produce language   Morpheme   Smallest unit of meaning in a language   Syntax   Rules for how words can be combined in a language   Pragmatics   Rules for how language is used in a society 2 6/28/10 Is infants’ categorical percepAon like adults?   For adults, difference between /ba/ and /pa/ is in the VOT Is infants’ categorical percepAon like adults?   Young infants demonstrate the same perceptual discrimination Infants are ciAzens of the world Adults cannot distinguish unique phonemes in foreign languages   Young infants hear all phonemes in all languages     By 1 ­year ­old, they hear like adults 3 6/28/10 Learning a second language   Korean and Chinese American adults who immigrated to U.S. tested on English grammar Challenges to language comprehension How do you separate a speech stream into distinct words?   How do you know what a word label refers to?   How adults help infants learn Labeling of the speci<ic object the infant is attending to   Repetition of new words   Stress placement on new words   Infant ­directed speech   4 6/28/10 Infant ­directed speech     Baby ­talk, motherese The unique speech we direct toward infants, modi<ied in speci<ic ways   Phonologically   Semantically   Syntactically   Pragmatically   Is infant ­directed speech universal? Infants’ tricks for word learning Infants apply assumptions that simplify the process of connecting new word labels to objects   Whole ­object principle   Mutual ­exclusivity principle   Categorizing principle   Infants’ tricks for word learning     Sensitivity to speech regularities Fast mapping   Learning the meaning of a word simply by hearing it used in relation to a familiar word   Syntactic bootstrapping   Learning the meaning of a word by applying knowledge of sentence structure   Pragmatic cues 5 6/28/10 Challenges to language producAon: Word errors Errors in word learning are highly systematic across children   Overextension     Applying “dog” label to dogs and cats and cows   Underextension   Applying “cat” label only to the family cat   Overregularization   “Mans” “Feets” The process of language producAon   Cooing   ~3 months   Babbling   By 7 months   Jargoning   ~8 months The process of language producAon   First words   ~ 12 months Holophrasic period   Names for important things in everyday life   6 6/28/10 The process of language producAon   Word spurt   ~18 months   Telegraphic speech Language development in deaf children     Cooing does not become babbling Deaf infants exposed to ASL babble with their hands! Language development in bilinguals   Developmental pattern is similar whether learning two languages or just one   Initial production may be delayed Bilingual children outperform monolingual children on various cognitive tests   Second language learning in adulthood shows different brain activity patterns   7 6/28/10 The case of Nicaraguan Sign Language Children brought together in <irst school for the deaf   Unique, idiosyncratic signs shared socially   Development of informal “pidgin” language   Unique language mastered and formalized by next generation of students (grammar rules)   What does this tell us about language development?   Theories of language development     Nativist theories Noam Chomsky   Infants have innate knowledge of a set of highly abstract rules for language   Language ­speci<ic abilities are distinct Language development is triggered by minimal environmental input   Support for nativist views?   Theories of language development   Interactionist theories   Language is a tool for communication, a social skill   Language learning occurs through interactions with others in a social context   Connectionist theories   Neural ­network models   Language learning occurs through general information ­processing mechanisms 8 ...
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