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CHAPTER 8 - CHAPTER 8 Language and Thought Cognition refers...

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CHAPTER 8: Language and Thought Cognition - refers to the mental processes involved in acquiring knowledge thinking Language - consists of symbols that convey meaning, plus rules for combining those symbols, that can be used to generate an infinite variety of messages - Critical Properties… o Symbolic - represent objects, actions, events and ideas o Semantic or meaningful - built-in relationship exists between the look or sound of words and the objects they stand for o Generative - generate an endless array of novel messages o Structured - sentences must be structured in a limited number of ways; allows people to be inventive with words and still understand each other Sounds Units with meaning Words Phrases Sentences Phonemes - the smallest speech units in a language that can be distinguished perceptually - English : 40 phonemes 26 letters in the alphabet Morphemes - the smallest units of meaning in a language - Root words; prefixes and suffixes Semantics - the area of language concerned with understanding the meaning of words and word combinations - the infinite variety of objects and actions that words refer to - Denotation - dictionary definition - Connotation - includes emotional overtones and secondary implications Syntax - a system of rules that specify how words can be arranged into sentences - noun and verb phrase - How do children learn the complicated rules of syntax? psychological investigation Skills that become important at various points in a child’s development… 1. Moving toward producing words: - 3 months: distinguish phonemes from all the world’s languages - learn the sound structure of their native language become tuned with the speech properties - babbling gradually becomes more complex and increasingly resembles the language spoken by parents and other’s in the surrounding environment universal stage o utter sounds that correspond to words 2. Using Words : - Receptive vocabulary is larger then their productive vocabulary: o They can comprehend more words spoken by others than they can actually produce to express themselves - Vocabulary spurt can be influenced by fast mapping (the process by which children map a word onto an underlying concept after only one exposure) - Overextension - occurs when a child incorrectly uses a word to describe a wider set of objects or actions than that it is meant to
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o Example) use the word ball for anything round - Underextension - occurs when a child incorrectly uses a words to describe a narrower set of objects or actions than it is meant to o Example) use doll for only a single, favorable doll 3. Combining Words: - Telegraphic Speech
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