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Intro to Savage R

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  • 1. Case Study 2. Savage-Rumbaugh et al. (1986) Objective: Be able to extend your knowledge and understanding of the background research and theories attached to this case study.
  • 2.  
  • 3.
    • How do we acquire language?
    • Whilst watching the documentary makes notes on the different theories on how we acquire language during childhood.
    • http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/why-do-we-talk/
  • 4. Ways of Investigating Language
    • primate studies using alternative apparatus / methods:
    • - American Sign Language (ASL)
    • - plastic tokens
    • - brain-scanning technology
    • longitudinal studies of ‘normal’ humans from birth
    • studies of children raised by deaf parents
    • quasi-experiments / case studies of feral children
    • - Genie
    • - Czech twins
  • 5. Language vs Communication
    • Language is a system of symbols (words / sounds) which convey meaning.
    • Communication is the transmission of ‘something’ (a message, signal) from one location to another.
    • Some form of language is necessary for communication.
  • 6. COMPONENTS OF LANGUAGE PHONOLOGY (sound patterns) SEMANTICS (meaning patterns) GRAMMAR (rules of language) PRAGMATICS (rules of effective communication)
  • 7. Children’s Language Development
    • 2 mths – cooing (pre-linguistic)
    • 6 mths – reduplicated babbling (‘dadada’)
    • 12 mths – one-word utterances
    • 18-24 mths – two-word utterances (telegraphic speech)
    • 3 yrs – vocabulary of @1000 words; use of personal pronoun
    • 6-7 yrs – rules of grammar are mastered
    • Language comprehension develops before language production.
  • 8. Nature-Nurture Debate Nurture View (Skinner, 1957) Nature View (Chomsky, 1965)
    • language is learnt… (Behaviourism)
    • language is innate / biologically pre-programmed (Nativist)
    • through principles of Operant Conditioning
    • and is acquired through the existence of an innate processing box (LAD) hard-wired in the brain
    • child will repeat sounds which have been positively reinforced
    • critical period (birth – puberty)
    • implies primates have capacity for learning language
    • implies primates should show no ability for language
  • 9. What makes us human? What do you think are the main differences between primates and humans? Are there any similarities ?
  • 10. Some differences
    • Humans have:
    • a theory of mind (‘Sally-Anne task’)
    • consciousness / self-awareness
    • the ability for tool use
    • language ability
    • high levels of intelligence
    • less instinctive behaviour
    Some similarities
    • Living as part of a group
    • Genetic material (98%)
  • 11. Animals and Language
    • Do animals have language?
    • Do animals have the ability to understand communication? Think about how the following adverts were achieved…
    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HgzEBLa3PPk
    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmmE_h60rjk&feature=related
  • 12. Earlier Research on Primates Name of Chimp (researchers) Main Findings Gua (Kellogg & Kellogg, 1933)
    • Gua raised with researchers own child (Donald) but never uttered a word.
    Vicki (Hayes & Hayes, 1952)
    • Vicki learnt 4 words in six years: up, cup, mama & papa.
    Washoe (Gardner & Gardner, 1969)
    • Using ASL, Washoe learnt 30 signs over a 22 month period
    • some creativity (“Gimme tickle”)
    • but no structure dependence
    Nim Chimpsky (Terrace)
    • Using ASL, Nim learnt 125 signs over a 4yr period – but was he just imitating his teachers?
  • 13.  
  • 14.