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Language: Nature and    Acquisition      Chapter 9
Outline1. Properties of Language  1. General Description  2. Fundamental Aspects of Language2. Processes of Language Compr...
1. Properties of Language                  Basic Concepts• Language  – The use of an organized means of combining words   ...
1. Properties of Language                  Basic Concepts• Psycholinguistics  – The psychology of our language as it inter...
1. Properties of Language               1. General Description• Six properties that are distinctive of language   – Commun...
1. Properties of Language           1. General Description• Six properties that are distinctive of  language (cont.)  – Re...
1. Properties of Language           1. General Description• Six properties that are distinctive of  language (cont.)  – Ge...
1. Properties of Language   2. Fundamental Aspects of Language• Two fundamental aspects of language  – Comprehension of la...
1. Properties of Language    2. Fundamental Aspects of Language• Levels of analysis of language  1. Phonology – system of ...
1. Properties of Language    2. Fundamental Aspects of Language• Levels of analysis of language  2. Morphology    • Morphe...
1. Properties of Language    2. Fundamental Aspects of Language• Levels of analysis of language  3. Mental Lexicon    • Me...
1. Properties of Language    2. Fundamental Aspects of Language• Levels of analysis of language  4. Syntax    • The way in...
1. Properties of Language    2. Fundamental Aspects of Language• Levels of analysis of language  5. Semantics    • The stu...
2. Processes of Language            Comprehension           1. Speech Perception• We are able to perceive speech with  ama...
2. Processes of Language            Comprehension           1. Speech Perception• The view of speech perception as ordinar...
2. Processes of Language             Comprehension              1. Speech Perception• The View of Speech Perception as Spe...
2. Processes of Language            Comprehension         2. Semantics and Syntax• Semantics  – Denotation    • We sometim...
2. Processes of Language            Comprehension           2. Semantics and Syntax• Syntax  – Systematic way in which wor...
2. Processes of Language            Comprehension           2. Semantics and Syntax• Syntax  – Noam Chomsky (1957) observe...
3. Language Acquisition       1. Stages of Language Acquisition• Prenatal  – Responsivity to human voices• First 6 months ...
3. Language Acquisition         1. Stages of Language Acquisition• 1 to 3 years of age  – One-word utterances, telegraphic...
3. Language Acquisition     1. Stages of Language Acquisition• 4 years  – Basic adult sentence structure  – Vocabulary con...
3. Language Acquisition        2. Nature versus Nurture• Language acquisition device (LAD)  – Innate biological equipment ...
3. Language Acquisition           2. Nature versus Nurture• Imitation  – Children do exactly what they see others do• Mode...
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Ch9

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Transcript of "Ch9"

  1. 1. Language: Nature and Acquisition Chapter 9
  2. 2. Outline1. Properties of Language 1. General Description 2. Fundamental Aspects of Language2. Processes of Language Comprehension 1. Speech Perception 2. Semantics and Syntax3. Language Acquisition 1. Stages of Language Acquisition 2. Nature and Nurture
  3. 3. 1. Properties of Language Basic Concepts• Language – The use of an organized means of combining words in order to communicate – Makes it possible for us to communicate with those around us and to think about things and processes we currently cannot see, hear, feel, touch, smell• Communication – Exchange of thoughts and feelings – Not all communication is through language (gestures, glances, touches, pictures)
  4. 4. 1. Properties of Language Basic Concepts• Psycholinguistics – The psychology of our language as it interacts with the human mind• Related areas of study – Linguistics • The study of language structure and change – Neurolinguistics • Studies the relationship among the brain, cognition, and language – Sociolinguistics • Studies the relationship between social behavior and language
  5. 5. 1. Properties of Language 1. General Description• Six properties that are distinctive of language – Communicative • Language permits us to communicate with one or more people who share our language – Arbitrarily symbolic • Language creates an arbitrary relationship between a symbol and its referent: an idea, a process, a relationship, or a description • Arbitrary relationship - lack of any reason for choosing a particular symbol to refer to a particular thing
  6. 6. 1. Properties of Language 1. General Description• Six properties that are distinctive of language (cont.) – Regularly structured • Language has a structure; only particularly patterned arrangements of symbols have meaning, and different arrangements yield different meanings – Structured at multiple levels • The structure of language can be analyzed at more than one level ( e.g., in sounds, in meaning units, in words, in phrases)
  7. 7. 1. Properties of Language 1. General Description• Six properties that are distinctive of language (cont.) – Generative, productive • Within the limits of a linguistic structure, language users can produce novel utterances, and the possibilities for creating new utterances are virtually limitless – Dynamic • Languages constantly evolve and change
  8. 8. 1. Properties of Language 2. Fundamental Aspects of Language• Two fundamental aspects of language – Comprehension of language • Receptive comprehension and decoding of language input (deriving meaning from what you hear or read) – Production of language • Expressive encoding and production of language input (transforming our thoughts into a form that can be expressed as linguistic output – speech or writing)
  9. 9. 1. Properties of Language 2. Fundamental Aspects of Language• Levels of analysis of language 1. Phonology – system of speech sounds • Phoneme – the smallest unit of speech sound that can be used to distinguish one utterance in a given language from another • Different languages use different numbers and combinations of phonemes • Phonemics – the study of the particular phonemes of a language • Phonetics – the study of to produce or combine speech sounds
  10. 10. 1. Properties of Language 2. Fundamental Aspects of Language• Levels of analysis of language 2. Morphology • Morpheme – the smallest unit that denotes meaning within a particular language • Content morphemes – the words that convey the bulk of the meaning (e.g. charge in recharge) • Functional morphemes – the morphemes that add detail and nuance to the meaning of the content morphemes or that help the content morphemes to fit the grammatical context (e.g. re in recharge)
  11. 11. 1. Properties of Language 2. Fundamental Aspects of Language• Levels of analysis of language 3. Mental Lexicon • Mental Lexicon – the entire set of morphemes in a given language or in a given person’s linguistic repertoire; contains the information about meaning, phonological form, orthographic form and syntactic properties of a particular word • Vocabulary – the repertoire of words created by combining morphemes
  12. 12. 1. Properties of Language 2. Fundamental Aspects of Language• Levels of analysis of language 4. Syntax • The way in which users of a particular language put words together to form sentences • It is the structure of our utterances • A sentence comprises at least two parts – Noun phrase which contains at least one noun – Verb phrase which contains at least one verb and whatever the verb acts on
  13. 13. 1. Properties of Language 2. Fundamental Aspects of Language• Levels of analysis of language 5. Semantics • The study of meaning in language • How words express meaning • How language interacts with conceptual structure 6. Discourse • Encompasses language use at the level beyond the sentence, such as in conversation, paragraphs, stories • Studies the interactions between the context and language
  14. 14. 2. Processes of Language Comprehension 1. Speech Perception• We are able to perceive speech with amazing rapidity – Whereas we can perceive as many as 50 phonemes per second in language we can perceive only about one (or less) phone per second of nonspeech sounds – One explanation – coarticulation • Phonemes are produced in a way that overlaps them in time, making one or more phonemes begin while other phonemes sill are being produced
  15. 15. 2. Processes of Language Comprehension 1. Speech Perception• The view of speech perception as ordinary – Speech perception is ordinary use of general perceptual principles of feature-detection and Gestalt psychology to explain how listeners understand speech – There is nothing domain specific about speech perception
  16. 16. 2. Processes of Language Comprehension 1. Speech Perception• The View of Speech Perception as Special – Speech perception is special because it lies within the domain of language and is governed by principles that are different form general principles of perception – Categorical perception • Although the speech sounds we actually hear comprise a continuum of variation in sound waves, we perceive discontinuous categories of speech sounds • Although the tokens of speech sound were physically equal in acoustic distance from one another, people only heard the tokens that also differed in phonetic label
  17. 17. 2. Processes of Language Comprehension 2. Semantics and Syntax• Semantics – Denotation • We sometimes refer to the strict dictionary definition of a word – Connotation • We refer to a word’s emotional overtones, presuppositions, and other nonexplicit meanings 1. Speech Perception
  18. 18. 2. Processes of Language Comprehension 2. Semantics and Syntax• Syntax – Systematic way in which words can be combined and sequenced to make meaningful phrases and sentences – Grammar • Prescriptive grammar – prescribes the “correct” ways in which to structure the use of written and spoken language • Descriptive grammar – describes the structures, functions, and relationships of words in language regardless of what is considered to be correct by prescriptive grammar
  19. 19. 2. Processes of Language Comprehension 2. Semantics and Syntax• Syntax – Noam Chomsky (1957) observed that particular sentences and their tree diagrams show peculiar relationships • Susie greedily ate the crocodile. • The crocodile was eaten by Susie. – Chomsky suggested the study of transformational grammar • transformations are rules that map tree structures onto other tree structures
  20. 20. 3. Language Acquisition 1. Stages of Language Acquisition• Prenatal – Responsivity to human voices• First 6 months – Cooing – cooing of infants around the world, including deaf infants, is indistinguishable across babies and across languages• After 6 months – Babbling – comprises the distinct phonemes that characterize the primary language of the infant; deaf children can not babble
  21. 21. 3. Language Acquisition 1. Stages of Language Acquisition• 1 to 3 years of age – One-word utterances, telegraphic speech – Telegraphic speech – describes two- or three-word utterances – Overextension errors (e.g. general term for man is “Dada”)• 3 to 4 years – Expansion of vocabulary – Overregularization (using regular inflection for irregular verbs e.g. goed)
  22. 22. 3. Language Acquisition 1. Stages of Language Acquisition• 4 years – Basic adult sentence structure – Vocabulary continues to increase
  23. 23. 3. Language Acquisition 2. Nature versus Nurture• Language acquisition device (LAD) – Innate biological equipment for fast language acquisition • Because learning second language is much harder than first language • There seems to be a critical period for language acquisition – time of rapid development during which a particular ability must be developed if it is ever to develop adequately
  24. 24. 3. Language Acquisition 2. Nature versus Nurture• Imitation – Children do exactly what they see others do• Modeling – Motherese • Parents and other adults tend to use a higher pitch than usual, to exaggerate the vocal inflection of their speech, and use simpler sentence constructions when speaking with infants and young children
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