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SHS 371


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What does it take within a child to learn language?
-neurological integrity
-ability to participate in social interactions
-recognize power of comm.
-physical abilities
What is meant by neurological integrity?
-memory and sorting ability (cognitive skills)
-intact linguistic centers and connections
What does it take within the environment to learn language?
-consistent, responsive, positive caregivers
-consistent social opportunities
opportunities to explore things, places and people
-exposure to many different types of experiences
What is MLU?
Mean length utterence
Why does a child learn language?
How do children communicate before language?
-pointing, pushing, pulling, showing, babbling, grunting, crying, expressions, laughing, smiling, calming down, silence
What is a "language disorder"?
A delay in development, or loss of, any or all aspects of language
(delay or loss is significant!)
Why is language an amazing phenomenon?
-is very old
-is complex
-is redundant
-is contextual
-has many rules
-it is creative
What is communication?
=transmission of thoughts in a context(includes at least 2 people)
-can include lang. but doesn't have to
-can be done unintentionally
-can use gestures
-always comes before language
-intentional behavior always comes before language(ability to manipulate)
-communication serves many different purposes
What is Speech?
=the articulation of speech sounds (bringing together oral structures to produce sound)
- any oral sound (gurgling, grunting, etc)
What is Language?
= "a code whereby ideas about the world are represented through a conventional system of arbitrary signals for the purpose of communication" Bloom & Lahey
What are the 5 elements that language must have?
-it is conventional (shared agreement amoung people)
-it has permisable ways to combine sounds, words, etc (system of rules)
-it has arbitrary signals (code)
-it has meaning (semantics)
-it is used for communication
According to Roger Brown, true language always has ....
1. productivity (can re-create words)
2. Semanticity (lang. represents ideas, objects, actions)
3. Displacement (can talk about things not present)
Language Development Studies Prior to 1957:
-focus on normative data (data from diaries, people with strokes, WWII veterans, Roger Brown studies)
-only studied children who talked
-static notion of lang. development (just taking snap shots, no sequence)
-were comparing child lang. to adult lang. (thought child's full of errors)
Lang. Development 1957 to late 60's:
-more dynamic view of language development
-two major theories emerged
-Behaviorist Theory
-Nativist Theory: Psycholinguistic-Syntactic Model
What is the Behaviorsit Theory?
-Tabula rasa (blank slate)
-lang. learned through imitation and reinforcment from environment
-at first no innate predisposition
-child is a passive learner(must wait for stimuli)
-emphasis on product not process (talk only about what's heard not thoughts)
What is the Nativist Theory: Psycholinguistic-Syntactic Model?
-Noam Chomsky
-lang. is not learned via imitation
-there is an innate predisposition= LAD
-lang. is learned through rule induction
-Child is an active learner (little scientist)
-both product and process considered
What are some other theoretical trends from 1957 to late 60's?
-comprehension vs. production debates (comp. comes before production)
-sociolinguistics begins to emerge (societal effects on language, look at bilingual children)
-neurolinguistics really boomed (looked at connection between brain growth and lang. growth)
-auditory processing
Lang. Development during 1970's:
-Psycholinguistic-semantic/cognitive model
-Bloom & Brown
-meanings of words and sentences studied
-Piaget's work re-examined, especially in relation to interest in prelinguistic development
-relationship between cognition and language debated
Lang. Development during 1980's-early 1990's
-Pragmatic Revolution: Sociolinguistic Model
-learn to say the right thing at the right time
What is the Pragmatic Resolution : Sociolinguistic Model?
-the effect of context on syntax and semantics was studied
- data from conversational observation, children's storytelling scripts, dialects & cultural observations, talk shows, etc
-narrative development (telling what happened over the weekend)
-fast-mapping (hypothesize meaning for new words)
-parent-child interactions
-development of nonliteral language
-multicultural focus
Lang. Development from late 1990's to present:
-focus on specific etiologies (down syndrome, autism, etc) and how they exemplify the "givens" of lang. and cognition
-discussion of lang. development as an instinct (Pinker)
-focus on genetics (phenotype for language impairments)
What did James & Lee McClean focus on regarding language?
-emphasis on pragmatics!
-a circle with pragmatics (use) being the whole thing and two smaller overlapping circles inside labeled content and form
What is Content?
=knowledge for language purposes (kids talk about what they know)
-2 aspects:
-referential knowledge
-relational knowledge
What is Referential knowledge?
- mental dictionary
- your "references"
What is Relational Knowledge?
-tie words together
-associations between words
-"kick the bucket"
What are some "universals" that all languages have?
-who (agent)
-who or what received the action
What is Form?
= conventional signal systems
-3 systems within form:
What is Phonology?
=system of meaningful sounds or phonemes
-3 distinctive features of phonems:
-manner: plosives vs. fricatives
-place: where sound is made
-voicing: whether or not vocal cords vibrate
What is an Allophone?
=nonmeaningful difference in pronounciation
-pan vs. nap-(p)diff. manner
-crack vs. track-(r) diff. placing of tongue
What is Morphology?
=the study of meaningful word roots and additions to words (prefixes, suffixes)
-morpheme= smallest unit of lang. that is grammatical and meaningful
-free or bound
What is Syntax?
=rules by which morphemes are combined into larger meaningful units
-influenced by:
-word order rules
-speaker's intended purpose
What is Language Use?
=Pragmatics: "Being able to say the right thing at the right time"
What are the Aspects of Pragmatics?
1.Specific Functions - request, protest, comment, give info., get info.
2.Intentionality- did speaker plan this?
3.Adjusting to Contexts- situation, who talking with, linguistic event (what has just been said)
4.Conversational Competence= ability to do openings, closings, maintaining, shifting topic, repairing breakdowns, politeness
What Structures and Processes are involved for Language production?
What is Phonation?
-Consists of:
-biological function (experience when you choke, it protects lungs)
-overlaid function (speech
-Vocal folds
a. males= 135 Hz
b. females= 245 Hz
What is Modulation?
-Consists of:
b. nasal, oral cavities
-size, shape and hardness determine quality
a. soft palate (velum)
b. tongue, teeth, lips
What is the Epiglottis?
-structure in throat that also protects the lungs
-flops over the air way
How is Neurology important to Content and Use?
-Metalinguistic (ability to think about language)
How is Neurology important to Form?
Evidence for critical period in language development:
-Genie (discovered at age 13)
-Chelsea (not realized she was deaf until age 31)
-Isabelle (age 6.5 escaped from isolation)
-the older you are the more difficult it is to recover language and syntax is harder to learn
-Children who are bilingual prior to 2 years of age will not have an accent in either language
What is the relationship between Cognition and Language?
-Lang. conveys ideas
-ideas= knowledge
-lang. is a code
-code= symbol + meaning
* lang. is a correlation with cognition
Cognition has symbolic functions evident in:
1. Mental Imagery
2. Deferred Imitation (hold off on imitating until later)
3. Drawing (representing something in mind)
4. Language (does not always involve cognition)
Theorists agree_________, disagree__________________.
A= there is a relationship between lang. and cognition
D= on the nature of the relationship
-Strong Cognition Hypothesis
-Interactionist Cognitive Hypothesis
-Weak Cognition Hypothesis
What is the Strong Cognition Hypothesis?
-Piaget, MacNamara
-in this model cognition is necessary, but does not address if sufficient
-language is a subsystem
-emergence of lang. depends on cognitive skills
*lang. cannot exceed cognition
What is the Interactionist Cognitive Hypothesis?
-Vygotsky, Kuczaj, Bowerman
-lang. and cognition are bi-directional (they influence each other)
-either could outpace the other
-cog. necessary but not sufficient
What is the Weak Cognition Hypothesis?
-cognition is necessary but not sufficient
-cog. provides initial skills, but some areas do not overlap
-cog. and lang. are highly related, but may develop at different rates
What is Piaget's Stage Model?
=for knowledge acquisition, structure, and retention
-call this process ADAPTATION
-consists of:
take in new info that already fits into existing category (with what we already know)
-kid calls a cow "doggie"
reorganizing or drastically modifying your categories to add new knowledge
-may create a new category
If have too much assimilation you end up with ________, if have too much accomidation end up with___________.
- too big of categories

- too small of categories
Adaptation Starts With:
- Reflexive Actions
-creates residual memory, (more they do it, the more they will remember)
-"Thinking" =sensorimotor experiences
"Thought has its roots in action
-must have a solid base of sensorimotor experiences to build knowledge upon
-kids talk about what they know
Bruner, Kaplan, Vygotsky, and Fischer:
-agree with Piaget about Adaptation, but
-disagree about role of the environment
Role of the environment:
-rate(of acquiring skill)
-presence (of skill)
-proficiency (demonstrate skill)
Vygotsky's "Zone of Proximal development":
-a graph with skill level on the y-axis
-environment on the x-axis
-with mom, with teacher, alone, with stranger
-clear communication represented with an x and curves from high to low from with mom to with stranger
What is Grice's Cooperative Principle?
"One should contribute to the conversation where and as required, and adhere to the purpose or direction of conversation"
What are Grice's Conversational Maxims?
=absolute rules:
1. Maxim of Quantity
2. Maxim of Quality
3. Maxim of Relation
4. Maxim of Manner
What is Maxim of Quantity?
-not too much, not too little
-as informative as required
What is Maxim of Quality?
-state only what is true
-do not say what you believe to be false
-do not say that for which you lack evidence
What is Maxim of Relation?
-make your contribution relevent (related, pertient) to the aims of the ongoing conversation
What is Maxim of Manner?
-be clear
-avoid obscurity of expression, ambiguity and wordiness (excessive verbosity)
-be organized and specific
What are licenses?
-they allow us to violate the maxims
-they can be granted by ourselves or by others
-if a maxim is violated, and no license has been given, a breakdown is likely
The three basic brain functions are:
- regulation
- processing
- formulation
The cerebrum:
- is divided into two halves: the right and left hemispheres
The motor cortex controls?
-motor movements
the temporal lobe controls?
- auditory processing
The right hemisphere specializes in:
-visuspatial aspects (face recognition, depth, etc)
-metaphorical language
The left hemisphere specializes in:
- language (oral, visual, written)
- logical reasoning
- control of speech and non-speech oral movements
Differences in oral mechanisms between adult and infant:
for infant:
larynx smaller
tongue takes up most of space
nasal cavity smaller
* differences in sounds because of physical differences
What are the two purposes of the vocal folds?
- vibrate to produce sound
- close airway when swallowing to protect windpipes
What does cephalocaudal refer to?
-motor development occurs from the top of the body to the bottom
What is the difference between the inclass definition of language and the one in the book?
- class says "purpose is communication"
- book says "rule-governed combination"
Are figurative language and nonliteral language exactly the same?
-similiar but no
- fig. lang= idioms, metaphors, similes, etc
- fig. lang. develops later on (age 12)
- nonliteral included in Sociolinguistic theory

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