Presentation on theme: "COMMUNICATING WITH OTHERS The Development and Use of Language"— Presentation transcript:
1 COMMUNICATING WITH OTHERS The Development and Use of Language
2 Communicating With Others Learning Objectives:Review the components and structure of language.Explain the biological underpinnings of language.Outline the theories of language development.
3 The Components of Language contextthe information surrounding languagee.g., knowledge, gestures, tone of voice, etc.syntaxthe rules for constructing sentencese.g., noun phrase + verb phrase (The cat + stalked the mouse.)morphemesthe smallest units of meaning in a languagee.g., stalk + -edphonemesthe smallest units of sound that make a meaningful difference in a languagee.g., /s/, /t/, etc.
4 The Biology and Development of Language Children who are not exposed to language early in life will likely never learn one.Case studies of abandoned or severely deprived show that some socialization is possible after puberty, but the development of language is not.Deaf children who are not exposed to sign language in their early years probably will not learn it.
5 The Critical Period Hypothesis A time in which learning can occur easilyFor language learning, the critical period lasts between infancy and puberty. After puberty, learning language is difficult, if not impossible.More recent research indicates that language learning can occur during adulthood, but less easily than during childhood.
6 The Biology of Language For most people the left hemisphere is specialized for language.Broca’s area, near the motor cortex, is involved in language production.Wernicke’s area, near the auditory cortex, is specialized for language comprehen-sion.
7 Phonological Development Learning Languagecan distinguish between sounds of native and foreign languages.2 daysbegins making vowel sounds6-8 weeksbabbling – intentional vocalizations lacking specific meaning7 monthsaccurate.Utterances contain many phonological errors and pronunciations are simplified, but speech becomes increasingly1-3 yearsPhonological Development
8 Morphological Development Learning Languageunderstands own name6 monthsproduces first words – usually nouns – at about 12 monthsbegins to understand commonly used words10-12 monthsYoung children often overextend the meanings of the words they use.vocabulary of several hundred words2 yearsvocabulary of several thousand words5 yearsBy college, vocabulary increases to 200,000 words.vocabulary of 50,000 words10 yearsMorphological Development
9 Learning Language Syntactic development Early sentences may include only the noun.Sentences later increase to two words.These early sentences begin to follow the syntax of the child’s native language.
10 How Children Learn Language: Theories of Language Acquisition “nurture” approachLanguage development occurs through principles of learning, such as association, reinforcement, and observation.Associated with SkinnerChildren do seem to modify their language based on imitation, reinforcement and shaping.But children learn language too fast for it to occur solely through reinforcement.Deaf children whose parents don’t use ASL learn to sign on their own, and make up sign languages if they need to.
11 How Children Learn Language: Theories of Language Acquisition “nature” approachAssociated with ChomskyHuman brains include a language acquisition device, which includes a universal grammar underlying all human language.deep structure – how an idea is represented in the fundamental universal grammarsurface structure – how an idea is expressed in a particular languagePsychologists agree that babies are genetically programmed to learn language.But the evidence for a universal grammar is limited.
12 Bilingualism and Cognitive Development the ability to speak two languagesrelated to better cognitive functioning, cognitive flexibility, and analytic skillsassociated with higher neural density in language areas of the left hemisphere
13 Can Animals Learn Language? Nonhuman animals have a wide variety of communication systems.Male songbirds sing to attract mates and protect territory.Chimpanzees use facial expressions and actions to convey aggression.Honeybees dance to attract other bees to food sources.Vervet monkeys use specific sounds to communicate specific meanings.
14 Can Animals Learn Language? Efforts to teach nonhuman animals language have met with only limited success.Catherine and Keith Hayes raised a chimpanzee named Viki in their home along with their children. But Viki could never speak, due to the limitations of her vocal cords.Allen and Beatrix Gardner taught a chimpanzee named Washoe to sign using ASL. Washoe could label 250 objects and make simple requests and commands.Washoe’s adopted daughter Loulis learned 70 signs simply by watching Washoe.
15 The most proficient nonhuman language speaker is Kanzi, a bonobo Kanzi’s language abilities resemble humans’.Kanzi learns by observation.Kanzi learned faster when he was younger.Kanzi uses symbols to comment on social interactions.Kanzi created an elementary syntax.Kanzi does not have a true language like humans do.Kanzi’s langauge is focused mostly on food and pleasure.Kanzi takes a long time to learn each new word.Kanzi’s syntax is at the level of a 2-year-old human.Kanzi generates very few new phrases.The most proficient nonhuman language speaker is Kanzi, a bonobo
16 Language and Perception Linguistic relativityThe idea that language and its structures influence and limit human thoughtProposed by Benjamin Whorf, an American linguistResearch examining color and number perception among preliterate cultures has provided only limited support for the notion of linguistic relativity.
17 COMMUNICATING WITH OTHERS Key TakeawaysLanguage involves both the ability to comprehend spoken and written words and to speak and write. Some languages are sign languages, in which the communication is expressed by movements of the hands.Phonemes are the elementary sounds of our language, morphemes are the smallest units of meaningful language, syntax is the grammatical rules that control how words are put together, and contextual information is the elements of communication that help us understand its meaning.Recent research suggests that there is not a single critical period of language learning, but that language learning is simply better when it occurs earlier.Broca’s area is responsible for language production. Wernicke’s area is responsible for language comprehension.Language learning begins even before birth. An infant usually produces his or her first words at about 1 year of age.
18 COMMUNICATING WITH OTHERS Key Takeaways, continuedOne explanation of language development is that it occurs through principles of learning, including association, reinforcement, and the observation of others.Noam Chomsky argues that human brains contain a language acquisition module that includes a universal grammar that underlies all human language. Chomsky differentiates between the deep structure and the surface structure of an idea.Although other animals communicate and may be able to express ideas, only the human brain is complex enough to create real language.Our language may have some influence on our thinking, but it does not affect our underlying understanding of concepts.