PSY 369: Psycholinguistics
Review for Exam 3
Chapters and topics


9: Conversation
10, 11, & 12: Language Acquisition


Early, Late, and Processes
14: Language & thought
Conversation


Conversation is a specialized form of social interaction, with
rules and organization.
Herb Clark (1996)






Joint action
 Autonomous actions vs. Participatory actions
Face-to-face conversation - the basic setting
Meaning and understanding
 Establishing Common Ground
 Common ground is necessary to coordinate speaker’s meaning
with listener’s understanding
 Knowledge, beliefs and suppositions that the participants
believe that they share
Identifying participants
Layers
Conversation is structured
Identifying participants

Conversation often takes place in situations that
involve various types of participants and nonparticipants
Speaker
All participants
All listeners
Addressee
Side
participants
Bystander
Eavesdropper
Structure of a conversation

Conversations are purposive and unplanned



Typically you can’t plan exactly what you’re going to say
because it depends on another participant
Conversations look planned only in retrospect
Conversations have a fairly stable structure





Opening the conversation
Identifying participants
Taking turns
Negotiating topics
Closing conversations
Taking turns

Typically conversations don’t involve two (or more)
people talking at the same time

Three implicit rules (Sacks et al, 1974)

Rule 1: Current speakers selects next speaker
Rule 2: Self-selection: if rule 1 isn’t used, then next speaker can
select themselves
Rule 3: current speaker may continue (or not)

These principles are ordered in terms of priority



The first is the most important, and the last is the
least important
Language Acquisition

Some of the major issues


Imitation vs Innateness
Learning words


General patterns and observations
Proposed Strategies






Fast mapping
Whole object
Mutual exclusivity
Learning Syntax
Learning Morphology
Commonalities across languages and cultures
Typical language development
6 Months



Responds to his 
name
Responds to human
voices without

visual cues by
turning his head
and eyes
Responds
appropriately to

friendly and angry 
tones
12 Months
Uses one or more 
words with meaning
(this may be a
fragment of a word) 
Understands simple
instructions,

especially if vocal or
physical cues are
given

Practices inflection
Is aware of the
social value of
speech
24 Months
18 Months

Has vocabulary of
approximately 5-20
words
Vocabulary made up
chiefly of nouns

Some echolalia
(repeating a word or
phrase over and over)

Is able to follow simple
commands


Can name a
number of objects
common to his
surroundings
Is able to use at
least two
prepositions
Combines words
into a short
sentence
Vocabulary of
approximately 150300 words
Volume and pitch of
voice not yet wellcontrolled
In the beginning

Prelinguistic communication

Mahler (mid 80’s, in France)



4 day old babies Russian vs French
Nonnutritive sucking method
DeCasper, et al (1994)


Had mothers read stories everyday to
fetuses during 34-38 weeks of pregnancy
After 38th week, babies reacted
differently (HR) to familiar story than new

Child-directed speech (motherese)

Early “conversations”
The early days: phonology

Eimas et al, (1971)

Categorical perception in infants (1 month olds)
100
Sharp phoneme boundary
Young infants can
distinguish different
phonemes
% /ba/
0
1 ...
3 … 5 …
7
Early speech production

The progression of cooing and babbling follows a
universal pattern.







Babies, until around 6 months old, can produce
sounds/phonemes that their parents cannot produce or
distinguish
6 - 8 weeks: cooing
4 - 6 months: babbling
6 - 7 months: Reduplicated babbling
8 - 9 months: CVC clusters may appear
10 or 11 months: Variegated babbling “dab gogotah”
By 12 to 14 months some evidence of language specific
phonological rules
Language Sponges

12 ms
2 yrs
3 yrs
6 yrs



Learning words
first words
200 words
1,000 words
15,000 words
About 3,000 new words per year,
especially in the primary grades
As many as 8 new words per day
Production typically lags behind
comprehension

Methods used to study this

Diary studies

Taped language samples (Roger
Brown)

Large database CHILDES
Early speech production

Transition to speech

Early words

Common Phonological processes




Reduction
 Delete sounds from words
Coalescence
 Combine different syllables into one syllable
Assimilation
 Change one sound into a similar sound within the
word
Reduplication
 One syllable from a multi-syllabic word is repeated
Early word learning

First words (Around 10-15 months)

Emergence of systematic, repeated productions of
phonologically consistent forms

Idiomorphs - personalized words




Developed in systematic ways
Not simply imitation, rather are creative
Learned importance of consistency of names
Typically context bound (relevant to the immediate
environment)


Important people, Objects that move, Objects that can
be acted upon, Familiar actions
Nouns typically appear before verbs
Semantic Development

Applying the words to referents

Extension


Finding the appropriate limits of the meaning of
words
Underextension


Applying a word too narrowly
Overextension

Applying a word too broadly

One-word-per-referent heuristic
Extensions of meaning


If a new word comes in for a referent that is already named, replace it
Exception to that was “horse,” but it only lasted a day here
“tee”
1:9,11
1:10,18
1:11,1
1:11,2
“googie”
1:11,24
1:11,25
1:11,26
1:11,27
2:0,10
2:0,20
“tee/hosh”
“hosh”
“moo-ka”
“pushi”
“hosh”
“biggie googie”
Quine’s gavagai problem

The problem of reference:


a word may refer to a number of referents (real
world objects)
a single object or event has many objects, parts
and features that can be referred to
Frog
Frog?
Green?
Ugly?
Jumping?
Learning word meanings

Fast mapping

Using the context to guess the meaning of a word
Please give me the chromium tray. Not
the blue one, the chromium one.


All got the olive tray
Several weeks later still had some of the meaning
Constraints on Word Learning

Markman (1989)




Perhaps children are biased to entertain certain
hypotheses about word meanings over others
Object-scope (whole object) constraint

Words refer to whole objects rather than to parts of objects
Taxonomic constraint

Words refer to categories of similar objects
 Taxonomies rather than thematically related obejcts
Mutual exclusivity constraint

Each object has one label & different words refer to separate, nonoverlapping categories of objects

An object can have only one label
Language explosion continues

Proto-syntax (?)

Holophrases

Single-word utterances used to express more than the meaning
usually attributed to that single word by adults
Language explosion continues
Syntax

Basic child grammar (Slobin, 1985)


Similarities across all languages
Mean length of utterance (MLU) in morphemes

Take 100 utterances and count the number of morphemes
per utterance
6
5
4
M LU

3
2
1
0
0
10
20
30
age (months)
40
50
60
Language explosion continues

Syntax

Roger Brown proposed 5 stages

Stage 1: Telegraphic speech (MLU ~ 1.75; around 24 months)




One and two word utterances
Debate: learning semantic relations or syntactic (position rules)
Children in telegraphic speech stage are said to leave out the ‘little
words’ and inflections:
 e.g. Mummy shoe NOT Mummy’s shoe
 Two cat NOT two cats
More than two words

Stages 2 through 5
 Stage 2 (MLU ~2.25) begin to modulate meaning using word
order (syntax)
 Later stages reflect generally more complex use of syntax
(e.g., questions, negatives)
How do kids learn the syntax?

Innateness account

Pinker (1984, 1989)

Semantic bootstrapping
Child has innate
knowledge of
syntactic categories
Child learns the
and linking rules
meanings of
some content words Child constructs some
semantic representations
Child makes guesses
of simple sentences
about syntactic structure
based on surface form
and semantic meaning
How do kids learn the syntax?

“It is in the stimulus” accounts

Children do not need innate knowledge to learn grammar

Speech to children is not impoverished (Snow, 1977)
 Children learn grammar by mapping semantic roles (agent, action,
patient) onto grammatical categories (subject, verb, object) (e.g.
Bates, 1979)
Language explosion continues

Morphology


Typically things inflections and prepositions start around
MLU of 2.5 (usually in 2 yr olds)
Wug experiment (Berko-Gleason, 1958)
Language explosion continues

Morphology
This person knows how to rick. She did the same thing yesterday.
Yesterday she ________.
Typically children say that she “ricked.”
Acquiring Morphology

Stages in the acquisition of irregular inflections
time
Step
1
2
3
4
5


Desc ript ion
No inf lec tion
Adult for m
O v erreg ular iz a tio n
T ran siti on
Adult for m
Noun
M an
M en
M ans
M ens
M en
E x a m pl es
Verb
Adje ctive
Go
Bad
W ent
W orse
Goed
Badder
W ent ed W orser
W ent
W orse
On the face of it, learning these morphological quirks follows a
peculiar pattern:
 Early: correct irregular forms are used
 Middle: incorrect regular forms are used
 Late: correct forms are used again
Why do we find this type of pattern?
 Memory and rules
Memory & Rules

The use of overregularized forms starts at around the same that
that the child is beginning to apply the default -ed rule
successfully



Early: All forms-- whether regular or irregular-- are memorized
Middle: The regular rule is learned, and in some cases
overapplied
Late: Irregulars are used based on memory, regulars use the rule
(the idea is that if the word can provide its own past tense from
memory, then the past tense rule is blocked)
Positive and negative evidence

What kind of feedback is available for learning?


Positive evidence: Kids hear grammatical sentences
Negative evidence: information that a given sentence is
ungrammatical

Kids are not told which sentences are ungrammatical
(no negative evidence)

Let’s consider no negative evidence further…
Negative evidence via feedback?

Kids resist instruction


Cazden (1972) & McNeill (1966)
Do kids get “implicit” negative evidence?

Brown & Hanlon (1970):

Adults didn’t show a preference for Adam’s grammatical or
ungrammatical sentences (either in terms of what they understood or
what they expressed approval of)
Evidence for critical period for language

Lenneberg (1967) proposed that there is a critical
period for human language

Feral Children



Children raised in the wild or with reduced exposure to
human language
What is the effect of this lack of exposure on language
acquisition?
Two classic cases


Victor, the Wild Boy of Aveyron
Genie
Effects of the Critical Period
Learning a language;




Under c. 7 years: perfect command of the language possible
Ages c. 8- c.15: Perfect command less possible
progressively
Age 15-: Imperfect command possible
Johnson and Newport (1989)
Age and Second-language acquisition
m e a n s c o re o n
E n g lis h g rm m a r te st

280
270
260
250
240
230
220
210
200
native
3 to 7
8 to 10
age of arrival
11 to 16
17 to 39
Second language acquisition

Contexts of childhood bilingualism


Frequency of usage of both languages



Dominance of L1 vs. L2
Language attrition
Mode of acquisition




Simultaneous versus Sequential acquisition
Native bilingualism - growing up in a two language environment
Immersion - schooling provided in a non-native language
Submersion - one learner surrounded by non-native speakers
Language dominance effects

Relative fluency of L1 and L2 may impact processing
Bilingual Representations

How do we represent linguistic information in a
bilingual lexicon?
Word Association Model
Concept Mediation Model
concepts
CONCEPTS
CONCEPTS
conceptual
links
conceptual
links
lexical
links
L1
L2
IMAGES
L1
L2
L1
IMAGES
L2
Interesting effects in bilinguals

Interference


Code switching


Does knowing two languages lead to interference?
When bilinguals substitute a word or phrase from one
language with a phrase or word from another language,
usually follows rule of switched language
Cognitive advantages

Problem solving, executive control, inhibition

Bialystok and colleagues
Does language affect thought?

Sapir-Whorf hypothesis

Linguistic determinism



Language determines thought.
 Speakers of different languages see the world in different,
incompatible ways, because their languages impose different
conceptual structures on their experiences.
Whorf posited that cultural thinking differences were the
direct result of differences in their languages
Linguistic relativity

Weak version(s) of the linguistic relativity hypothesis:

Language influences thinking & conditions how we think and
perceive the world
Color Terms



Brown & Lenneberg (1954) codability
Berlin and Kay (1969): Color hierarchy
Hieder (1972)


Kay & Kempton, (1984)


Dani tribe of New Guinea use only two color names
Investigated English and Tarahumara (no separate terms for blue
and green
Winawer, Boroditsky and others (2007)

English and Russian divide up blues differently
Counting & Arithmetic

Miller & Stigler (1987)


Miura et al (1993)


The greater regularity of number names in Chinese, Japanese
and Korean as compared to English or French facilitates the
learning of counting behavior beyond 10 in those languages.
Another advantage is earlier mastery of ‘place value’
(understanding that in # 23 there are 2 tens and 3 ones)
Gordon (2004) Piraha tribe


Hoi (falling tone = one), hoi (rising tone = two), aibai (= many)
Matching tasks - show an array of objects, they have to put
objects down to match the array
Conclusions


At this point it is apparent that the strong view of
Whorf’s hypothesis is not supported.
However, there is continued support for the weaker
version(s) of the hypothesis

The data from areas of investigation concerning color naming,
counting & arithmetic, reasoning, visual memory, and other areas
(e.g., social inference) indicate that the use of certain specific terms
can influence how we think
Descargar

PSY 369: Psycholinguistics