LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT How do you pronounce: ghoti? Pronounce gh …as in enough Pronounce o …as in women Pronounce ti …as in emotion Language: Language Acquisition B.F. Skinner 1904-1990 vs Noam Chomsky 1928- Skinner vs. Chomsky (1957) Skinner’s position (behavorist/nurture) -imitation -reinforcement Chomsky’s position (nativist) -language acquisition device & universal grammar -critical period -overgeneralization Noam Chomsky (1928- ) • Argues that children have a predisposition to learn language • A person’s brain is hard wired to learn vocabulary and the rules of grammar • “universal grammar”—a basic understanding of the common principles of language organization • At birth, infants can distinguish among the speech sounds of all the world’s languages. • By 10 months, they distinguish only the speech sounds that are present in the language to which they have been exposed. Noam Chomsky Interview • Insert “Chomsky’s View of Language Development” Video #21 from Worth’s Digital Media Archive for Psychology. Click Here to view video in a separate window B.F. Skinner and Language • Skinner believed language was the result of learning through: – Association : linking certain sounds with certain people – Imitation – Rewards or punishments Language • Play “Language and Culture” (4:42) Segment #28 from The Mind: Psychology Teaching Modules (2nd edition). Language: Language Stages Language Predisposition • Play “Language Predisposition” (3:44) Segment #24 from The Mind: Psychology Teaching Modules (2nd edition). Encouraging language development: Motherese • People in every culture use a style of speech called motherese, or infantdirected speech, with babies. • Motherese is characterized by distinct pronunciation, a simplified vocabulary, short sentences, a high pitch, and exaggerated intonation and expression. Language Acquisition Stages • In virtually every culture, infants follow the same sequence of language development, and at roughly similar ages. • Three-step process: – Babbling – One-Word Stage – Two-Word Stage Cooing and Babbling stage • At about 3 months of age, the infant begins to “coo.” • At about 5 months of age, the infant begins to babble. • Infants all over the world use the same sounds (phonemes) when they babble. • At around nine months of age, babies begin to babble more in the sounds specific to their language. • Will begin to babble only the phonemes of the child’s native tongue at about 1 year of age • Babbling seems to be a biologically programmed stage of language development. Twin Babies Talk! Babbling and Language Development • Play “Talkin’ Babies” (12:00) Segment #18 from Scientific American Frontiers: Video Collection for Introductory Psychology (2nd edition). • Is Language Progression the same in deaf children? One-Word Stage • Long before babies become accomplished talkers, they understand much of what is said to them. • Comprehension vocabulary (the words they understand) is much larger than their production vocabulary (the words they can say). • Around their first birthday, infants produce their first real words — usually referring to concrete objects or people that are important to them • Child uses one word to convey a complete thought or idea • During the one-word stage, babies use a single word and vocal intonation to stand for an entire sentence. Two-Word Stage • Around their second birthday, infants begin putting words together to construct simple “sentences.” • Two word sentences showing an appreciation of the rules of grammar • Children move beyond the two-word stage at around 2-1/2 years of age. • Language production and comprehension increase dramatically thereafter—children may have a production vocabulary of over 10,000 words by school age. Grammar Development • Insert “Gleason’s Wug Test” Video #22 from Worth’s Digital Media Archive for Psychology. Click here to view in a separate window Overgeneralization • Child will generalize grammar rules so they apply the rules too broadly. • Example: “I dugged in the sandbox” rather than “I dug in the sandbox” Overgeneralization Language Development • Play “Born to Talk” (6:45) Segment #21 from Scientific American Frontiers: Video Collection for Introductory Psychology (2nd edition). • Watch how grammar rules get overgeneralized.