Language Language – our spoken, written or signed words and the ways we combine them to communicate meaning Language can be….. Language Structure • Phonemes • Morphemes • Grammar – Semantics – Syntax All languages contain…. Phonemes • The smallest units of sound in a language. • English has about 44 phonemes. Morphemes • The smallest unit of meaningful sound. • Examples : Example: • • How many phonemes in cats? How many morphemes in cats? How many phonemes and morphemes? Phonemes • • • • • • • Rich Hat Knock Bring Through Strict Stretch Morphemes • • • • • • • Bats Called Nightly Luck, lucky, unlucky Coolness Zebras Defroster Language Structure • Grammar: The rules of a language. – Example: – Semantics - rules by which we derive meaning from morphemes, words, and sentences. • Examples: – Syntax: the order of words in a language. • Examples: Is this the White House or the House White? Language Acquisition • Receptive language • Productive language – – – Begins at @ 4 months – Can read lips – 7 mo. Can segment spoken sounds into individual words – Can listen to an unfamiliar language – Starts around 4 months of age with babbling Language Acquisition Stages that we learn language… 1. Babbling Stage – make speech sounds both in and out of native language – First able to discriminate speech sounds – Example: 2. Holophrastic Stage/one word stage – Productive language begins (speaking meaningful words) – Receptive language (comprehension of meaning) – Example: 3. Telegraphic Stage/two word stage Grammatically correct 2 word saying Contains mostly nouns and verbs Follows rules of syntax Example: – Overgeneralization - extending the application of a rule to items that are excluded from it in the language norm, – – – – • Example: 4. Speaking in Complete Sentences How do we learn language? 1. Behaviorist Theory 2. Nativist Theory Behaviorist Theory • B.F. Skinner • Association – • Imitation – • Reinforcement- Chomsky’s Theory Inborn Universal Grammar • Universal language acquisition device – In born (innate)readiness to learn grammatical rules • Universal grammar – common grammatical building blocks that all languages share (inborn). • • All languages have nouns and verbs, subjects and objects, negations and questions • If there is a word purple in a language it will also have a word for red Overgeneralization • Overgeneralization Applying a grammatical rule too widely and thereby creating incorrect forms – Supports Chomsky’s Universal Grammar • Examples: Statistical Learning and Critical Periods • Statistical Learning – discerning word breaks, analyzing which syllables most often go together • • Critical Period – sensitive period for mastering certain aspects of language • • Learning a language as an adult you will always speak with an accent • Most easily master language as a child Whorf’s Linguistic Determination Hypothesis • The idea that language determines the way we think. • The Hopi tribe has no past tense in their language, so Whorf says they rarely think of the past. • Underestimates how much thinking occurs without language Thinking and Language • Bilingual advantage • Thinking and images • Thinking affects language, which then affects our thoughts.