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.
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Language - Solon Schools