Myers EXPLORING
PSYCHOLOGY
(6th Edition in Modules)
Module 24
Language and Thought
James A. McCubbin, PhD
Clemson University
Worth Publishers
Language
 Language
 our spoken, written, or gestured
works and the way we combine them
to communicate meaning
 Phoneme
 in a spoken language, the smallest
distinctive sound unit
Language
 We are all born to recognize speech sounds from
all the world’s languages
Percentage able 100
to discriminate
90
Hindi t’s
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
Hindispeaking
adults
6-8
months
8-10
months
10-12
months
Infants from English-speaking homes
Englishspeaking
adults
Language
 Babbling Stage
 beginning at 3 to 4 months
 the stage of speech development in which
the infant spontaneously utters various
sounds at first unrelated to the household
language
 One-Word Stage
 from about age 1 to 2
 the stage in speech development during
which a child speaks mostly in single words
Language
 Two-Word Stage
 beginning about age 2
 the stage in speech development during
which a child speaks in mostly two-word
statements
 Telegraphic Speech
 early speech stage in which the child
speaks like a telegram-–“go car”--using
mostly nouns and verbs and omitting
“auxiliary” words
Language
Summary of Language Development
Month
(approximate)
Stage
4
Babbles many speech sounds.
10
Babbling reveals households
language.
12
One-word stage.
24
Two-world, telegraphic speech.
24+
Language develops rapidly into
complete sentences.
Language
 Genes
design the
mechanisms
for a
language,
and
experience
activates
them as it
modifies the
brain
Language
Percentage
correct on
grammar
test
 New language
learning gets
harder with
age
100
90
80
70
60
50
Native 3-7
8-10 11-15 17-39
Age at school
Language
 Linguistic Determinism
 Whorf”s hypothesis that
language determines the way
we think
Language
 The interplay
of thought
and language
Animal Thinking and
Language
Direction of
nectar source
 The straight-line
part of the dance
points in the
direction of a
nectar source,
relative to the
sun
Animal Thinking and
Language
 Gestured Communication
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Introduction to Psychology