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November 3LanguageThe language “instinct”● Man has an instinctive tendency to speak, as we see in the babble of our young children, while no child has an instinctive tendency to bake, brew, or write” -Charles DarwinPhonology: the study of how sounds (and signs) are organized and used in natural languages● Why is automated voice recognition difficult?● Lack of Invariance problem: there is no consistent relation between the physical features of the sounds and how sounds are perceived○ Differences across speakers (bug pronounced slightly differently by each person)○ Differences due to context (coarticulation): same sound is pronounced differently depending on what comes before/after● Phonemes: the smallest unit of sound that are recognizable as speech and that has an impact on meaning○ Allophone: one of a set of possible spoken sounds to pronounce asimple phoneme (Cape Cod)● Speech segmentation problem: there are no reliable physical cues to the boundaries between words● Morphology: the study of words, the rules for how they are formed, and the relationship between words in the same language● Arbitrariness of the Sign○ Onomatopoeia: a word that phonetically resembles the sound it describes(zap, splash, etc.)○ Phonesthesia: clusters of words that share both sound and meaning elements (glow, glare, glitter, etc.)○ Sound symbolism: sounds may actually carry some meaning with them (kiki as sharp shape, gouba as soft shape)● Morphemes (essentially words): the smallest meaningful units of language○ Free morphemes: words that can function independently (dog, table, happy)○ Bound morphemes: parts of words that carry meaning (the addition of an -s changes the meaning, so -s is a morpheme○ Fast Mapping: the process whereby children can map a word onto its referent after only a single exposure (kids can learn new words very quickly and easily)○ Morphological rules: the rules that govern how morphemes can be combined to form words (how to add -ed or -s)● Syntax: the set of rules, principles, and processes that govern the structure of sentences and how words can be combined into phrases and phrases into sentences○ Comsky’s contribution to Syntax■ Highlighting creativity● Recursion: a procedure that invokes an instance of itself○ Ex. Fred thinks Wilma thinks John thinks Sarah likes Barney■ Syntax exists independent of meaning■ Syntax is not a series of linear associations● Surface structure: how a sentence is worded● Deep Structure: the meaning of a sentence● Pragmatics: The study of how language is used and understood in context○ Twin Babies Conversing○ Knowledge of how language is used in day-to-day conversation can be separated from knowledge of the formal properties of language (phonology, morphology, syntax) ● Our language has an intended/indirect meaning and a literal meaning● Illocutionary Act (intended/indirect meaning): what the speaker is trying to do withtheir words● Locutionary Act (literal meaning): What is actually saidNovember 8, 2021Language Cont.Chomsky’s idea of how children acquire language● Language acquisition cannot be explained by Behaviorist theories of learning○ Parents do not “teach” grammatical rules and do not correct children’s errors■ Parents respond to the meaning of the message, not the grammaticality of the utterance○ What children say is not simply imitation of what they’ve heard■ Overgeneralization Errors (I holded the baby rabbit)■ Telegraphic Speech (Throw ball, missing I, the, or it)● Nativist theory: language acquisition is best explained as an inanimate, biologicalcapacity○ Criticisms of Nativism■ Nativist theories do not explain how language develops, they merely explain why■ The findings that a biological underpinning for language development, does not mean that experience, environment does not matter● Interactionist Theory of Language acquisition: A lot of evidence suggests that theamount and type of early experiences matters a lot○ More supported by researchers now than Nativist theory○ Language similarities for adopted children supports the Interactionist Theory because it shows that it’s not just genetics● Human brain equipped with a Language Acquisition Device (LAD), a collection ofprocesses that facilitate language learning● Genetic Dysphasia: a syndrome characterized by an inability to learn the grammatical structure of language despite otherwise normal intelligence● Most Specific-Language Impairment (SLI) have a strong genetic component to them● Critical Period: a period during which receptivity to learning is optimal, and outside of which learning is less optimalDoes the language we speak shape the way we think?● Linguistic Relativity Hypothesis: Language shapes the nature of thoughtLanguage in Animals● Limited Vocabularies compared to a 4-year-old human child who already knows 10,000 words● Limited Conceptual Repertoire: No learning of the abstract concepts children eventually learn (ie. idea, justice, economics)● Limited Understanding of Grammar: Multi-sign constructions are simple, highly repetitiveand don’t have the grammatical fluency of children’s speechNov. 11, 2021Cognition● Concepts are at the core of intelligent behavior● Concepts allow us to make generalizations based on limited experiencesClassical Theory: Categories are well-defined. In having the concept of a category we know both the “necessary” and “sufficient” rules for membership● Necessary Conditions: something that must be true of a category member○ Ie. Dogs must be mammals; being a mammal is a “necessary” condition of ‘doghood’● Sufficient Conditions: something that, if true of an object, proves that it belongs inthe category○ Ie. Some dogs are German Shepherds; being a German Shepherd is a “sufficient” condition for being a dogFamily Resemblance Theory: category members need not all share a definition feature, but they tend to have several features in common (ie. not all dogs have four legs)Prototype Theory: We classify new objects by comparing to the “best” or “most typical” member (prototype) of a categoryExemplar Theory: We classify new objects by comparing to all stored members of the categorySo which is it?Division of Labor across the Hemispheres● Left-Hemisphere: Prototype representations● Right-Hemisphere: Exemplar representationsDivision of Labor across Cortex● Prefrontal Cortex:

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UConn PSYC 1100 - Language

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