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FSU DEP 3103 - Study Guide Language Development

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Study Guide Language Development1. List and explain the 5 functions of language.1) Communicate2) Influence others3) Make decisions4) Control our emotions & behavior5) Escape from reality though fantasy2. For each of the 4 components of language (also called 4 faces), be able to: a. Name and define each one. b. Give examples of each one. 1) Phonologya. Rules for which sounds, sound combinations, & intonations are legitimate; the system of sounds that language usesb. Legitimate sounds (bik, kib) vs. non (bnmik)2) Semanticsa. Meaning of words & word combinations; as in phrases, clauses, & sentencesb. A 1st year psych student must learn a whole new vocabulary3. Grammara. Structure of language in two parts: morphology (b. rules for making plurals, changing tense, turning noun to action word, negation) and syntax (b. where to put negation, ordering of subject and object)4. Pragmaticsa. Rules for changing language as a function of contextb. Talk differently when party versus in class, speak to adult versus baby, speak versus write paper, text message versus letter 3. Define and give example of a. Phoneme- Legitimate sounds, a sound that we can make; the basic unit of a language’s phonetic system; the smallest sound units that affect meaningb. Morpheme- A language’s smallest unit of meaning such as a prefix, suffix, or root word4. What is the difference between syntax and morphology? What do they have in common?Syntax is the part of grammar that prescribes how words may combine into phrases, clauses, and sentences. Morphology is the study of morphemes. Both are rules of sentence structure/speech. Better explains under grammar5. We discussed 3 different theories of language development: 1) Traditional Learning Theory, 2) Nativist Theory, and 3) Social Interactionist Theory (also called Social Discourse Theory). For each of these 3 theories:a. Explain the theory in detail. How is it similar to and different from the other 2 theories?b. Explain whether it views children as “active” or “passive” learners of language.c. What does it view as the role of biology in contributing to language development?d. What does it view as the role of environment in contributing to language development? Traditional Learning Theorya. Learning a language is the same as learning behavior; traditional/old, mostly refuted now; explanations use the principle of reinforcement to account for language development- by giving their greatest approval to the infant’s closest approximations to adult speech sounds, parents shape their child’s verbal behavior into what increasingly resembles adult speech; propose that child learns primarily through imitation or observational learning, then through reinforcement and generalization, applying what she has learned to new situations, the child learns when it is appropriate to use particular words and phrases; mostly environmental POVb. Passivec. We come predisposed to respond to operant conditioning (ex. Reinforcement) & to imitate(Note: that is the biological part of it but not really much a biological theory---environmental)d. Environment is needed to help the child learn because they are passively taking in their experiences around themNativist Theorya. We’re biologically programmed (=LAD) to learn language, any language, regardless of a baby’s genes; all human languages display universal features, children acquire language quickly & learn it well, so child must be biologically prepared to acquire language; critical periods apply (until puberty for language development)b. Active c. Born w/ LAD (language acquisition device)- proposed mental structure in human nervous system that guides their acquisition of language/grammar, programmed to pick up phonemes, words, & grammar that you’re exposed to.d. Need exposure for child to pick up language, Do NOT need to reinforce correct lang. or providecorrectionsSocial Interactionist Theorya. Language is learned in the context of spoken language but assuming as well that humans are in some way biologically prepared for learning to speak; the child’s own active role in language development complements the role played by socializing agents; language acquisition is not separate from other aspects of development- language development occurs in a rich behavioral and developmental context in which children try to accomplish meaningful goals and engage in relationships with othersb. Activec. Born with LADd. Social discourse (conversation between parent & child to promote language learning) provides a LASS (language acquisition support system)- a collection of strategies & tactics that environmental influences, mostly parents, provide the language-learning child; normal languagedevelops as a result of a delicate balance between parent & child understanding- when parents speak to children in a way that recognizes how much the children already know & understand, they increase their child’s chance of comprehending a novel message6. Scientific Evidence Related to Theories of Language Development: a. Know and be able to explain each of the research findings presented in class. (Most are also in text.) b. For each finding, be able to explain how it supports and/or refutes a particular theory or theories.• Parents don’t hold off reinforcement until kids use good pronunciation or grammar– Refutes:nativist• Language-impaired kids benefit from modeling of correct sounds, words, & grammar & holding off reinforcement until child does it correctly- Supports:traditional learning partially• Kids learn language w/ little instruction & some learn language w/out reinforcement or social discourse- Supports: nativist, refutes traditional & interactionist• Many similarities across different languages Suggests biological programming- Supports:nativist & interactionist• If not exposed to consistent grammar rules (e.g. parents speak Pidgin), kids develop own grammar—“Creole.” Creole rules similar around world- Supports: nativist & interactionist• Social Discourse behaviors facilitate language development- Supports:interactionist• After 1 year, babies lose ability to discriminate sounds not in their own language they become “specialist”—suggests critical period for language development- Support:nativist & interactionist• Quality & quantity of language in home related to how fast child learns language- Could support:interactionist & nativist & traditional7. Which is the most widely accepted


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