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An Introduction to Linguistic Theory and Language Acquisition (Blackwell Textbooks in Linguistics)
Handbook of Child Psychology, Vol. 1: Theoretical Models of Human Development, 6th Edition (Volume 1)
I-Language: An Introduction to Linguistics as Cognitive Science (Core Linguistics)
The Algebraic Mind: Integrating Connectionism and Cognitive Science (Learning, Development, and Conceptual Change)
The Assessment of Bilingual Aphasia
The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language (P.S.)
The MIT Encyclopedia of the Cognitive Sciences (MITECS) (Bradford Books)
Innateness As Instinct
knowledge in the absence of a stimulus
absence of input
Poverty of the Stimulus
information in the environment isn't rich enough to allow a human learner to attain adult competence
language acquisition has an innate compenent
Primary Linguistic Data
input that the child is given
POS- rare constructions (find)
Categorical Perceptions in Neonates
infants perceive continuum in categories
can sometimes hear the difference in different categories of language that is not their own language that they are learning
Learning in the Womb
1980s- discovered that some learning takes place in the womb
categorical perception is not learned in the womb
ex- French babies get fussy when their foreign language speaking mothers switch to french
babies can tell difference
evidence that an utterance in ungrammatical
when a parent corrects a child that what his/her saying is wrong
Language as Instinct
grammar is abstract and complex
yet kids acquire language RAPIDLY, and with basically NO INSTRUCTION
PLD--> UG--> Final State Grammar
Yes/No Rule of POS
move auxiliary verb to the front
Mike is drunk
IS Mike drunk?
syllable-timed: each syllable takes about the same time
Italian, French, Spanish
stressed-timed: less regular, unstressed vowels shorter (or absent
English, German, Dutch, Russian
Correction For Content (Negative Feedback)
when parents correct their children it is usually for truth not grammar
Noisy Feedback (Negative Feedback)
all kids of responses are used with both grammatical and ungrammatical utterance s(the kid doesn't know whether or not they were corrected or content for grammaticability
kids don't talk until about 5
when they talk, its age appropriate
kids w/ it cannot talk until its repaired
once they can, they quickly reach age- mates
special "speech register" used by some adults when they talk to children
few grammatical errors
Cultural Variation in Adult-Child Interaction
western middle class CDS is not universal
in some cultures, adults do not talk directly to their children
in others, they do not simplify speech to children
American Middle Class CDS
infants treated as social beings, communication power
adults accomodates to child by "simplifying
adult brings up child's apparent competence by rich interpretation
Western Samoa CDS
infants are not treated as conversational participants
adults don't simplify speech to infants
adults don't try to guess what a child's utterance means
dont simplify speech, but provide extensive modeling
don't guess at children's attempts or expand utterances
not universal, not needed for successful acquisition
mother's talk to their child
Acquisition Succeeds WITHOUT...
explicit instruction on grammar
simplified speech to children
language examples in particular order
evidence for all the rules
correction of grammatical errors
POVERTY OF THE STIMULUS
Babbling (2 months)
uttering linguistic sounds without meaning
early- cooing (most vowel sounds)
Babbling (6 months)
with consonants (ba ba)
Babbling (10 months)
restricted phonetic inventory
only sounds of the native language
most of child's first words are nouns
children are prepared to learn nouns before verbs
nouns are used in the acquisition of verbs
Whole Object Bias
children interpret a label as applying to a whole object rather than action, attributes, or parts of object
a new label should refer to an object without an existing label
if the object has a label, the new label may refer to a part of an object
no function words
rapid vocabulary growth
child can acquire up to 12 words a day
words can be acquired on the basis of a single exposure (fast mapping)
Mean Length of Utterances (MLU)
average number of words per utterance
"Stages, not Ages"
beginning around 18-24 months, children's rate of development starts to vary more
age is no longer a good predictor of child's abilities
begins around 2.5 years (MLU= 2.25)
function words and ending appear
around 2.5- 3 years
kids overregularize irregular forms
awareness of language as an object
defining words, correcting their own errors
A string of words may be ambiguous if it can be represented by 2 or more distinct phrase structures
understanding the ambiguity requires a mental representation of these structures
demonstrations of words which have multiple meetings based on content
division of sentence into phrases, phrases into further phrases etc
Compound Rule (find)
embedding phrases within a phrase
any string that can be replaced by a pronoun is an NP
Principle of UG
S- NP & VP
VP- V & NP
points of variation among languages
Headness Parameter (Syntax)
head proceedes/follows argument
English- head preceeds argument (V NP)
Japanese- head follows argument (NP V)
Heads in Morphology
english- head follows modifiers
dog house- is a type of house
vietnamese- head precede modifiers
place wounded- is a type of place
How is VSO Order (Irish) Derived? (find)
V --> NP --> NP
verb comes first
move the question word (constituent) to the front of the sentence
relates a statement to a question
John will read THE ARTICLE in the garden
WHAT will John read in the garden?
Movement: Arguments for UG
principles: universal limits on movement
parameters: wh-movement (yes/no questions)
Is there Head-Movement in English?
Yes/No Movement in English
mary IS sleeping
IS mary sleeping?
move aux verb to the front of the subject
V Movement in English
Mary IS drunk---> IS Mary drunk?
Jodi DIDN'T show up ---> DIDN'T Jodi show up?
That AIN'T right----> AIN'T that right?
Mary IS eating bananas
S--> NP (Mary) VP1
VP1---> Vaux (is) VP2
VP2---> V (eating) NP ( bananas)
English Parameters and Rules
Head Parameter: head precedes argument
Head Movement: yes (only in questions, only auxiliaries)
Which Auxiliary Moves?
Sarah COULD have been sleeping?---> COULD Sarah have been sleeping?
move the first aux verb (linear)
You WILL pay when you are finished----? WILL you way when you are finished?
move the highest aux verb (struct. dependent)
Should You Move The First Aux Verb or The Highest?
Structure Dependence Experiment
children's knowledge of co-reference
children respect restraint on structure
they don't make errors
How Do Kids Know Head Movement is Struct-Dependent? (find)
experimenter provides a context but not a model
"Ask Jabba if..."
Jabba considers a picture and answers a question
Hypothesis of Structure-Dependence
children never violate the principle of structure-dependence in their formation of yes/no questions
Anaphora Rule/Principle A
the rules that teach you the relationship between the reflexive
the rule that tells where to put it is also structure dependent
a pronoun must not c-command a name (NP) with which it is co-referential
A c-commands B if B is contained in the sister of A
Backwards Anaphora (find)
how fast you read a name after you've heard a pronoun that c-commands a pronoun
"because last semester she was taking classes full time while Katherine was working 2 jobs to pay the bills, Erica felt guilty"
Truth-Value Judgment Task
subjects are asked to judge whether or not a sentence is true/false
shows what interpretations are possible
show children's preferences
not whether backwards anaphora is possible
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