Language: Structure and Development

Topics: Linguistics, Learning, Sign language Pages: 3 (417 words) Published: August 23, 2013

Language -- how we combine spoken, written words as we think and communicate


a. Phonemes – smallest distinctive sound unit
b. Morphemes – smallest unit that carries meaning
c. Grammar – a system of rules that allows us to understand one another i. Semantics – the study of meaning in language ii. Syntax – a set of rules for combining words in a sentence


d. Babbling stage
i. Begins around 4 months – make random noises of all ii. Around 10 months – babbles restricted to noise of home language e. One-word stage
i. Around 12 months
ii. word learning begin to explode around 18 months f. Two-word stage (telegraphic speech)
i. Around 24 months
ii. Follows rules of syntax
g. After age 2, children make rather large leaps when developing longer phrases and learning basic rules of grammar h. All children go through the same four language states because of innate language factors which are genetically programmed physiological and neurological features that facilitate our making speech sounds and acquiring language skills i. The critical language period is the time from infancy to adolescence when language is easiest to learn.

Explaining Language Development

j. Skinner – language is learned like everything else with the principles of association, imitation, and reinforcement. k. Chomsky – although the specific language is learned, children are pre-wired with a capability to learn language. Brain is like a language-acquisition device. l. Statistical learning – infant brain has innate capacity to statistically analyze language; this ability seems to be present only in the first few years of life

Language Influences Thinking

m. Linguistic relativity –...
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