definition of language
systematic and conventional use of sounds (or signs or written symbols) for the purpose of communication or self-expression
sounds and sound system of a language
words and associated knowledge
system for combining units of meaning (words and parts of words)
system for combining words into sentences
knowledge that underlies the use of language to serve communicative functions
the study of how language use varies as a function of sociological variables such as status, culture, and gender
knowledge of reading and writing
study of meaning
on average, when do children begin to produce speech?
about 1 year
what is the most obvious development during a child's second year?
what is the most obvious development during a child's third year?
increasing mastery of the grammar of their language
what is the most obvious development during a child's third and fourth years?
grammar where children start to produce complex, multiclause sentences
holds that change in behavior occurs in response to the consequences of prior behavior
asserts that we cannot understand behavior without understanding what is going on inside the mind of the organism producing the behavior
when did the cognitive revolution begin?
seven approaches to the study of language development
language socialization, biological, generative linguistic, social, domain-general cognitive, developmental systems, dynamical systems theory
the process by which children learn the socially appropriate use of language in their communities and the process by which language socializes children to adopt the attitudes and behavior of their communities
language socialization
a term coined by Noam Chomsky to refer to the mental faculty that underlies the human ability to acquire language
Language Acquisition Device (LAD)
the set of principles and parameters that describes the structure of all languages of the world; hypothesized by some to be part of the child's innate knowledge
Universal Grammar (UG)
the approach to the study of development based on the premise that development is the result of interactions between genes and the environment and their mutual influences as they unfold over time
developmental systems approach
a description of the self-organizing processes that give rise to developmental changes and moment-to-moment variability in children's language performance
dynamical systems theory
focuses on explaining the course of language development
developmental approach
focuses on explaining the fact that language is acquired
learnability approach
a description of children's language use in social contexts and an account of the social processes by which children come to use language in the manner of their culture
language socialization
a description of the genetic bases of the human language capacity and its disorders; a description of the structures and processes in the brain that serve language development
a description of children's innate linguistic knowledge and how it interacts with experience to produce knowledge of a particular language
generative linguistic
a description of social-cognitive abilities and social communicative experiences relevant to language development
a description of the domain-generated learning capacities that serve language development and of the sources of information in input that those learning procedures use
domain-general cognitive
three salient "facts" all nativists believe to be true about language development
1. children acquire language rapidly
2. children acquire language effortlessly
3. children acquire language without direct instruction
nature v. nurture
two contrasting views of the determinants of development.
a view of development that asserts that the mind at birth is a blank slate and all knowledge and reason come from experience
the view that knowledge is innate, as opposed to being learned from experience
views that emphasize the role of the child's experience in communicative interaction and give innate knowledge a lesser role than nativist theories in accounting for the child's acquisition of language
interactionist view
the speech children hear
language input
a view of development that holds that a crucial aspect of language-learning experience is social interaction with another person
social interactionism
a view of development that holds that language (or any form of knowledge) is constructed by the child using inborn mental equipment that operates over information provided by the environment
the view that new knowledge can arise from the interaction of biologically based learning processes and input from the environment
a theoretical perspective that holds that thinking consists of activating connections in a network of interconnected nodes and of activation spreading in this network along paths determined by the strengths of the connection among those nodes
the cognitive theory that holds that the ability to develop language is a self-contained module in the mind, separate fro other aspects of mental functioning
modularity thesis
the view that the structure of language is arbitrary and cannot be explained in terms of the meanings language conveys or the communicative functions language serves
the theory that the structure of language has a basis in the communicative functions language serves
an interdisciplinary field including psychology, linguistics, philosophy, computer science, and neuroscience devoted to understanding how the mind works
cognitive science
5 major theories of language development
generativist, social interactionist, usage-based, connectionist, behaviorist
t/f current researchers assume that once you have study one child acquire language you've seen them all
false; this is no longer assumed
what is the most prominent constructivist approach?
usage-based theory
theory whose basic tenets includes universal grammar, which contains the universal properties of language, is innate. Language experience triggers innate knowledge and sets language-specific parameters. The language-learning mechanism is specific to language.
theory whose basic tenets includes the idea that language is a social phenomenon. children acquire language because they want to communicate with others. communicative interaction with others, not just language input, is crucial. children's social-cognitive abilities serve the language acquisition process
social interactionist
theory whose basic tenets includes that language is a set of formulas for constructing utterances that operate over categories ranging in their level of abstraction. knowledge of these formulas and the necessary linguistic abstractions emerge from the child's pattern learning abilities in conjunction with their social cognitive understandings of speakers' intended meanings.
theory whose basic tenets includes that language is a system of patterns among smaller elements of sound or meaning. repeated experience hearing examples of patterns results in children mentally representing an abstraction from those patterns, which is the basis of children's language knowledge. this pattern-learning procedure is used in other domains of learning as well.
theory whose basic tenets includes that language is built up via positive reinforcement of successive approximations to correct productions. this theory is primarily of historical interest.
t/f a speech sample should only be representative of a child's language in one setting
false; the speech sample should be representative of everything the child says
the consensus is that a speech sample should have a minimum of ________ utternaces
a very long speech sample that is collected frequently
"dense" sampling
t/f children's language development is related to the number of conversational turns they experience - not just the amount of talk that is addressed to them
a method of testing hypotheses about how a process, such as language acquisition, works by implementing a model of that process in a computer program and asking whether the computer can mimic the process that is being modeled
computational modeling
two ways to asses child language and compare it to other children
1. collect a speech sample and code it
2. employ a standardized instrument