CHDV 131 – Language Development

Applied Research
Studying language development to test different approaches and practices that pertain to real-world settings, or to address specific problems in society and to inform practices relevant to language development.
Articulation
The manipulation of a breath of air by the oral articulators – including tongue, teeth and jaw- so that it comes out as a series of speech sounds that are combined into words, phrases, and sentences.
Auditory Perception
How the brain processes any type of auditory information (e.g., a clap of the hands), not just speech.
Basic Research
Also called theoretical research. Studying the language development primarily to generate and refine the existing knowledge base.
Bilingualism
A process by which people acquire two or more first languages. The two (or more) languages can be learned simultaneously or sequentially
Contextualized Language
Language used beginning in infancy that is grounded in the immediate context, or the here and the now. (pg.222)
Conventionality
A principle stating that for children to communicate successfully, the must adopt the terms people in their language community understand.
Critical Period
The window of opportunity during which children develop language most rapidly and with the most ease. also called sensitive period.
Decontextualized Language
Language that relies heavily on itself in the construction of meaning. Not the here or now.
Dialects
Regional or social variations of a language that differ from one another in terms of their pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar. *not the same as accent*
Domain General
The processes in language are the same as used in other situations like problem solving as well as perceiving objects and events in an environment.
Domain Specific
Dedicated solely to a specific task such as comprehending and producing language.
Extralinguistic Feedback
(Under nonlinguistic feedback) Use of body and expression to convey language i.e. facial expressions, posture and proximity. May help linguistic feedback or stand alone.
Iconic Communication
Communication that is more precise in intent than symbolic communication, however, the relationship between the behavior and its referent is specific. Ex: A chimpanzee pointing to a banana. NOTE: Also called intentional communication.
Intentional Communication
Communication that is more precise in intent than symbolic communication, however, the relationship between the behavior and its referent is specific. Ex: A chimpanzee pointing to a banana. NOTE: Also called iconic communication.
Language Acquisition Device
Professor of linguistics Noam Chomsky’s innate, species-specific module dedicated to language and not other forms of learning.
Language Comprehension
The ability to understand language. Contrast language production.
Language Content
Refers to the meaning of language-the words used and the meaning behind them.
Language Form
Words, sentences, and sounds are organized and arranged to convey content.
Language Production
The ability to use language expressively. It encompasses the stages between having a concept, and translating that concept into linguistic form (written or spoken). The contrast is language comprehension
Language Production
The ability to use language expressively. It encompasses the stages between having a concept, and translating that concept into linguistic form (written or spoken). The contrast is language comprehension.
Language Use
Content, form, and use compose the three-domain system used to represent and organize the major dimensions of language. Use pertains to how people draw on language functionally to meet personal and social needs. This domain examines the intentions of the utterances.
Lexicon
A vocabulary system or ‘mental dictionary’ used to convey content. For each word a child learns, he or she creates an entry in the lexicon. The entry contains a series of symbols that compose the word, and its part of speech.
Linguistic Feedback
The use of speech or vocalizations (e.g. “mm-hmm’) to relay information to the sender about his or her message.
Modularity
A cognitive science theory about how the human mind is organized within the brain structures. It contends that the human brain contains a set of highly specific modules- or regions developed to process specific types of information.
Monolinguism
Acquisition of only one language.
Morphemes
The smallest units of language that carry meaning. They are combined to create words.
Morphology
The rules of language governing the internal organization of words. One of the components of the language domain of FORM.
Nonlinguistic Feedback
The use of eye contact, facial expression, posture, and proximity to relay information to the sender about his or her message. It may supplement linguistic feedback or stand alone.
Paralinguistic Feedback
The use of pitch, loudness, and pauses, all of which are super imposed over linguistic feedback, to relay information to a sender about his or her message.
Phoneme
The smallest unit of sound that can signal a difference in meaning. In the production of syllables and words, a series of phonemes are strung together.
Phonology
The rules of language governing the sounds used to make syllables and words. One of the components of the language domain of form.
Pragmatics
Synonymous with use. The rules of language governing how language is used for social purposes.
Preintentional Communication
Communication in which other people assume the relationship between a communicative behavior and its referent. Example: When an infant cries, the communicative partner must infer the referent or goal of the communication.
Productivity
The principle of combination whereby small numbers of discrete units are combined into seemingly infinite novel creations. This principle applies to human activites other than language such as mathematics and music.
Referential Communication
Occurs when an individual communicates about a specific entity (an object or event) and the relationship between the entity and its referent (e.g. a word) is arbitrary. Ex: Boy asks for a bottle because he wants something to drink so he’s communicating symbolically between “bottle” and its referent is arbitrary. Also “knows no limitations of space or time.”
Resonation
The phase of speech that occurs after a breath of air has been respirated and phonated, when the air travels into and vibrates within the oral and nasal cavities. One of four systems involved in speech.
Respiration
The act of inspiring a breath of air into the lungs, expiring it from the lungs, and allowing it to travel up to the trachea, or wind pipe, before it is phonated. (This is one of four systems involving speech.)
Semantic Bootstrapping
The process by which children deduce grammatical structures by using word meanings they acquire by observing events around them.
Semanticity
The species-specific aspect of language that allows people to represent the world. In particular, it allows people to represent decontextualized events.
Semantics
The rules of language governing the meaning of individual words and word combinations.
Species Specificity
When something pertains to only one species. Language is strictly a human capacity and thus species specific.
Specific Language Impairment
Depressed language abilities with no apparent cognitive impairment. Most common disorder.
Speech
The neuromuscular process by which humans turn language into a sound signal that is transmitted through the air (or another medium, such as a telephone line) to a receiver.
Speech Perception
How the brain processes speech and language. The ability to understand the sound and words of a native language. The language abilities infants have and how children use speech perception to learn language.
Symbolic Communication
Also called referential communication. Occurs when an individual communicates about a specific entity (an object or event) and the relationship between the entity and its referent (e.g. a word) is arbitrary. Ex: Boy asks for a bottle because he wants something to drink so he’s communicating symbolically between “bottle” and its referent is arbitrary. Also “knows no limitations of space or time.”
Syntactic Bootstrapping
The process by which children use the syntactic frames surrounding unknown verbs to successfully constrain the possible interpretations of the verbs.
Syntax
The rules of language governing the internal organization of sentences. One component of the language domain FORM.
Traumatic Brain Injury
TBI. Damage or insult to a person’s brain tissue sometimes after birth. Ranges from mild (concussion), to severe (coma). Can include infection, disease, and physical trauma.
Universal Grammar
UG. The system of grammatical rules and constraints that are consistent among all world languages. Proposed by Noam Chomsky and is a nature inspired theory of second language acquisition.
Universality
The idea that all persons around the world have a cognitive infrastructure that they apply to the task of learning language.
Zone Of Proximal Development
ZPD. A concept in Vygotskian theory that describes the difference between a child’s actual development level (determined through independent problem solving) and his or her potential developmental level (determined through problem solving in collaboration with a more competent adult or peer.
What are the 3 major domains of language?
Content, form, use.
What are the 5 components of language?
Semantics (content)
Syntax (form)
Morphology (form)
Phonology (form)
Pragmatics (use)
What are some factors that may cause individual language differences and disorders?
– Gender (girls tend to develop slightly faster).
– Which language you learn
– Environment.
What are some important characteristics (features) of language?
Acquisition
Universality
Socially shared
Language as a code system
Convetional
Representational
Species specific
Semanticity
What is the books definition of language?
A socially shared code that uses a conventional system of arbitrary symbols to represent ideas about the world that are meaningingful to others who know the same code.
How does language relate to speech, hearing, and communication?
– Speech – turns the language into a sound signal (expression)
– Hearing – allow us to recieve the sound signal provided by speech and helps comprehension (includes auditory and speech perception)
– Communication – specifically involves at least one sender and one reciever.
What are the 4 basic processes of communication?
Formulation
Transmission
Reception
Comprehension
What are the basic purposes of communication?
Request things
Learn things
Express feelings
Ask for information
Comment on situations
What are 3 essential components of communication?
Sender – formulate and transmit message
Reciever – recieve and comprehend message
A shared symbolic system
What are the 3 stages of speech production?
Stage 1: Perceptual event (mental depictions)
Stage 2: Motor schema (organizes)
Stage 3: Speech output
What fields study language development?
Developmental psychology, linguistics, philosophy, sociology, education, speech-language pathology and more.
What are the 3 major areas in the study of language development?
Speech perception
Language production
Language comprehension
Content
Meaning of language including words. – knowing what the words are and what they mean (knowing that DOG means a dog, and not just any animal with 4 legs.
Form
How words, sentences, and sounds are organized.
Sentence, clauses, parts of speech, verbs, nouns, prefixes, suffixes.
Use
Use language functionally for meeting personal and social needs (using manners rather than demanding what you want.
Intention behind the utterance and how well it is achieved.
Understanding of the context in which language is occurring.
Nurture-inspired theories
– Empiricist/experimential theories. – Humans gain knowledge through experience. – Children not born with innate abilities. – B.F. Skinner (operant conditioning) – Vygotsky (Social interactionaism) – Piaget (Cognitive theory) – Bloom (Intentionality model) – MacWhinney (Competition model) – Tomasello (Usage-based theory)
Nature-inspired theories
– Nativist theories
– Knowledge is innate and genetically transmitted.
– Underlying language system is in place at birth.
– Fodor (Modularity theory)
– Chomsky (Univeral grammar/Language acquistion device)
B.F. Skinner
– Behavorist Theory (Nurture)
– Language does not reflect any special innate endowment.
– Operant conditioning
– Complex behavior learn in a chain-each step stimulates next step.
– Reinforcement.
Vygotsky
– Social-interactionist Theory (Nurture)
– Language emerges through social interaction
– Language skills move from a social plane to a psychological plane.
– Language and cognition become seperated capabilities by 2 years.
– Zone of proximal development.
Piaget
Cognitive Theory (Nurture)
– Cognitive development precedes language development.
– Speech begins as egocentric since we only view from own perspective.
Bloom
– Intentionality Model (Nurture)
– Driven to learn language out of a need/desire to express oneself.
– Child is responsible for driving language learning forward.
– If the children don’t want to learn it, they won’t.
MacWhinney
– Competition Model (Nurture)
– Language development draws heavily on the input a child hears.
– Frequently heard forms acquired earlier.
– Repeated exposure strengthens the use of correct forms.
– Most important part is what the child is hearing (input).
Tomasello
– Usage-Based Theory (Nurture)
– Social interaction provides a strong impetus for learning language.
– Knowledge of language form and meaning emerges through child’s use.
Fodor
– Modularity Theory (Nature)
– The brain’s cognitive structure is composed of highly-specified modules, including modules for language.
– Areas of the brain and neural pathways that help us learn language – which helps account for how children can learn language so fast.
– Language is an innate capacity that is localized to domain-specific processors that use a dedicated neural system.
Chomsky
– Universal Grammar (Nature) – Universal grammar: system of grammatical rules consistent across all the world;s languages. – Children born with innate basic set of linguistic rules. – Language Acquisition Device ; part of brain that allows children to acquire language skills. – Children cannot learn language through just experience because it is too complex.