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Language Acquisition 2013

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  • 1. Language AcquisitionBy Samira Bakeer1 01/04/2013

2. What is Language? a system of symbols and rules that enable usto communicate a symbolic code used in communication the systematic, meaningful arrangement ofsymbols2 01/04/2013 3. What is Language Acquisition? The process of attaining a specific variant ofhuman language. The process of learning a native or a secondlanguage.3 01/04/2013 4. Language Acquisition By itself, language acquisition refers to firstlanguage acquisition, which studies infantsacquisition of their native language, whereassecond language acquisition deals withacquisition of additional languages in bothchildren and adults.01/04/20134 5. Language AcquisitionFirst languageacqusitionSecond languageacqusition5 01/04/2013 6. First language acquisition Individuals potential for acquiring anylauguage Competence (Chomsky) Irrelevant to cultural diffierences,nor racedifferences A spontaneous process From babyhood6 01/04/2013 7. babyhoodStages of language aqusition Pre-language stages 3 10 months The one-word or holophrastic stage (12 18months) The two-word stage 18 20months Multiple-word stage ( 2 3 months)7 01/04/2013 8. Follow milestonesFollow milestones In spite of differentbackgrounds, differentlocations, and differentupbringings, most childrenfollow the very samemilestones in acquiringlanguage. Is this criterion met?8 01/04/2013 9. Pre-language stages Cooing:3months oldthe first recognizalble soundswith velar consonants such as [k] [g]as well as high vowels such as [i] [u] Babbling:6months oldfricatives,nasals,syllabletype sounds9months oldrecognizable intonation patterns,combination10-11months olduse vocalizations to express emotions and emphasis9 01/04/2013 10. The one-word or holophrastic stage Characterized by speech in which singleterms are uttered for everyday objects Already extending their use Most verbs and nouns,infrequent function words Tend to use informative words10 01/04/2013 11. 01/04/201311First words: one-word stage. Infants as young as 9 months can recogniseindividual words from a string of speech, butthe first word is not produced until between12-18 months. The first word often soundslike babble, although it is consistently used torefer to one thing. This stage is also referred to as holophrasticbecause each word conveys as muchmeaning as an entire phrase. "Milk" can referto the milk, to spilling it, drinking it, etc. 12. MilkI want milk .12 01/04/2013 13. extending their useMamaMama is coming !I saw Mamassocks !13 01/04/2013 14. 01/04/201314Early word use: Under- and over-extension During the early one-word stage the child willboth underextend and overextend the meaningof words. underextension is when the child learns theword birdie in reference to the family budgie, anddoes not use it to refer to other birds. overextension of word meanings, where thechild extends a word like doggie to refer to allfour-legged animals. Overextension is morecommon and appears to be limited to production. 15. The two-word stage Begin Around 18 to 20 months, As childs vocabulary moves beyond 50distinct words Combinations: Mama book.Toy mine.Baby chair.Sock pretty15 01/04/2013 16. Mama book A)possession: This is Mamas book. b)request : Mama gave me the book. (c)statement Mama is reading the book.16 01/04/2013 17. Multiple-word stage Between 2-3 years old Producing a large number of utterances Telegraphic speech: strings of lexicalmorphemes in phrases Develop some sentence-building capacity Can order some forms correctly A number of grammatical inflections begin toappear17 01/04/2013 18. Telegraphic speech Cathy build house. Cat stand up table. Daddy like this book. Chair all broken. I good boy today. What that? What her name? No sit there. Mummy no play. Me put it back. Baby no eat apple18 01/04/2013 19. Preliminaries:Do children learn their L1 only through imitation?Give examples to support your point.19 01/04/2013 20. Childish creativityDespite the obvious impact the environment has on thechoice and general direction of mother-tongue learning,children are prone to come up with all kinds of wordsand expressions which they have never heard in theirenvironment. Daughter: Somebodys at the door. Mother: There is nobody at the door. Daughter: There is yesbody at the door. 21. Theories in L1A1. behaviourist learning theory(popular in the 1950s and 60s)2. the nativist approach3. the cognitive approach4. the functional approach21 01/04/2013 22. 1)Behaviourist Learning Theory (popular inthe 1950s and 60s)1. B.F. Skinner2. Viewpoint: LL is a kind of behaviour similarto other human behaviour. Language is learntin much the same way as anything else is learnt.stimulus organism response input the learner imitatione.g. This is a pencil This is a pencil.22 01/04/2013 23. Is Language Behaviour? B.F. Skinner (1904-1990)claimed that language isjust another form of behaviour.It is a response to stimuli in theenvironment. And it is learned. Childrens creativity withlanguage is a problem forthis theory.23 01/04/2013 24. Four steps for a child to acquire his/her L1imitationreinforcementrepetitionhabituationpositive negative good habit bad habitpositive reinforcement: praise or rewardnegative reinforcement: correctionsgood habit: correct performancebad habit: errors24 01/04/2013 25. Imitation : Children memorize wordsand sentences they hear from alanguage.X Pros Language symbolsare arbitrary andnot logicallyconnected to thethings they represent Children only learnthe language peoplearound them speakCons Children use forms ofwords that adults neversay The mistakes childrenmake are consistentbetween children andbetween languagegroups Children produce wordsand sentences they havenever heard. Children undertandwords and sentencesConsensussaysCons Win !25 01/04/2013 26. Reinforcement: Children learn to speakby being praised or corrected by adults.Pros???????Cons Corrections are rarewhen total numberof speech events isconsidered. Praise is rare whenthe total number ofspeech events isconsidered. Even without ANYpraise or correctionschildren acquirelanguage Praise or correctionsfrequently dontchange childConsensussaysCons Win !X 26 01/04/2013 27. Input/Experience : Children figure outand learn grammatical patterns fromhearing adult language patternsProsChildren makesystematicmistakes ingrammar by overregularizingformsConsThe speed withwhich childrenacquire all of thegrammaticalpatterns of alanguage is sorapid that is isdifficult to see howthey can figureout all grammarfrom experience inA Tie? 27 01/04/2013 28. Over Regularized FormsVerb FormsChildren learn such past tense patterns as e.g. walked,hugged, wanted, then apply the rules to irregular verbse.g.bringed, eated, runnedNounsGiven nonsense nouns like wug children make themplural by adding s and Children regularize plurals ofirregular nouns e.g. womans, mans28 01/04/2013 29. Criticisms of behaviourist learning theory overemphasize the external factors ignore the internal factor, i.e. the role oflearner himself overemphasize the role of imitationrelations with FLT (Audio-lingual Method)pattern drills29 01/04/2013 30. 2) The nativist approach1. viewpoint: Childrens ability to learn alanguage is innate.2. innate hypothesis: 3. Language Acquisition Device (LAD)characteristics of LAD:Universal grammar (UG): Chomskys term forthe abstract principles that comprise a childsinnate knowledge of language and that guide LA30 01/04/2013 31. 01/04/2013Noam Chomskys L-A-DChomskys theory of the LAD(Language Acquisition Device)states that every human is bornwith innate principles of language.Children learn language spontaneouslyand speak creatively.The poverty of the stimulus theorystates that what children hear isincomplete and oftenungrammatical, and cannot accountfor the creativity of theirutterances.31 32. Language UniversalsLanguage Universals What evidence is there for innate knowledge ofcertain basic language features present in all humanlanguages? LINGUISTIC UNIVERSALS > UNIVERSAL GRAMMARLINGUISTIC UNIVERSALS > UNIVERSAL GRAMMAR All languages have: A grammar Basic word order (in terms of SOV, etc.) Nouns and verbs Subjects and objects Consonants and vowels Absolute and implicational tendencies E.g., If a language has VO order, then modifiers tend to follow thehead) 33. Universal GrammarUniversal Grammar Humans then learn to specialize thisuniversal grammar (UG) for the particulars oftheir language. Word order, syntactic rule preferencesWord order, syntactic rule preferences Phonetic and phonological constraintsPhonetic and phonological constraints LexiconLexicon Semantic interpretationsSemantic interpretations Pragmatic ways to conversePragmatic ways to converse 34. Behaviourist learning theory (A) vs. The nativist approach(B) A holds the view that LL is similar to thelearning of other things; B holds the view that LLis different from the learning of other things;Were born with a kind of faculty which isunique to LL. A attaches great importance to the roleof language input; B holds that input is needed,34 01/04/2013 35. Weakness of the nativist approach:hard to find out the nature of LADdifficult to observe LADContributions of the nativist approach:It regards childrens language as areasonable system rather than something fullof errors.35 01/04/2013 36. Team Discussion: nature vs.nurtureMuch debate has taken placeconcerning the importance of nature(what is innate) and nurture(environmental factors) in theacquisition of language.01/04/201336 37. Team Discussion: nature vs.nurture Now consider what you believe the relative importanceof nature and nurture to be in the acquisition oflanguage, given the finding that the human genomecontains only about 26,000 to 30,000 genes, less thanthe number of genes in some plants. nature (innate factors) is more important nurture (environmental and learning factors) is moreimportant other (explain)01