Language - AP Psychology Community

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Language
A means of communication.
Language can be…..
All languages contain….
Phonemes
• The smallest units of
sound in a language.
• English has about 44
phonemes.
How many
phonemes
does platypus
have?
Morphemes
• The smallest unit of
meaningful sound.
• Can be words like a or
but.
• Can also be parts of
words like prefixes or
suffixes…”ed” at the
end of a word means
past tense.
Grammar
• The rules of a
language.
• Syntax: the order
of words in a
language.
Is this the White
House or the House
White?
Language Acquisition
Stages that we learn
language…
1. Babbling Stage
2. Holophrastic Stage
(one word stage)
3. Telegraphic Speech
Stage
• After the telegraphic
stage we get
overgeneralization.
How do we learn language?
Social Learning Theory
• B.F. Skinner from the
Behaviorist School
• Baby may imitate a
parent.
• If they are reinforced
they keep saying the
word.
• If they are punished,
they stop saying the
word.
Chomsky’s Theory
(nativist theory)
• We learn language
too quickly for it to
be through
reinforcement and
punishment.
• Inborn universal
language acquisition
device
Whorf’s Linguistic Relativity
• The idea that
language determines
the way we think.
• The Hopi tribe has
no past tense in
their language, so
Whorf says they
rarely think of the
past.
Do animals use language?
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