Language acquisition 1

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what are the skills involved in learning a language?

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1

what are the skills involved in learning a language?

  • association

  • generalisation/extension

  • recognition

  • retrieval

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2

in what ways is language acquisition learning patterns?

  • look for which sounds fit together to make a word

  • look for which word-types fit together in which order

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3

what are the key milestones for language acquisition?

  • recognising own language (birth)

  • understands highly used words (4-8 months)

  • first word (10-14 months)

  • first sentence (18-30 months)

<ul><li><p>recognising own language (birth)</p></li><li><p>understands highly used words (4-8 months) </p></li><li><p>first word (10-14 months)</p></li><li><p>first sentence (18-30 months)</p></li></ul>
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4

what is comprehension?

  • understanding what others say (or sign or write)

  • precedes production

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5

what is production?

speaking (or signing or writing) to others

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6

how does socio-economic status affect early vocabulary growth?

  • at 18 months, children from low SES backgrounds produce fewer words (word gap)

  • children from low SES backgrounds produce less complex sentences

  • by 24 months there is a 6 month language gap between SES groups

<ul><li><p>at 18 months, children from low SES backgrounds produce fewer words (word gap)</p></li><li><p>children from low SES backgrounds produce less complex sentences</p></li><li><p>by 24 months there is a 6 month language gap between SES groups</p></li></ul>
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7

what is the Matthew effect?

  • “the rich have become richer, and the poor have become poorer”

  • term was popularised by Stanovich

  • gaps between groups will widen over time

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8

key aspects of prenatal language recognition

  • foetuses can hear from 15-18 weeks

  • sounds are muffled in the womb → later, infants prefer muffled sounds

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9

which voices and languages to infants prefer?

  • prefer their mother’s voice

  • parents over strangers

  • own language(s) over another

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10

describe the results of study by DeCasper & Spence (1987)

foetus and infants can learn and recall cadence (and learn contingencies)

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11

how do infants know where the breaks are between words?

  • pitch

  • pauses

  • adults talk slower to infants

  • sounds that occur together often are more likely to be from the same word (transitional probability - patterns)

  • statistics??

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12

describe the results of Saffran, Aslin, and Newport (1996)

  • infants can segment speech

  • infants preferred the part-words

  • they could distinguish between words and part-words

  • they can use statistical regularities/patterns to learn language

<ul><li><p>infants can segment speech</p></li><li><p>infants preferred the part-words</p></li><li><p>they could distinguish between words and part-words</p></li><li><p>they can use statistical regularities/patterns to learn language</p></li></ul>
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13

what is infant directed speech (IDS)?

speech that has characteristics that help children isolate words

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14

what are the characteristics of infant directed speech?

  • higher pitch (observed across languages)

  • wider range of pitch

  • exaggerated intonation

  • simple structure

  • highly grammatical

  • slower speed

  • lots of repetition

  • exaggerates differences between vowels (this is observed across languages)

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15

what is the effect of infant directed speech on segmentation?

  • aids segmentation

  • when presented with identical speech streams, 7 month old infants learned words significantly better if IDS was used (Thiessen, Hill & Saffran, 2005)

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16

effects of child directed speech

  • Children who hear more CDS have larger
    vocabularies (Schwab & Lew-Williams, 2016)

  • Parents adjust their speech based on words they
    think their children do not know (Leung, Tunkel & Yurovsky, 2021)

  • 5yrs understand sentences better in CDS (Foursha-
    Stevenson et al., 2017)

  • CDS even helps adults learn words in a new
    language (Ma et al., 2020)

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17

key milestones in infant word recognition

  • 4.5 months - recognise their own names

  • 6 months - understand the words ‘mummy’ and ‘daddy’

  • 6-9 months - show understanding of some words for familiar objects

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18

describe the results of the study by Miller et al. (2017)

  • orient name task - children with more repeated failures were diagnosed with ASD earlier than other children with ASD

<ul><li><p>orient name task - children with more repeated failures were diagnosed with ASD earlier than other children with ASD</p></li></ul>
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19

differences in monolingual and bilingual children in language acquisition

  • develop similarly

  • macrostructure shows flexibility and robustness of language acquisition

  • microstructure may give insights into how children learn language?

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20

how does categorisation influence language?

  • most of the input children hear is for categories (nouns)

  • most early vocabularies are words for solid, shape-based categories with count noun syntax

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21

describe the results of the study by Samuelson (2002)

  • children trained on shape categories developed a precocious shape bias

  • children trained on shape categories even over-generalised the shape bias to non-solid substances

  • children trained on material categories did not develop any bias

  • shape-bias is a product of word learning

<ul><li><p>children trained on shape categories developed a precocious shape bias</p></li><li><p>children trained on shape categories even over-generalised the shape bias to non-solid substances</p></li><li><p>children trained on material categories did not develop any bias</p></li><li><p>shape-bias is a product of word learning</p></li></ul>
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