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Summary - Class notes - Language
1578265200 College 1: Intro
What makes a language?
What is the definition of
Semanticity?Language has meaning, specific utterancesrefer to specific concepts.
What is the definition of ArbitrarinessLanguage is subjective: the mapping of language to meaning is arbitrary. (new words are made up everyday).
What is the definition of DiscretenessLanguage is built up of msall, distinct, recombinable components: Phonemes
What is the definition of Generativity?Elements of language (phonemes, words etc) form a limited set. But with this set, a much lager number of high-level utterances can be formed.
What is the definition of Displacement?Language can communicate about things and events that not here and now.
What is the definition of Grammar?A syntax that gives meaning to a sentence.
How did the research on
Meerkatsin the desert suggets that the way they communicatecan be called a language? How could they measurethis?
- Their language has meaning (
Semanticity): Specific utterancesrefer to specific concepts.
- Different tones led to different behavior (leopard alarm --> tree, eagle alarm --> bush etc)
How did the research on Babblers (birds) suggest that the way they communicate can be callad a language? How could they measure this?
- The birds language seems to be built up of small, distinct, recombinable components (Discreteness).
- This caused different behaviors, so different meanings (Semanticity?)?
Do these Babblers (birds) have Generativity in their language?Moet ik nog even opzoeken
Which featurs of Language are presenet in the BEE Dance?
- (Not Semanticity and Discreteness???)
What are the two theories of how human language was created?
- Continuity = Human language is quantitatively different from animal communication, but not qualitatively.
- Discontinuity = Human Language has specific features that are not present in any form of animal cognition.
argumentwhy Chimp Nimwas suggested to understand sign language?He could produce simple sentencesas : 'Me hug cat'.
Give an argument why researchers were against the idea that Chimp Nim did understand sign language?- They believed that the monkey just learned through
operant conditioningbut didntreally 'speak' the sign language. (Not to communicate)
Give an argument why the ape Kanzi was suggested to understand spoken language by the carekeepers?- Kanzi could follow simple spoken commands such as: 'put soap in water'.
Give an argument why researchers were agianst the idea that the ape Kanzi could understand spoken language?
- They believed that the ape just learned though immersion learning
- They also accused the carekeepers of Clever Hans effect & Observer effects.
Do primates have an
abilityto incorporate grammer? Argument for which theory of human language?NO --> Discontinuity?
Are trained primates good at the social aspects of language?
- no turn taking ( better in natural communication)
Signingwhen the observeris unable to seem them
Explain the idea of Modularity of language
Perhaps language consists of independent modules that are either present of absent in different species.
- Some animals have one or more
- humans have them all
What is Steven Pinker know forFundamentally devided the communicating skills of humans and primates.
What is vocal mimicry?The ability to
imitatesounds. Perhaps this is an essential Module to be a succesful communicator?
What is said to be a byproduct of vocal mimicry?
The ability to dance
Schachner et al (2009): only species that have vocal mimicry are able to move rhythmically to music.
People who are bad at language are bad at rhythm? Tru or Fals?Experiment with SLI (specific language impairment) showed that Chilcren with SLI perform worse than controls on tapping on the beat --> Rhytmic ability seems associtated with language skills.
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