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Summary - Class notes - Language (Felix)
1578178800 Lecture 1 - Introduction
What is semanticity?Language has meaning
Specific utterances refer to specific concepts
What is Arbitrariness?Mapping of language to meaning is arbitrary
What is Discreteness?Language is build of small, dinstict, recombinable components
What is Generativity?- Elements of language form a limited set (Phonemes, words)
- Larger number of high-level utterances can be formed
Phonemes --> Word
Words --> Message
What is Displacement?Language can communicate about things & events that are not here and now
Do meerkats have semanticity?Yes, different sound for different predator --> Different behavior
What componentsof language can we find in
chest-nutcrowned babblers?- Discreteness: Flight & Nestlecall build by same components
- Semanticity: Different behavior for different calls
What component of language do bees show?Displacement --> Talking about things not here & now
Generativity --> Can form alot of different messages
Don't show arbitrariness --> Dance is refering to the real world
What is continuity when talking about language in animals & humans?Human language is quantitatively different.
But qualitatively the same.
What is discontinuity when talking about language in animals & humans?Human language has specific features.
These are not present in any form of animal cognition
What did Chimsky show (Nim)?Some communication of sign language
What is the difference between Nim & Kanzi how they learned 'language'?Nim: Operant conditioning
Kanzi: Immersion learning
What are some doubts we can raise about animal sign language learning?Clever Hans effects.
What is definitely a difference between
animal& human language (in research):Grammar:
- Animals some
copyingof grammar, but no strict incorporation
Social Aspects of language:- Animals no turn-taking
- Signing when observer unable to seen them
- But: Natural communication --> Some turn-taking
What is Modularity when talking about language in animals & humans?Language consists of independent modules that are either present or absent in different species.
- Some animals only have 1 or 2 modules
- We have them all
What trait are necessary to learn language? (Comparing humans & animals)- Vocal mimicry: Ability to imitate sounds
Why can vocal mimicry be a byproduct of dancing (or vice versa?)Recognition & aniticipation of rhythm crucial for vocal mimicry
Are people, who are bad at language, bad at rhythm? So it this relevant for language development?Yes, Bad language --> tapping accuracy much worse. (Coriveau & Goswami)
Rhythmic ability is related to grammar abilities in normal developing children (Gordon et al)
Is our ability to dance a byproduct of vocal mimicry?Only vocal mimics can dance ?
1578265200 Lecture 2: Language & Cognition
Is language cognition according to behaviorism?Yes, only.
Behavior is the only cognition -->
Thinking is sub-vocal physical speech
(Extreme version of language = cognition hypothesis)
What is the 'less extreme version' of the hypothesis that language = cognition?Language: Your inner monologue
- Dependent on having a working language system
What is the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis?Specifics of language change the content of thought.
What is linguistic determinism?Language determines how we think.
- People who speak another language see the world differently.
(Depending on concepts & structures present in their language)
What is linguistic relativism?Language can influence how we think
What are the strong & weak version of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis?Strong version: Linguistic Determinism
Weak version: Linguistic Relativism
How can you test the strong version of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis?- Some languages have no words for some concepts
- Can they still process these concepts?
Absolute difference: (Linguistic determinism)- Language determines thought
- So, if something is not present in language, it's not present in thought
What is the difference in testing the strong and the weak version of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis? (Expectations)Strong version --> Determinism --> Absolute differences
Weak version --> Relativism --> Relative changes
What word-types do we mostly use for language testing cultures?Numbers & Colors
A language has 2 terms for colors, what colors?Black & White (Dark & Light)
A language has 3 tearms for colors, what colors?Black, white & red
A language has >3 terms for colors, what colors?- Standard: Black, White, Red
- First: Yellow, green blue (ezel: zon, gras, water)
- Then Brown (kak)
- Then purple, orange & gray (mix & onnatuurlijk)
What does the order in which color-terms are 'added' to a language suggest?- Color terms vary --> variation is not random.
Suggests: Universal psychophysical basis for color terms.
--> Perception shapes language, not the other way around
Dani people have how many color terms?2
What are the findings on color research comparing the Dani people & western subjects?- Dani subjects: No problem to distinguish colors they cannot name.
- Better at focal colors, than non-focal colors (just like western subjects)
1. Dani subjects can perceive & remember colors, which they cant name. 2. Language for color terms has a constant
underlying hierarchy. Does this support the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis.No. No linguistic determinism, nor relativism
The Berinmo have how many color terms?5
What are the findings in language research of the Berinmo people? (color). What hypothesis does this support?- Study: Match chip test board (40) to target chip (1)
Results: - Able to perceive colors for which they have no word
- Worse performance than english subjects. (Decline depending on language)
Relative difference --> Suppors weak version of Sapir-Wharf Hypothesis
What is the difference between Russian in English in color terms?Russian has 2 blue color terms (light & dark blue)
What were the findings of the language experiment involving english & russian subjects? (color)- English did the task faster
- Russian subjects: faster performance when choosing stimuli from different blue categories (compared to within the same blue)
Conclusion: Benefit of color categories more pronounced when 2 stimuli are very similar.
- Language influences perception & action
What were the conclusions when
comparinggreeks speaking & english subjects? (color). What hypothesisdoes this support?Green deviantsshow same Mismatchnegativity for greek & english subjects.
deviantsshow a much larger mismatch negativity for greek speakers, compared to english subjects.
(Because greek speakers have 2 words for blue)
Evidence for weak version of
Sapir-Whorfhypothesis (Relative Changes)
What words do the piraha people of the amazon have for numbers?One, Two, Many , Much
What were the findings for the Piraha people when talking about language & numbers?Decreased performance on math & counting tasks when numbers get larger.
(One, two, many, much)
What were the findings of comparing the warlpiri, Anindilyakwa & english speakers? (Numbers)Children who grow up with fewer numerals are just as good at manipulating numbers as english australian children.
There has been research on numbers & language (Comparing 3 tribes with english speakers). What are the conclusions when taking all this research into account?Culture might play a bigger role than language.
Piraha people can't cope with larger numbers (Gordon), but australian children who grow up with few numerals are just as good at manipulating as english australian children (Butterworth)
(Contradicting evidence for language --> Different cause? --> Culture?)
How do english speakers talk about time?Use front/back methaphors.
Organizing events in time as if they are in a horizontal spatial relationship.
- Good times are ahead
- Hardship is behind us
- Move meeting forward
- Push deadline back
How do mandarin speakers talk about time?- Front/back metaphors (same as english)
- BUT: also above/below methaphors
- Organizing events in time s if they are in a vertical spatial relationship
- Weeks/months in the past: sha'ng (up)
-Weeks/months in future: xia' (down)
How can you research in what way 'time' is organized in language? What were the results?Method:
-Horizontal & vertical primes (ball above, worm in front)
- Time related questions (March earlier than april?)
- Measure RT
- English speaker: Time is triggered by horizontal (faster RT)
- Mandarin speaker: time triggered by vertical (faster RT)
- Biling (english learned later): Stronger vertical than horizontal priming (still show 'mandarin' RT)
What is unique about
Signlanguage? What hypothesis came out of this? It'svisuo-spatial.
It uses a combination of hands & face.
Uses face --> Does speaking sign language change face perception or spatial cognition?
What did Bettger et al. Show when researching sign language & face perception?Researched 3 groups:
- Deaf participant, deaf parents
- Deaf participants, hearing parents
- Hearing participants, hearing parents
Deaf-Deaf much better at face recognition (no different in Deaf-hearing & hearing-hearing)
What are the findings of spatial cognition in sign language 'speakers'?Emory et al: Mental rotation task: response board rotated in same orientation as stimulus sequence (hearing vs ASL speakers)
Results: More accurate location & orientation in mental rotation
Nicaraguan Sign Language (NSL; Pyers et al): Simple NSL & complex NSL.
Complex NSL 'speakers' better performance on spatial orientation than simple NSL
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