Methods of Child Language Study. C. Ray Graham. Ancient Roots. Research Question : What is the oldest race of human beings? Researcher : Psammetichus, King of Egypt Underlying Theory : Strong form of the innatist hypothesis Design : Longitudinal Case Study
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C. Ray Graham
Research Question: What is the oldest race of human beings?
Researcher: Psammetichus, King of Egypt
Underlying Theory: Strong form of the innatist hypothesis
Design: Longitudinal Case Study
Method: Shepherd ordered to raise two children, caring for their needs but not speaking to them.
Hypothesis: The first words to be spoken would indicate that Egyptian was the oldest culture on earth.
Results: After two years the shepherd went to their quarters one day and the children came running with outstretched arms and said, “Becos,” which was not a word in Egyptian. Upon enquiry it was determined that becos meant “bread” in the Phrygian language.
Conclusions: Egyptian was the second oldest race of humans after the Phrygians.
Source: Book 2 of History by Herodotus abt 440 BC
Infant placed in a reclining seat and given a binky with a hole in it to suck on
The binky has a pressure transducer in it which measures sucking rate and allows infant to control rate of sound input
Baseline sucking rate is established with a speech syllable
Infant is presented with new syllable
Increase in rate is interpreted as detection of new sound
Works best with 1-4-month-oldsHigh Amplitude Sucking Paradigm
/a/ vs /i/
/a/ vs /u/
/ba/ vs /da/
/ba/ vs /wa/
/ra/ vs /la/
/wa/ vs /ja/
rising vs falling pitch
There is an order to the minimal pairs contrasts with which children can play the game: