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What Is Language?. Muscle movements. Sound production Phones Phonemes Morphemes Words: learned one at a time Sentences: not learned one at a time. Basic requisite of a grammar: H ow to explain the ability to create an infinite number of sentences from a finite number of words?.

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what is language
What Is Language?
  • Muscle movements
  • Sound production
  • Phones
  • Phonemes
  • Morphemes
  • Words:
    • learned one at a time
  • Sentences:
    • not learned one at a time
slide2
Basic requisite of a grammar:How to explain the ability to create an infinite number of sentences from a finite number of words?
objections to chaining theory
Objections To Chaining Theory
  • Finite-state grammar
  • Transitional probabilities say nothing about meaning
  • Embedding
  • Ambiguous sentences
possible sequences that can be generated from words a b c
Possible sequences that can be generated from “words”, A, B & C:

Without replacement:

A B C

A C B

B A C

B C A

C A B

C B A

slide8
With replacement:

A A A B A A C A A

A A B B A B C B B

A A C B A C C A C

A B A B B A C B A

A B B B B B C B B

A B C B B C C B C

A C A B C A C C A

A C B B B B C C B

A C C B C C C C C

slide9
Number of 3-word sentences = 33 = 27

Suppose we considered 10 word sentences.

3 x 3 x 3 x 3 x 3 x 3 x 3 x 3 x 3 x 3 = 310 =

59, 049 different sentences.

suppose we arbitrarily restrict language to sentences of 10 words
Suppose we arbitrarily restrict language to sentences of 10 words…
  • There are 450,000 English words
  • Number of 2-word sentences: (450,000)2 = 202,000,000,000 = 211
  • Number of 3-word sentences: (450,000)3 = 91,125,000,000,000,000 = 9115.
  • Consider only grammatical sentences.
  • Assume only one in a million was grammatical. i.e., 106.
  • There would then be only 91,125, 000, 000 = 919 grammatical sentences.
  • Suppose we read one word/sec., reading at a rate of 24 hrs/day, 365 days/year, it would take 2,887 years to read all possible three-word sentences. Four-word sentences: 1,299,150,000 years.
objections to chaining theory11
Objections To Chaining Theory
  • Finite-state grammar
  • Transitional probabilities say nothing about meaning
slide12
Meaningless Sequences Of Words:

“Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.”

“Goes down here is not large feet are the happy days.”

objections to chaining theory13
Objections To Chaining Theory
  • Finite-state grammar
  • Transitional probabilities say nothing about meaning
  • Embedding
embedded sentences
Embedded Sentences
  • The girl sat down.
  • The girl who wore a hat sat down.
  • The girl who wore a hat who smiled sat down.
  • The girl who wore a hat who smiled who had a cold sat down.
  • The girl who wore a hat who smiled who had a cold who missed the train sat down.
  • The girl who wore a hat who smiled who had a cold who missed the train who got a new job sat down.
slide15
The girl who wore a hat who smiled who had a cold who missed the train who got a new job who loves jazz sat down.

Embedded Sentences

  • The girl who wore a hat who smiled who had a cold who missed the train who got a new job who loves jazz who makes the best apple pie sat down.
  • The girl who wore a hat who smiled who had a cold who missed the train who got a new job who loves jazz who makes the best apple pie whose cousin went to Japan sat down.
objections to chaining theory16
Objections To Chaining Theory
  • Finite-state grammar
  • Transitional probabilities say nothing about meaning
  • Embedding
  • Ambiguous sentences
ambiguous sentence
Ambiguous Sentence

Meaning 1 Meaning 2 The hunters shot Someone shot something. the hunters.

FormThe shooting of

the hunters

Paraphrase

Meaning 1 The detective saw the accident

Form 1 Form 2

The detective saw the accident.

The accident was seen by the detective

phrase structure grammar
Phrase-structure Grammar

How is a sentence like,

“The boy hit the ball.”

generated?

constituents of the boy hit the ball
Constituents of "The Boy Hit The Ball."

"the" = article = T

"boy" = noun = N

"hit" = verb = V

"the boy" = noun phrase = NP

"hit the ball" = verb phrase = VP

"the ball" = noun phrase = NP

sentence they are shooting hunters
Sentence: They Are Shooting Hunters

Noun Verb Noun

Phrase Phrase Phrase

Noun Verb Adj Noun

They are shooting hunters

slide22

Noun Verb Noun

Phrase Phrase Phrase

Noun Verb Auxiliary Noun

They are shooting hunters

equivalent sentences
Equivalent Sentences
  • Did the boy read the book?
  • Which book did the boy read?
  • The boy hadn't read the book.
  • Hadn't the boy read the book?
  • Will the boy read the book?, etc.
slide25

active  passive  interrogativeThe boy hit the ball What did the boy hit?The boy hit the ball  The boy hit what? What did the boy hit?

Example Of A Transformation

transformational grammar
Transformational Grammar

Example 1:

  • The Boy Hit The Ball.
  • What Did The Boy Hit?

(1) The boy hit the ball.

(2) The boy hit what?

(3) What did the boy hit?

  • Where did "did" come from? "What the boy hit" needs dummy auxiliary
slide27

Transformational Grammar

Example 2:

  • THE BOY HAD HIT THE BALL.
  • WHAT HAD THE BOY HIT?

(1) The boy had hit what?

(2) What the boy had hit?

(3) What had the boy hit?

"the boy had" "had the boy" (transposition)

kernel sentences
Kernel Sentences

1.The old woman was warned by Joe. __The small boy wasn’t warned by John.

2.The small boy wasn’t liked by Joe. __The old woman wasn’t warned by Jane.

3.The young man was liked by John. __The young man was warned by Jane.

4.The old woman wasn’t liked by Joe. __The old woman wasn’t warned by Joe

5.The young man wasn’t warned by Jane. __The old woman was liked by John.

6.The small boy was liked by Jane. __The small boy wasn’t liked by John.

7.The young man wasn’t liked by Jane. __The young man wasn’t warned by John.

8.The old woman was warned by Jane. __The old woman was warned by Joe.

kernel sentences con t
Kernel Sentences (con’t.)

9.The small boy wasn’t warned by Joe. __ The young man wasn’t warned by Joe.

10.The small boy was warned by John. __ The small boy was warned by Joe.

11.The young man was warned by John. __ The small boy was warned by Joe.

12.The small boy wasn’t warned by Jane. __ The small boy wasn’t like by Jane.

13.The small boy was liked by John. __ The young man wasn’t liked by John.

14.The young man wasn’t liked by Joe. __ The young man was liked by Jane.

15.The young man was warned by Joe. __ The old woman was liked by Joe.

16.The old woman was liked by Jane. __ The old woman wasn’t liked by Jane.

17.The old woman wasn’t liked by John. __ The small boy was liked by Joe.

18.The old woman wasn’t warned by John. __ The young man was liked by Joe.

slide30

1. The old woman was warned by Joe. 10 The small boy wasn’t warned by John.

2. The small boy wasn’t liked by Joe. 8 The old woman wasn’t warned by Jane.

3. The young man was liked by John. 5 The young man was warned by Jane.

4. The old woman wasn’t liked by Joe. 1 The old woman wasn’t warned by Joe

5. The young man wasn’t warned by Jane. 17 The old woman was liked by John.

6. The small boy was liked by Jane. 13 The small boy wasn’t liked by John.

7. The young man wasn’t liked by Jane. 11 The young man wasn’t warned by John.

8. The old woman was warned by Jane. 18 The old woman was warned by Joe.

9. The small boy wasn’t warned by Joe. 19 The small boy was warned by Joe.

11. The young man was warned by John. 12 The small boy was warned by Joe.

12. The small boy wasn’t warned by Jane. 6 The small boy wasn’t like by Jane.

13. The small boy was liked by John. 3 The young man wasn’t liked by John.

14. The young man wasn’t liked by Joe. 7 The young man was liked by Jane.

15. The young man was warned by Joe. 4 The old woman was liked by Joe.

16. The old woman was liked by Jane. 16 The old woman wasn’t liked by Jane.

17. The old woman wasn’t liked by John. ]2 The small boy was liked by Joe.

18. The old woman wasn’t warned by John. 14 The young man was liked by Joe.

slide31

Is Transformational Grammar Psychologically Real?

Sentence types that can be formed with kernel sentences (K), negatives (N), passives (P), and passive-negatives (PN).

acquisition order
Acquisition Order

The order in which children acquire some English inflectional suffixes and function words

Item Example

Present progressive: ing He is sitting down.

Preposition: in The mouse is in the box.

Preposition: on The book is on the table.

Plural: -s The dogs ran away.

Past irregular: e.g., went The boys went home.

Possessive: -’s The girl’s dog is big.

Uncontractible copula be: Are they boys or girls?e.g., are, was Was that a dog?

acquisition order cont d
Acquisition Order, cont’d

Articles: the, a, an He has a book.

Past regular: -ed He jumped the stream.

Third person regular: -s She runs fast.

Third person irregular: Does the dog bark?

e.g., has, does

Uncontractible copula be: Is he running?

e.g., is, were Were they at home?

Contractible copula be: That’s a spaniel.

e.g., ‘s, -’re They’re pretty.

Contractible auxiliary be: He’s doing it.

e.g., -’s, -’re They’re running slowly.

how does a child learn language
How Does A Child Learn Language?

CHOMSKY:

- LANGUAGE ACQUISITION DEVICE (LAD)

BRUNER:

- LANGUAGE ACQUISITION SUPPORT SYSTEM (LASS)

acquisition of language grammar syntax meaning semantics function pragmatics
Acquisition of Language *Grammar (Syntax) *Meaning (Semantics) *Function (Pragmatics)
slide38

Antecedents Of Language

  • Cognitive:
      • Cognitive maps
  • Serial Expertise
  • Tool use
  • Social:
      • Learning through imitation
  • Social knowledge
  • Joint attention
  • Deception
slide43

DESCRIPTION OF TEST PICTURE: In this picture, a man has just run out of his house to remonstrate with a girl passerby, thinking that she must be responsible for his broken window. We also see a boy in baseball garb hiding behind a fence and can reasonably assume that he, not the girl, is the culprit.

broca s patient
Broca’s patient:

- Like the door...crash...like, pants...shirt...shoes...the boy...the dress...I dunno.

wernicke s patient
Wernicke’s patient:
  • This guy did something, right here...He ran...and she’s there like she didn’t even know. (Tester: “Who broke it?”) She would never do it-she looks like a really nice kid. He’s really getting mad (pointing to the man)...He did it (pointing to the boy); he broke it. (Tester: “How?”) I can’t tell you but I know what it is....
behavioral and cognitive psychology
Behavioral And Cognitive Psychology
  • Behavioral unit of analysis:
    • SD: RSR
  • Problems with behaviorist approach:
    • Performance underestimates knowledge
    • Children do not have to be taught to refer.
  • Problems with cognitive approach:
    • How is knowledge measured?
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