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50 Cards in this Set

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How did Descartes view language?
Thought that human language was innate, creative, voluntary, and expressed rational thought;

Cartesian view: language as a vehicle for the expression of interal events
What two assumptions does the chapter make?
1) Language is behavior (verbal behavior)
2) Verbal behavior is determined by the same general variables as other behavior, namely, phylogenetic and ontogenetic causes`
What do many philosophers and some modern linguists believe?
That nonhumans are incapable of human language
What research refutes this belief?
The teaching of ASL to chimpanzees and gorillas
What was one of the first documented efforts to teach a chimpanzee to talk?
Viki; after 6 years of training she could only say 3 or 4 words because she did not have the vocal apparatus
Washoe
Chimp that acquired a 132 word ASL vocabulary
What did Chomsky's structural theory of language suggest?
-humans are born with an innate (cognitive capacity) to acquire language
-children only need brief exposure to the language of others to develop language
-universal grammar has evolved according to natural selection
What evidence is there for a universal grammar?
All languages possess similar grammatical forms

-deep structure
-surface structure
What did Palmer challenge?
Chomsky's contention that a universal grammar has evolved in the human species because CHomsky offered no info about specific structures in the brain or the relationship between them and a language structure
Language Acquisition Device (LAD)
Chomsky claimed each child is "pre-wired" with a LAD;

contains a collection of basic rules of grammar common to all languages;

used to transform deep structures into surface structures
What did Owens say?
That the LAD theory is too simplified and provides an inadequate explanation of language;

reification
What does Chomsky's approach emphasize?
-Syntax (grammar)
-Phonetics (the study of the constituent sounds of words)
-Semantics (the study of word meaning)
Leonard Bloomfield
argued that the facts of language are observable phenomena (behavior) that could be studied without inferring mental factors
What did Bloomfield believe the verbal behavior of people resulted from?
Resulted from interacting with other people
Where is the meaning of any utterance to be found according to Bloomfield?
In the circumstances in which it occurs
What book on language did B.F. Skinner write?
Verbal Behavior
What did Skinner consider language?
An operant behavior;

behavior that is determined by its consequences
Verbal behavior
-reinforced through the mediation of other people who are taught to reinforce such behavior
-acquired and maintained as a result of the effects on the environment (social)
-effects on the environment are indirect
What two functions does a listener perform?
-conditions verbal behavior in new speakers (i.e. children)
-teaches new speakers to become listeners
How does the traditional approach see the meaning of an utterance?
As inside the speaker
Multiple causation
any given verbal response usually has multiple functions simultaneously and is under the proximate control of more than one antecedent stimulus
What is the goal of the scientific analysis of verbal behavior?
To identify the proximate and ultimate variables responsible for verbal behavior
What does the shaping of babbling into functional verbal behavior depend on?
Operant conditioning
Automatic reinforcement
-one of the most powerful, yet subtle, forms of reinforcement
-reinforcement that is a natural result of behavior when it operates upon the behaver's own body or the surrounding world
What does automatic reinforcement not require?
Direct mediation by other people
What is the immediate consequence (reinforcement) of babbling?
The sound that is produced
Hows does automatic reinforcement play into the development of babbling?
Infant constantly hears the sounds of the language community.

Constant correlation of these sounds with other stimulus events establishes sounds as conditioned reinforcers.

Shaping occurs in which the closer the match between what the infant has heard and what the infant produces, the stronger the reinforcing effect
How do accents develop?
Automatic reinforcement
What variables play a critical role in the acquisition and development of vocal speech?
Environmental variables
Structural approach to language analyses
breaks down development of speech into stages;

can be used to check for developmental problems
Single word utterances
occur at about 10 - 13 months of age;

often nouns;

consist of single consonant vowel units (CV) or series of CV units;

usually soft "a" sound of "father"
Holophrases
words that have more complex meanings for the child;

verbal responses evoked by a nonverbal object because of social reinforcement;

e.g. Daddy's "daddy's shoes"
Multiword Combinations
18 - 24 months;

two word combinations that consist of nouns, verbs, and adjectives;

telegraphic speech
Telegraphic speech
like telegraph messages;

these words are all that are necessary for reinforcement in the form of some reaction from the parents
What is verbal behavior first and foremost?
Social behavior;

exists primarily because of its social functions
What two general functions does verbal behavior have?
1) Asking for things
2) Describing the environment for others
Rules
the descriptions of relations among stimuli and responses;

mimic the effects of conditioning, both classical and operant, by producing novel behavior-environment relations
Why are rules physical stimuli to a listener?
Because they involve a speaker's behavior
What are rules analogs to?
Classical and operant conditioning
What are three important features of social/observational learning?
1) Learning occurs in one trial
2) Observer may emit the modeled response long after observing it and in the absence of the model
3) Behavior by the model that leads to positive outcomes is more likely than other behavior to be emitted by the observer (vicarious reinforcement)
What type of history does observational learning involve?
A complex operant history in which a person is initially reinforced for imitating a model's actions
What type of generalized behavior develops in most people as operant behavior?
Generalized imitation: the imitation of behaviors that the person has never been reinforced for before
What does observational learning provide for?
A rapid means of behavior change
What do rules substitute for?
Conditioning histories
What are rules?
Verbal statements that alter the behavioral function of other stimuli;

not all are effective
Self-generated rules
rules formulated by the individual whose behavior they are to control;

e.g. Xanadu getting food from vending machine
Rule-governed behavior
occurs when an individual's behavior is affected by verbal instructions describing environmental relations that person has not directly contacted;

e.g. motorcyclist who listens to friend
What are two reasons that rule-governed behavior is of crucial important to humans?
1) provides for rapi behavior change
2) enables us to behave effectively without requiring direct exposure to environmental events that might prove harmful or ineffectual
Are rule-governed and contingency-governed behaviors identical?
not necessarily
What types of behavior are producing and being affected by rules?
Verbal and operant