Issues, Methods, prenatal development and infancy (continued)
Language development beings with crying, cooing and babbling but these are not considered true language since they do not use symbols with specific meanings. These sounds, though, are the beginnings of verbalization. Here is the sequence of language development:
- Cooing (vowel-like sounds oooh’s and ahh’s during the 2nd month)
- Babbling (sounds of speech da, ba, ca etc which do not hold any meaning, begins in 4th month)
- One Word Stage (1 year..usually nouns….doggie, mama etc)
- Two word Telegraphic speech ( 2 years …”want milk, me go” is an example)
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Cooing and babbling are universal and it is not until the one and two word stages that unique vocal patterns and accents emerge. Language contains three basic elements: phonemes which are the sounds, morphemes which are the basic units of meaning and syntax which is the grammar of language.
A psychologist named Noam Chomsky put together the language acquisition theory. This theory states that we are born with the ability to speak. Our brains are hardwired for speech and we need to observe and imitate speech to acquire it correctly. Here again we see the nature/nurture idea. We are born with the ability to speak (nature) but we need the environment to teach us the way to speak (nurture).
Assignment 4-1: There has been a lot of research and an equally large amount of money spent on teaching animals (especially apes) language. Research some of the work done trying to teach animals language and write a 150-200 word essay to summarize the research. What gains and losses have occurred and have we taught animals to communicate and to what extent? Please write this essay in word document and upload it to assignment 4.1 drop box.
Rubric for Assignment 4-1
Summary of research 5 points Gains and loses 5 points Do animals communicate? Explanation 5 points Overall quality of essay 5 points
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