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Language and General Intelligence

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Steve Serafen

on 3 November 2015

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Transcript of Language and General Intelligence

Language and General Intelligence
Transformational Grammar
A description of the rules we use to create and understand sentences.
Deep Structure and Surface Structure
Deep Structure: Underlying logic, or meaning of a sentence.

Surface Structure: How the sentence is actually written.
Learning a Language
Susan Carey, a professor at Harvard, found that children, around the ages of 1 1/2 - 6 are capable of learning up to nine new words per day.
Trying to figure out why children learned so quickly compared to older people, Chomsky suggested that children are born with a language acquisition device.
Language in Relation to Intelligence
In general, people who are multilingual are deemed as highly intelligent. Or at least above average. But like in Williams syndrome, that's not the case. In fact, just the opposite. People that have Williams syndrome are highly attuned to music, language, and art. Many of them have potential to know how to speak many languages, or play a variety of instruments.

Stages of language Development
3 Months:
Random Vocalization, Noises.

6 Months:
Babbling, more disctinct.

1 Year:
Babbling using sounds from the language(s) most commonly spoken around them. Language comprehension is much better than Production.

1 1/2 years:
Can say about 50 different words. Mostly nouns, using few, or no phrases.

2 Years:
Child speaks in two word phrases (mostly paired with pointing/gesturing)
2 1/2 Years: Longer phrases, paired with unusual phrasing. Much better comprehension.

3 Years:
Has aquired around a 1,000 word vocabulary, fewer error and longer sentences.

4 Years:
Close to adult speech competance.

Broca's Aphasia: Speaks Slowly, and inarticulately. Especially impared at learning prepositions, conjunctions and word endings.

Wernicke's Aphasia: Difficulty with nouns and impared comprehension. People with this affliction omit all nouns most of the time, so their speech is difficult to understand.
Steve Serafen
Created by Noam Chomsky, and decribed as:
A system for converting a deep structure into a surface structure.

Limits to Our Understanding of a Language
As grammar gets more complex, it gets harder and harder to understand certain aspects of what people are trying to convey through speech. If your mind is taken over by something that requires a lot of focus from the day, normal,
single embedded
sentences may be difficult to understand. But there is another sentence structure called "
double embedded
." These are sentences, within sentences, within sentences. An example is a compound of "The dog the cat saw chased a squirrel" and "The squirrel the dog chased climbed a tree." Together, they form "The squirrel the dog the cat saw chased climbed a tree." Even someone with a clear mind would have to look at it a couple times to understand what it meant.
Double negatives
pose the same problem of overloading memory while trying to decipher the sentence. Because it requires your brain to hold too many things in its short term memory, you must think about it more than any normal conversation would make you think.
Language: A set of spoken, written, or signed words and the way we combine them to communicate meaning.


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