Advertisement

Language

  • David Fontana
Chapter
  • 63 Downloads
Part of the Psychology for Professional Groups book series (PPG)

Abstract

If you were asked to try to imagine a world without language, your first response would probably be that such a world would lack the means of proper communication. Without language, individuals would be unable to communicate anything other than the most rudimentary matters to each other. But if you thought further you would realize that a world without language would also be a world without thought. Or rather a world without complex thought. It is possible to think without language (using images, tactile sensations), but not at the kind of level we take for granted in even the simplest of daily activities. When humans developed language, their evolution took a quantum leap forward, not just in the ability of individuals to share their thinking with others, but in the quality and scope of that thinking.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Barnes, D. (1971) Language in the Secondary Classroom. In D. Barnes, J. Britton and H. Rosen Language, the Learner and the School, revised edn. Harmondsworth: Penguin.Google Scholar
  2. Bates, E., O’Connell, B. and Shore, C. (1987) Language and communication in infancy. In J.D. Osofsky (Ed.) Handbook of Child Development, 2nd edn. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  3. Bernstein, B. (Ed.) (1975) Class, Codes and Control. Vols I-III. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  4. Bower, T.G.R. (1982) Development in Infancy, 2nd edn. San Francisco: W.H. Freeman.Google Scholar
  5. Brown, R. (1973) A First Language: The early stages. London: Allen & Unwin.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chomsky, N. (1980) Rules and Representations. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Drummond, M.J. (1990) The curriculum of early childhood. In N. Entwistle (Ed.) Handbook of Educational Ideas and Practices. London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  8. Hargie, O.D.W. (1978) The importance of teacher questions in the classroom. Educational Research, 20, 2, 99–102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Kuczaj, S.A. (1982) On the nature of syntactic development. In S.A. Kuczaj (Ed.) Language Development, Vol. 1: Syntax and Semantics. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  10. Newport, E.L. (1990) Maturational constraints on language learning. Cognitive Science, 14, 11–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Olson, S.L., Bayles, K. and Bates, J.E. (1988) Mother—child interaction and children’s speech progress: a longitudinal study of the first two years, Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 32, 1–20.Google Scholar
  12. Rogers, D. (1985) Language Development. In A. Branthwaite and D. Rogers Children Growing Up. Milton Keynes: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Slobin, D.I. (1985) Cross-linguistic evidence for the language-making capacity. In D.I. Slobin (Ed.) The Cross-linguistic Study of Language Acquisition: Vol. 2. Theoretical Issues. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  14. Stubbs, M. (1983) Language, Schools and Classrooms. London: Methuen.Google Scholar
  15. Turney, C., Cairns, L.G., Williams, G., Hatton, N. and Owens, L.C. (1974) Sydney Micro Skills: Seriers 1. Sydney: Sydney University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Werker, J.F. and Tees, R.C. (1984) Cross-language speech perception: evidence for perceptual reorganization during the first year of life. Infant Behaviour and Development, 7, 49–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Wight, J. (1979) Dialect and Reading. Appendix to Supplementary Readings for Block 4, PE232. Milton Keynes: Open University Press.Google Scholar

Additional reading

  1. Aitchison, J. (1983) The Articulate Mammal 2nd edn. London: Hutchinson. In spite of the intimidating title, provides a comprehensive account of child language and of the main controversies and issues in the area.Google Scholar
  2. Carroll, D.W. (1985) Psychology of Language. Monterey, CA: Brooks/Cole. A standard text, with good reviews of research.Google Scholar
  3. Francis, H. (1982) Learning to Read: Literate Behaviour and Orthographic Knowledge. London: Allen & Unwin. A comprehensive introduction to literacy skills in children.Google Scholar
  4. Kennedy, A. (1984) The Psychology of Reading. London: Methuen. A thoroughly practical and informative book. Written from no particular theoretical standpoint, it covers all approaches and is good on writing and speaking too.Google Scholar
  5. Osherson, D.N. and Smith, E.E. (1990) An Invitation to Cognitive Science, Vol. I: Language. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. A stimulating recent survey of the field.Google Scholar
  6. Stevenson, RJ. (1993) Language Thought and Representation. New York: Wiley. Links together the development of language and the way in which it influences both thought and the way in which the individual builds internal representations of the world.Google Scholar
  7. Stubbs, M. (1983) Language, Schools and Classrooms 2nd edn. London: Methuen. Excellent short introduction to the relationship between language and educational progress, with a welcome practical orientation.Google Scholar
  8. Stubbs, M. and Hillier, H. (Eds) (1983) Readings on Language, Schools and Classrooms. London: Methuen. Excellent collection of papers covering nearly all areas of interest to the teacher.Google Scholar
  9. Trudgill, P. (1975) Accent, Dialect and the School. London: Edward Arnold. Argues the case for linguistic diversity and emphasizes the extent to which schools cause problems for children by their insensitivity towards this diversity.Google Scholar
  10. De Villiers, J.G. and de Villiers, P.A. (1979) Early Language. London: Fontana/ Open Books. Straightforward and highly readable account of language acquisition. Those who wish to study the subject in more detail might like to go to the fuller account given by the same authors in theirLanguage Acquisition, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press (1978).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Wells, G. (1985) Language Developmmt in the Pre-School years. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. An alternative to de Villiers and de Villiers, and equally good.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© David Fontana 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Fontana
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.University of Wales College of CardiffUK
  2. 2.University of MinhoPortugal

Personalised recommendations