Language Evolution and Cognitive Development Quiz

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3 Questions

Which of the following is NOT a stage in the evolution of language?

Visual protolanguage

At what age do children begin to acquire syntax in their language?

7-8 years

What is the linguistic relativism hypothesis?

Language influences how people perceive and think about the world

Study Notes

Theories and Impacts of Language Evolution and Cognitive Development

  • Language evolution occurred in seven stages, with the first three stages happening in common primate ancestors and the next four stages resulting in modern humans' ability to manifest language.
  • Proponents of gestural protolanguage evolution theories tend to obscure or ignore major differences in neuroanatomy between species.
  • Learning and spreading musical protolanguage at the population level would be quite difficult, and the transition to language would take tens of thousands of years and involve assigning fixed meanings/sounds.
  • Language evolved primarily as a system of representation, with lexical items having individual form-meaning mappings (semantics), and communication being a secondary feature.
  • Children between 1 and 2 years of age build a lexicon that is essentially grammar-free, but children acquire syntax gradually to ~8 years, with comprehension preceding production.
  • The transition from Pidgin to Creole is observable in a single generation, and syntactic processing involves a distributed neural system, suggesting a subtle and pervasive rewiring of the brain.
  • None of the gestural, musical, or lexical protolanguage theories can fully account for the evolution of language.
  • Language acquisition influences the development of other cognitive domains, and bilingualism influences cognitive development from birth.
  • Linguistic relativism proposes that language influences how people perceive and think about the world, with the theory of linguistic relativity suggesting that the diversity of linguistic structures affects perception and thinking.
  • The hypothesis of linguistic relativity is framed more in terms of linguistic determinism, and linguists are critical of it.
  • Examples of linguistic relativity include the use of different color and direction terms in different languages, and the lack of future tense in some languages.
  • The impact of language on reality and perception is a subject of debate among philosophers and linguists, but empirical evidence can help inform the discussion.

Test your knowledge on the fascinating world of language evolution and cognitive development with this quiz! From the seven stages of language evolution to the impact of language on perception and reality, this quiz covers a wide range of topics. Explore theories on gestural protolanguage evolution and linguistic relativity, and discover how language acquisition influences cognitive development. Whether you're a linguistics enthusiast or just curious about the origins of language, this quiz is sure to challenge and educate you.

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