Limber last exam; due May 03 by email  and printed copy in placet be named.

Essays—1-2 pages typed double space.

Much the same format as  exam 1.  Do two of the essays.   I pick one of four..  Everyone does essay one—language function  in young children.


Use  your own word combinations!

Do not excessively quote Pinker; if you do feel it is important to use someone else’s words, give the page & chapter reference—or any other sources you quote. 

If you discuss answers with your colleagues, again be sure to rephrase your own answers.  I will notice and divide the grade accordingly.

 I can tell -- so take the time to create your own answers.  When appropriate, reference the source of your ideas in APA-lke format with complete references.  For example, in essay 1, I would expect citation of three references at least.


You can use lists, graphics, and sketches but they must be embedded in an essay discussion. They would not count against your 1-2 page limits.  You can also refer to other answers you wrote to avoid repeating the same information.


1. language function in young children 12-60 months—everyone does this.


 There is a lot of language development in the first few years. Generally language skills mature quickly but functional use of L structures, e.g. vocab, conversational skill, questions, statements, simple and complex sentences, often follows the appearance of those features.


Describe three aspects of children’s language that follows this pattern, resulting in some time soon thereafter a measurable improvement in some cognitive abilities.


2. adding a brand name to the lexicon (MD)

Your friend calls you in a panic.  She has lucked out getting a job with ABC Marketing and has been given her first assignment about which she is clueless.

She is to develop a short 1-2 page research proposal to select a brand name for a new consumer product—a health drink similar to Gatorade and vitamin waters.  Knowing you have studied Psychology of Language, she asks for your advice.  And you agree to write a draft that covers the basic points of the project-finding the brand name and evaluating it on relevant criteria.

.  You ask a few questions and find out the following,

1. the product will be sold internationally, primarily in the English speaking world..

2. It is hoped that both the ad and drink will have a mass audience.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

3. Much of the expected audience may be bilingual.

origin and development of languages

Discuss the evolution and development of human language. Lay out a time frame for this event, marking it with known biological milestones and functional conjectures about necessary events for which we have little concrete information. Include in your essay some reference to the following topics and concepts.

A-the time frame in evolutionary perspective starting with bipedalism up through neanderthals, and early humans.)

B- brain  and etymology other bio structures evolution in this time frame (e.g. size, lateralization, co-evolution with language, mosaic adjustments, new circuits, vocal tract….)

C- the one-origin theory and subsequent dialects

D- role of children in both evolution and language change

E- implications for mental/cognitive abilities homo Sapiens

4  functions of the larynx

The larynx is an ancient organ, perhaps originally evolved to close off and protect lungs in amphibians. It evolved over millions of years to become a very important element in animal communication and especially spoken human language . 

a- Describe briefly how the modern larynx works.

b- In what two ways is the human  larynx different from  that of our cousins,  the chimps?

c- In what ways (at least 2) does the larynx contribute to the operation of human speech.  Use examples and consider how damage to the larynx might affect these functions.  Think of what linguistic information it conveys.

d- And finally, what are some of the non-linguistic functions of the larynx.  Think of what  non-linguistic information it conveys.


Short answers (do 4, I pick number 3 on cases, average ½ page each or less.  Use examples.)

1. Parsing

What is “parsing?”  Explain its role in sentence comprehension.

2. listener’s “vast database” of knowledge applied  to comparative/relative adjective “small”

Suppose you hear the following:  “The gift was too small for the little one year old girl.”  Make a guess as to the nature of the gift and a guess about any problem and solution.

3. Grammatical cases and English

The Indo-European language family generally employs a set of cases.  English, in its brief history has pretty much lost these cases.  Briefly explain the role of grammatical cases and indicate where some relics of the case system might exist in modern English.

4.Verb “despots”

Pinker characterizes verbs as “despots” that demand certain structures in their sentences.  Give an example of what he means by this.

5. semantic differential

What is it? Give example and a possible use.

6. cognates

What is a cognate in the history of language?  Give examples from  some Indo-European languages.

7. complement clause sentences

What is a complement clause in a complex sentence?

Explain, with an example; be sure to state the function of the clause.

8. What is “theory of mind” (ToM) all about?  How might it be assessed?  How is language related to ToM as far as we know today?

9 blink

What part of the basic speech apparatus controls airflow in and out of the nasal passage?