Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


31st Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2005

Event Details

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Symposium #465
Int'l Symposium - Interdisciplinary Approach to Linguistic Topics: How Can Linguists and Behavior Analysts Reciprocate for Improvement of Linguistic Research?
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
12:00 PM–1:20 PM
Stevens 3 (Lower Level)
Area: VRB; Domain: Theory
Chair: Yukiko Washio (University of Nevada, Reno)
Discussant: C. Richard Spates (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Linguistic research has developed examining the system in language, influence of prior language histories in performance, language development, and development of instructional technology, utilizing various terminology and theories. The approach in linguistic studies is mostly descriptive and focus on categorization of various aspects in language. On the other hand, psycholinguistic studies (i.e., second language education in pragmatic contexts) have facilitated functional and contextualistic perspectives on behavior of language use and environmental factors. This symposium consists of researchers from both fields as presenters and will seek possible functional and contextualistic contribution to linguistic research based on the presenters’ behavior analytic and psycholinguistic research.
Analog Demonstration of “Confusion” in Second Language Acquisition
YUKIKO WASHIO (University of Nevada, Reno), Ramona Houmanfar (University of Nevada, Reno), Scott A. Herbst (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Transfer of training from an instructional environment to a natural environment may bring about ineffective language performance by bilingual individuals. In that regard, this study was designed to demonstrate the effect of such transition on individuals’ language performance. Accordingly, a series of Japanese and English words were used as sample and comparison stimuli in the matching-to-sample procedure. Differential conditioning was implemented under two types of contextual stimuli. After three sets of equivalence classes were established with the contextual stimuli, the last phase followed, in which the physical configuration of contextual stimuli were changed to more subtle appearances and the number of variations in the contextual stimuli increased. Measures of percent correct and response latency were used to demonstrate some aspects of “confusion” in an analog preparation. Results showed that percent correct reposing decreased in the last phase (with subtle contextual stimuli) for 11 out of 14 participants. These findings indicate that the change in environmental stimuli could be a significant participatory factor in training of second language.
Linguistic Perspectives on Behavior-Analytic Approaches to Language
ROBERT DLOUHY (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: The challenges of using a Behavior-Analytic approach to account for phenomena linguists see in language are discussed. One important challenge is to account for how users of a language organize their behaviors into what appear to be hierarchically organized structures. In basic terms, this would be an explanation of how complex symbols are formed through combinations of smaller symbols. A related challenge is to account for what Hockett called duality of patterning, the mapping of non-symbolic phonological units into symbolic morphological units, and the mapping of these morphological units into syntactic patterns which are also symbolic. In other words, how is it that speakers of a language normally use a restricted set of sound units that are systematically combined to form words, which are systematically combined to form sentences? Furthermore, how is it that normal humans can respond appropriately the such complex stimuli? It will be argued that Relational Frame Theory (RFT) can account for these phenomena, and that, in behavioral terms, language is a subset of verbal behavior having specifically organized operants.
Acquisition Process in Learning Handwriting Chinese Characters to Children with Learning Disorders
MASAKO TSURUMAKI (Fukushima University, Japan)
Abstract: Computer-based spelling program that applied either a constructed-response matching-to-sample (CRMTS) or a delayed word-construction procedure is being used in order to teach spelling to participants with mental retardation (e.g., Dube et al., 1991; Stromer, et al., 1996). I applied arbitrary CRMTS tasks to teach handwriting behavior of Chinese characters to Japanese participants with learning disorders using a computer-based teaching program (Tsurumaki et al., 2003). Participants were required to construct the elements of Chinese characters. Number of elements were changed from two to three based on the study. And the way to dividing is changed either. I'd like to consider about acquisition process through reporting the results of each study.



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