13-Language-6 - Language: Outline I. Introduction II. The...

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1 Language Language: Outline I. Introduction II. The Structure of Language III. Organizing Words into Meaningful Sentences IV. Comprehension V. Neuropsychology of Language VI. Language in Nonhumans Introduction Human language is a flexible, symbol- and rule- based mode of communication that permits conveyance of any kind of information. Popular (Incorrect) Notions of Language: Language change is corruption. Some languages are more advanced. Some pronunciations are better. Language acquisition: children learn by imitation. Introduction: Properties of Human Language Creative --a limitless # thoughts can be expressed in a limitless # of ways. Structured --sounds are combined into words, and words into sentences according to rules (i.e., grammar ). Meaningful --ideas are conveyed by individual words and how they are organized into sentences. Referential --it refers to and describes things and events in the world. Interpersonal/Communicative --has a social function. Introduction: Competence vs. Performance Competence = what one knows --Implicit knowledge -- knowing what’s “right” (Examples: plural, wordness, syntactic competence) --Explicit knowledge -- explain in terms of formal rules (grammer) Performance = what one does; how knowledge is used
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2 WUG WUCK /wugz/ /wuks/ Competence: plural Wordness : which of the following will never become a word in the English Language? blick splunge rlight sbarm wumple turl mancer nserht crelurious inther iwhucr neen shace fring ngout Syntactic Competence Can you pass the salt? + please Please can you pass the salt? Can please you pass the salt? Can you please pass the salt? Can you pass please the salt? Can you pass the please salt? Can you pass the salt please ? Language: Outline I. Introduction--properties of human language II. The Structure of Language A. Phonemes B. Morphemes C. Phrases and Sentences III. Organizing Words into Meaningful Sentences IV. Comprehension V. Neuropsychology of Language VI. Language in Nonhumans The Structure of Language ~5,000 different languages in world today. All have same basic hierarchical structure: sounds (phonemes) => words (morphemes) => phrases => sentences => conversations The Structure of Language--phonemes Phonemes --elementary sounds of speech. --There are vowel (e.g., "e") and consonant (e.g., "t") sounds. --Phonemes are NOT letters (e.g., to, too, two). --Any given language has 15-80 phonemes which can be arranged to produce an enormous # of different possible words. English has ~40; Hawaiian has ~16; Arabic and Hindi have ~60
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3 --Combining phonemes--is rule governed: Some sound combinations are pronounceable but not allowed: E.g. , “tl” at the beginning of a word not allowed in English “tlitos” not OK “glitos and pritos” are OK => e.g., “glitter”, “private” Other languages allow the “tl” combo at beginning of words => “Tlingit”. The Structure of Language--phonemes
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This note was uploaded on 04/27/2008 for the course PSYCH 201 taught by Professor Sereno during the Spring '07 term at University of Oregon.

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13-Language-6 - Language: Outline I. Introduction II. The...

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