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Class 5 student copy - Language and Thinking: What Humans...

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Language and Thinking: What Humans Do Best
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The Essentials: What Makes Language, Language? Language production Generative Language comprehension
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The Four Aspects of Language
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Aspects of Language: Phonology The structure of sounds that can be used to produce words in a language Phonemes Basic building blocks of speech sounds Humans can produce about 100 Different languages use different phonemes French soft r ’s do not exist in English Japanese has no r ’s at all
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Aspects of Language: Syntax The rules for combining different types of words in sentences
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Aspects of Language: Semantics The meaning of a word or sentence Morphemes Smallest units of meaning in a language E.g. -- Walk; walked; walks; walking E.g. – replay; disagree; enjoyment Propositional representations Mental sentences that represent the unambiguous meaning of assertions
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Aspects of Language: Pragmatics The way that language conveys meaning indirectly, by implying rather than asserting “Is your mommy home?” “Yes” The basis of metaphors and some humor
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Dear Snuffles, Hope you’re okay, the first week back here’s been terrible, I’m really glad it’s the weekend. We’ve got a new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, Professor Umbridge. She’s nearly as nice as your mum. I’m writing because that thing I wrote to you last summer happened again last night when I was doing a detention with Umbridge. We’re all missing our biggest friend, we hope he’ll be back soon.
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Use Knowledge To Understand Ambiguous Utterances Al: Were you responsible for the party? Bill: Yes, I threw the ball.
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Use Knowledge To Understand Ambiguous Utterances Al: Did you help make the touchdown? Bill: Yes, I threw the ball.
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Establishing Common Ground Even When No Word Exists: Tangram Task
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Conversational partners use the least collaborative effort to reach understanding On first try, may take several turns to reach mutual acceptance. Later, they can use fewer turns, with shorter phrases.
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Netspeak ttyl ROTFLOL b/c dk IMHO gtg jk oic brb Writing is becoming more like spoken English
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Grice’s Conversational Maxims (the rules we usually follow) Maxim of Quantity: Be as informative as is required, but not more so. Maxim of Quality:
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This note was uploaded on 07/29/2008 for the course PSY 103 taught by Professor Canli during the Summer '08 term at SUNY Stony Brook.

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Class 5 student copy - Language and Thinking: What Humans...

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