word-08-5

word-08-5 - In a Word Conce pts The Mental Lexicon Weall...

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In a Word Concepts
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The Mental Lexicon We all have a mental lexicon which includes the words in our language. That is where we go to retrieve the meaning of sounds which we think might be words in our native language. The 6 million dollar question is, of course, how is that mental lexicon organized in the brain.
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What are words? On the most rudimentary level, words are pairings of sound and meaning. The sound comes from the phonology of the language and is a label for the meaning The meaning component is a concept of some sort that the label evokes
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SO: Concepts provide the meaning part for (non-function) words. Names/sounds provide the label part . Studying the organization of the conceptual mental lexicon requires that we understand what concepts are, and how they are stored in the mind.
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What are concepts?
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Two Separate Questions: What are concepts ? What is the relationship between words and concepts ?
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Do concepts underlie all words we have in the language? Jabberwocky
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Do the words in Jabberwocky all correspond to concepts ? Some of them are possible, but non- occurring words in English ( brillig, slithy, toves ) Others are words (or morphemes) in English, but do they correspond to concepts? ( t’was…and the … (N) s, did, in )
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Some words correspond to concepts (LOVE, TABLE, ANACRHONISM) Other words/morphemes do grammatical work ( plural, conjunction, past, articles ). Grammatical work is not meaningless ( the cat is different than a cat ), but the words, or word parts, that do it do not correspond to concepts in the same sense. We call these words/morphemes function words (or function morphemes) So, there is a functional lexicon and a conceptual lexicon . The functional lexicon consists of words which have grammatical meaning, but are not concepts. The conceptual lexicon consists of concepts and the sounds, or names, that mark them. when we use UPPER CASE we refer to the CONCEPT component of the word
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This note was uploaded on 09/10/2009 for the course LING 110Lg taught by Professor Borer during the Fall '07 term at USC.

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word-08-5 - In a Word Conce pts The Mental Lexicon Weall...

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