PSYC 213 - Chapter 10

PSYC 213 - Chapter 10 - CHAPTER 10: LANGUAGE What is...

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CHAPTER 10: LANGUAGE What is language Language – system of communication using sounds or symbols that enables us to express our feelings, thoughts, ideas, and experiences. o Animal communication lacks properties that make human language unique Creativity of human language o Language provides a way of arranging a sequence of signals – sounds, written words, physical signals – that provide a wide variety of ways to transmit from person to person. o Structure is hierarchical and governed by rules Hierarchical because components can be combined to form larger units Rules because components must be arranged in certain ways. Universality of Language o Deaf kids invent their own sign language before learning sign language o Everyone with normal capacities develops language and follows rules o Universal across cultures, no culture without language New Guinea when first discovered after having been isolated for eons, had developed over 750 different languages, many of them quite different. o Language development is similar across cultures – babble at 7 months, multi-words at 2. o Languages are unique but the same – different words but serve same functions Language in cognitive psych o Skinner proposed language learned through reinforcement in his book Verbal Behaviour. o Chomsky proposed language was coded in genes – way to study the mind – in book called Syntactic Structures . Criticized behaviourism – kids produce sentences they have never heard before and therefore could not have reinforced. Led to psycholinguists – study of psychology of language – concerned with: Comprehension – how do people understand language Speech production – how do people produce Acquisition – how do people learn Perceiving and Understanding Words Lexicon – all of the words a person understands Components of words o Phonemes – sounds – shortest segment of speech that if changed, changes meaning of the word. Not same as letters. Can vary between languages – 47 in English These are the basis for understanding and using IPA pronunciation codes such as /bæt/ for “bat” o Morphemes – meaning – smallest units of language that have a definable meaning or grammatical function. Endings like “s” are morpheme – “trucks” is 2 morphemes whereas “truck” is 1 morpheme. “Table” is 1 morpheme even though 2 syllables. Not necessarily associated with syllables Perceiving Words 1
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o Phonemic restoration effect – Warren gave a sentence and replaced first “s” in legislatures with cough, but nobody could identify correctly position of cough nor did they notice “s” was missing. Participants filled in the missing phoneme based on context and sentence
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PSYC 213 - Chapter 10 - CHAPTER 10: LANGUAGE What is...

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