Chapter 8 Notes part 1

Chapter 8 Notes part 1 - Language Language Definition of...

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Language
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Language Definition of language Ambiguities of language (what makes it hard) How the ambiguities are resolved
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Language diversity There are thought to be 6,000-7,000 languages worldwide, many with several dialects Languages: not mutually intelligible Dialects: are mutually intelligible, differ in grammar & vocabulary (usually associated with race, region, or social class) Accents: differences in pronunciation
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Language diversity Languages are disappearing More than half are spoken by fewer than 10,000 people. Perhaps 90% will be gone within 100 years People drop language for assimilation, and to use languages of commerce.
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Language universals Communicative (permits communication) Semanticity (stand for something other than themselves) Arbitrary (relation between sound and reference is unimportant) Structured (the pattern of symbols is not arbitrary) Generative (the basic units can be used to build a limitless number of utterances) Dynamic (language is always evolving)
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The problems How do we perceive speech sounds (phonemes)? How do we perceive words? How do we perceive sentences? How do we perceive texts?
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Phonemes (English)
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Why is phoneme perception hard? Phonemes produced fast (50/sec)
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Please call Stella. Ask her to bring these things with her from the store: Six spoons of fresh snow peas, five thick slabs of blue cheese, and maybe a snack for her brother Bob. We also need a small plastic snake and a big toy frog for the kids. She can scoop these things into three red bags, and we will go meet her Wednesday at the train station. Different speakers produce differently http://classweb.gmu.edu/accent/
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Coarticulation “Vowel” vs “Vole” You start to form the vowel (an o sound in voles and an aa sound in vowels) before you start the buzzing noise with your lips that produces the v sound.
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Why is it hard to understand words? Speech stream: no space between words:
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Speech segmentation Does sometimes go wrong--famously when trying to understand song lyrics. Misheard lyric Actual lyric Song and artist Frighten her kazoo Pride can hurt you too Beatles “She loves you” Heated, heated Beat it, beat it Michael Jackson “Beat it” Should all the Quintons beef, or what? Should old acquaintance be forgot Traditional “Auld Lang Syne”
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Why are sentences hard? Obviously word order is crucial: “Jayne kissed Jon” “Jon kissed Jayne” Even if the word order doesn’t change more than one meaning is possible.
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“Time flies like an arrow” What does this mean?
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There are at least 5 meanings to this sentence. 1. Time moves quickly, as an arrow does. 2. Assess the pace of flies as you would assess the pace of an arrow 3. Assess the pace of flies in the same way that an arrow would assess the pace of flies. 4. A particular variety of flies (time flies) adore arrows.
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This note was uploaded on 04/02/2011 for the course PSYCH 3 taught by Professor Mauldin during the Winter '11 term at UCSD.

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Chapter 8 Notes part 1 - Language Language Definition of...

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