020707_Thinking1_post - Language Basic Units of Language...

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Language Basic Units of Language Language Development
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Basic Units of Language Phonemes Morphemes Words Word Meaning Phrases Sentences Sentences and Meaning
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Basic Units of Language Phoneme: Smallest unit of sound that is recognized as separate in a given language 100 phonemes humans can produce English has about 40 Some phoneme sequences more common in some languages than others
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Basic Units of Language Morpheme: Smallest unit of meaning in a particular language Content morphemes: Have meaning in and of themselves Catch, run, dawn, hour Function morphemes: Add details to the meaning of a word and serve various grammatical purposes. -er, -ing, pre-, -s Distinctions between content and function Certain brain injuries affect one or the other but not both Adults learning a second language have a harder time with subtleties of function morphemes
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How many morphemes are there in the word “grandmothers?” a) One b) Two c) Three d) Ten
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Meaning of Words Semantics: the meaning of words and sentences Theories about word meanings Definitional theory Prototype theory Combined theory
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Each word is composed of smaller “pieces” of meaning called semantic features : Example: Bachelor = [unmarried] [male] [adult] [human] “Necessary and sufficient” definition Necessary: If you are missing any of these elements, you are not a bachelor
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course PSYCH 101 taught by Professor Passer during the Spring '07 term at University of Washington.

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020707_Thinking1_post - Language Basic Units of Language...

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