March 5h, 2014
Psych 3UU3: Psychology of Language
Remember – word meaning an be separated from the form of a word (what the
Can be tricky to distinguish between what is linguistic semantics and what is
Useful to think of it as a mapping between a word and a concept
Not the same thing as words
Words are linked to concepts (but what about function words)
Concepts are not necessarily linked to words
Or can be linked to multiple words
Meaning is Hard
Dog: how do we define
Paper (polygamous words)
The Grounding Problem
How do words get their meanings?
Defined in terms of other words (symbols)?
Problem of infinite regress
Symbols can be grounded
But, grounding only picks out a referent, not a meaning
Word Meaning and Reference
Denotation: what it literally means
Connotation: relationship to other things, what it imply
Define word meaning in terms of reference?
Bunny vs rabbit: similar denotation and reference
Are there any full symptoms
The prime minister of Canada is Stephan Harper
Eight years, ago the prime minister of Canada was a member of the Liberal part
Current extension of the word goes beyond just pointing to a thing What is the Meaning?
Searle’s Chinese room: guy sitting in a closed room and does not speak Chinese.
Ahs a manual. Slip Chinese characters under the door and looks up in his book
what the appropriate response is. And this keeps on going.
The turing test: if you can’t tell the difference between a computer and a person
you can assume that it is intelligent and can understand.
E.g. Collins & Quillian (1969)
Link between words: how they are related, building up a system of meaning
Hierarchical: everything that applies to one thing will apply further down
You don’t have to store specific levels: storing at higher levels
How to test?
Sentence verification – RT
A canary has wings: faster
A canary can breathe: slower as you have to go up mor