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Lecture 48

PSYCH 2H03 Lecture Notes - Lecture 48: Categorical Perception, A Bathing Ape, Colorless Green Ideas Sleep Furiously

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Ellen Maclellan

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Lecture 48 The components of language
Categorical perception:
- We are pretty good at distinguishing sounds
- You don’t perceive the variability
- Ex:
o anything on one side of the boundary, you are as a /b/ and anything on the other
side you hears as a /p/
- never perceive sounds that sound ‘in between’
- graph aove
o audio recording of sound ‘ba’ and ‘pa;
o changed the recordings so ‘ba’ and ‘pa’ started to sound very similar
o we woul assume a gradual change in our perception as the phonemes change
but we don’t
- present in infants too
o although infants can even discriminate differences that are relevant to other
languages too
- not uniquely human
o chinchillas do it too
- has to do with properties of the human auditory system
o languages have evolved to take advantage of differences that people are good at
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