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Lecture 12

PSYC 100 Lecture Notes - Lecture 12: Psycholinguistics, Pragmatics, Noam ChomskyPremium

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PSYC 100
Jordan Poppenk

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PSYC 100: Lecture 12: Language
What Makes Something a Language?
Must have:
Semanticity: The use of symbols to communicate meaning
Generativity: ability to communicate new ideas
Displacement: describe events at different points in time… don’t just have to talk about the
present; can discuss future and past
Linguistics: the study of languages
Psycholinguistics: the study of language ability
Parts of a Language
Phonemes: are the smallest units of speech sounds; they are NOT the same as the
Phonology: the study of phonemes
Categorical Perception: when we perceive some information (like lights) as points along a
With phonemes, there are no shades of grey… these are distinct sounds. We interpret
them based on frequency (measured in hertz/Hz) over time (seconds)
English has over 40 phonemes
Hawaiian has only 5 vowels and 4 consonants
Other languages have over 100 phonemes
POINT: the parts of language vary
Lexical Tone: the way in which we hear the phonemes in a language…
Ie) Intonation in Chinese carries both syntactic and semantic information; has a
phonemic status
Lexical Stress: denotes emphasisthis is not phonemic.
Morphemes: smallest meaningful unit in a word
Free morphemes: can stand on their own (‘the’ and ‘word’)
Bound morphemes: cannot stand on their own(ie the suffix ‘s)
Morphology: the study of words and their parts
Semantics: the study of the meaning of words
Syntax: studies the rules of combining words and morphemes into sentences… Proves that
sentence formulation is not arbitrary
Pragmatics: study of tone, body language, social contextThese can completely change the
meaning of language
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