PSY 102 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: Cochlear Implant, Phoneme, Critical Period

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15 Aug 2016
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PSY102 Chapter 8
Language, Thinking, and reasoning
Language
Largely arbitrary of communication that combines symbols (words or gestures) in rule-based
ways to create shared meaning.
Language:
Communicates information
Allows us to accomplish goals
Enables us to express thoughts and feelings, facilitates vacillates relashioship
Features of Language - EXAM QUESTION!
Highly practiced and automatic process
4 levels of analysis that must coordinate in order for us to communicate effectively.
Phonemes
Morphemes
Syntax
Extralinguistic information
Phonemes
Categories of sounds our vocal apparatus produces
Probably around 100 total, each language only uses a subset of them
40-45 in English, range from 15-60 worldwide
Some languages contain sounds that don’t occur in other languages.
Morphemes
The smallest units of meaning in a language, created by stringing phonemes together.
Convey information about semantics - meaning derived from words and sentences
Can be full words (“dog”) or modifiers (“re-”)
Syntax
The set of rules of a language by which we construct complete sentences.
e.g., I ate tofu for dinner. = Correct
e.g., Tofu ate dinner I. = Incorrect
Includes factors like word order, *morphological markers (e.g., adding s for plural,
adding ing for ongoing action), and sentence structure.
Real-world language rarely follows this completely.
Extralinguistic Information
Elements of communication that are not part of the content of language but are critical
to interpreting its meaning
e.g., facial expression, tone of voice, previous statements by others
Used to help interpret ambiguous information
Depends on familiarity with target
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Language Dialects
Variations of the same language used by groups of people from specific geographic
areas, social groups, or ethics backgrounds
Use consistent syntax rules, although they may differ from “mainstream” speech
“Where you at?” vs “What are you doing?”
Where and Why?
Language requires a long learning period, hefty brain power, and other disadvantages
Advantages then must be particularly useful
Communication of complex ideas
Coordinates social interactions
Assists in complex activities
Where and Why?
Phonemes, morphemes, and syntax are not usually related to what they refer
Exceptions:
Onomatopoeia: words that resemble the sound to which they refer e.g.
Buzz, meow, beep, zoom
Sound symbolism: certain words sounds have intrinsic meaning. e.g. The
words!glow, gleam, glimmer, glare, glisten, glitter, glacier,!and!glide!suggest
that in English the combination!gl-!conveys the idea of sheen and
smoothness.
Learning Language
Children begin to recognize their native language before they are born
Babbling during first year allows babies to develop control over vocal tracts
Takes on conversational tone by end of 1st year
Also developing phoneme recognition
Infants’ phoneme recognition is similar to that of adult speakers by 10 months!
Learning Words
Comprehension precedes production***
AKA they recognize words long before being able to say them
E.g. they know what an elephant refers to, but have limited ability to coordinate
sounds to produce the word elephant
Recognize own name by 6 months, comprehend other words by 10-12 months
Begin to produce words around 1 year old, with an subsequently exponential rate
of increase
Overextend and underextend word meanings
E.g., All adults men are Daddy
E.g., Cat is the name for only one pet
Syntactic Development
Refers to combining words into phrases
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