Function words include determiners, quantifiers, prepositions, and words in
similar categories: a, the, to, some, and, but, when, and so on.
Function words express the relation between content words
Content words include nouns, verbs, and most adjectives and adverbs: apple, rug,
went, caught, heavy, mysterious, thoroughly, sadly.
Content words express meaning.
Affixes are sounds that we add to the beginning (prefixes) or end (suffixes) of words
to alter their grammatical function.
Semantics provide important cues to the syntax of a sentence. They provide
meanings and the study of the meanings represented by words.
Prosody refers to the use of stress, rhythm, and changes in pitch that accompany
Noam Chomsky suggested that newly formed sentences are represented in the brain
in terms of their meaning
Deep structure represents the kernel of what the person intended to say.
In order to say the sentence, the brain must transform the deep structure into the
appropriate surface structure: the particular form the sentence takes.
Language disorder known as conduction aphasia have difficulty repeating words
and phrases, but they can understand them. Thus, they can retain the deep structure, but
not surface structure, of other people’s speech.
Schank and Abelson suggested that this knowledge is organized into scripts, which
specify various kinds of events and interactions that people have witnesses or have
learned about from others.
Script: the characteristics (events, rules, so on) that are typical of a particular
situation; assists the comprehension of verbal discourse.
Brain Mechanisms of verbal behaviour:
Motor association cortex in the left frontal lobe (Broca’s area) disrupts the ability to
speak: It causes Broca’s aphasia a language disorder characterized by slow, laborious,
Broca’s area contains motor memories, in particular memories of the sequences of
music movements that are needed to articulate words.
Talking requires very sophisticated motor control mechanisms.
Damage to the lower left frontal lobe (including Broca’s area) disrupts the ability to
articulate words; this region is the most likely candidate for the location of these
“programs”. This region is located just in front of the part of the primary motor
cortex that controls the muscles used for speech.
Damage to broca’s area produces agrammatism: loss of the ability to produce or
comprehend speech that employs complex syntactical rules.
It disrupts patients’ ability to use grammatical information, including word order, to
decode the meaning of a sentence.
Damage to Broca’s area affects a hierarchy of language functions, leading to
difficulty in sequencing the muscles of speech that produces articulation problems.
Patients with damage to Broca’s area had damage in an area within the frontal
cortex, region known as insula.