Lect9 Notes **Supplement with Ch9 Notes
This preview shows half of the first page. to view the full 3 pages of the document.
PSYB57 – Memory and Cognition
Lecture Nine – Language
Is Language Uniquely Human?
Chimpanzees can learn symbols to communicate (language is to communicate through
symbols); however could not use those symbols to express themselves in different way
Little evidence that animals’ communication systems do not form a true language, but
they do communicate
*problem* we compare animal communication to human language, but it is not fair to
judge them with ourselves as a point of reference
What is Language?
Structure: structural principles such as grammar; system of rules and principles that
specifies universal standards of thought/properties of expressions clarity;
precision/specificity; logic/validity; relevance; accuracy; depth
•Phoneme: smallest unit of sound we can make
•Morpheme: smallest unit of sound we can make that has meaning
i.e. take vs taking (2 morphemes: take and –ing which is an inflectional
Syntax: rule for how to put together sentences and phrases
Semantics: meaning that explains:
•Anomaly: something we cannot say;”Ice cream coffee can take a dictation.” does
not make sense
•Contradictions: lacking validity; “The dog is not an animal.” illogical
•Ambiguity: lacking precision/specificity; “I need to go to the bank.” which bank?
•Synonym: “The rabbit is not old enough.” = “The rabbit is too young.” the equality
between the sentences are implied
•Entailment: “Pat is my uncle.” if Pat is the uncle then, he must be male; if Pat was
the aunt, she would be a female
You're Reading a Preview
Unlock to view full version