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CHAPTER 10.docx

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Steve Joordens

CHAPTER 10: Language - Can animals understand language? they can communicate with one another (among their species) but they cant really understand language Washoe the chimp was taught sign language; lack ability to speak and ctrl tongue movements learned that verbal ability is a social behav - Language is used to communicate; also used in daily thinking and remembering encoding abstract/complex issues into words - Speaking, listening, writing, reading = behav we observe; linguists have rules for language - Psycholinguists: branch of psych devoted to the study of verbal behav human cognition rather than language rules how children acquire language; learning to speak and develop of verbal behav how adults use lang and verbal abilities to interact with other cognitive abilities 1. Speech and Comprehension - Advantage to our species cuz of verbal abilities listening/reading = profit from exp talking/writing = share our own exp exchange info/exp between ppl PERCEPTION OF SPEECH - We write sentences as a string of words, but when we say them, they come out as sounds with pauses and changes in stress/pitch; rhythmic patterns and continuous - Auditory system enables us to recog speech sounds humans vocalizations are distinguished from other sounds and we can even recog certain ppl from their sound filter out non-speech sounds recog patterns that underlie speech rather than the sounds - Belin, Zatorre, Ahad (2002) used fMRI scans and found that regions of brain responded more when ppl heard human vocalizations rather than natural sounds large diff in the temporal lobe in auditory cortex; contrast both in left and right hemi w/ mixed freq sounds, left hemi responded more; suggests that left plays bigger role in analyzing detailed info of speech - Phoneme: min unit of sound that conveys meaning in a particular language such as /p/ analysis of speech begins with these elements; like phonics - Voice-onset time: the delay b/w the initial sound of a consonant (such as the puffing sound of the phoneme /p/) and the onset of the vibration of the vocal cords voicing = vibe of vocal cords distinction b/w voiced and unvoiced consonants allows us to distinguish b/w /p/ and /b/ or /k/ and /g/ e.g. pa & ba; small diff but when you say pa, the pressure is in the mouth then when you open your lips, a puff of air comes out; ah sound does not directly follow cuz pressure in mouth/throat ctrls air from leaving your lungs vocal cords dont vibe til air from lungs passes thru them for ba, pressure does not build up; vocal cords vibe right when you open your lips - Phonemic discrim begins w/ auditory processing of sensory diff in both hemis left hemi specializes in recog special aspects of speech ppl responded to natural and unintelligible speech, while others only intelligible speech (even highly distorted) - These regions must rely on info that transcends the distortions of individ phonemes perhaps info is based on larger segments of speech; i.e. syllables Ganong (1980) found that percept of phoneme is affected by sounds that follow it phonemes used were /g/ and /k/; if followed by sound ift ppl said it was /g/; if sound was iss, ppl said it was /k/ suggest that we recog speech sounds in larger pieces than single phonemes - Morphemes: the smallest unit of meaning in language; combo of phonemes syntax of a language determines how phonemes can be combined to make morphemes e.g. fastest: two morphemes; /fast/ which is a free morpheme cuz it can be alone and still have meaning; /ist/ which is a bound morpheme bound morphemes cannot stand alone and must be added to another morpheme to provide meaning - MacNevin and Besner (2002) found that morphemic priming affects how well ppl perform on storop test - Morphemes est by learning and context brain waves; special electrical signal called the N100 wave appears shortly after ppl hear onset of a word even when ppl hear nonsense that is designated as a word, the wave appears - Context allows us to recog sounds even when they are muffled or badly pronounced affects percep of words thru top-down processing - In convos, we use context to understand what the person is saying and also use cues in the enviro mostly for homophones; e.g. standing on a beach shack and someone says i scream, we know they mean ice cream used in reading too UNDERSTANDING THE MEANING OF SPEECH - Meaning of sentence(s) is conveyed by words chosen, order of words, affixes, pattern/rhythm of emphasis of the reader, and knowledge shared - Syntax; rules of language, e.g. grammar; comes from greek word syntassein, to put tgthr combine words in a specific way so that it makes sense syntactical rule: a grammatical rule of a partic lang for combining words to form phrases, clauses, and sentences provides imp info; we learned to understand sentences before we knew what made them up automatic understanding of syntax; not conscious of it brain reacts diff when we come across harder syntax; becomes more active when the syntax is more complex/ambiguous syntax rules learned implicitly; even ppl with anterograde amnesia were able to learn artificial grammar even tho they couldnt make explicit memories anymore in contrast, some patients unable to learn meanings of new words; learning syntax and meanings seems to involve diff types of memory syntactical cues are signalled by word order, word class, function and content words, affixes, word meanings, and prosody word order tells us who does what to whom; or can imply a partic emphasis word class refers to the grammatical categories (e.g. noun, pronoun, verb, adjective); dont need to identify what class a word belongs to; still recog what it is referring to - Function words: a preposition, article, or other word that conveys little of the meaning of the sentence, but is imp in specifying its grammatical structure determiners, quantifiers, prepositions, etc; function words express the relations b/w content words and are imp cues - Content words: a noun, verb, adjective, or adverb that conveys meaning express meaning - Affix: a sound or group of letters that is added to the beginning (prefix) or end (suffix) of a word alter grammatical function; quick to recog the syntactical funct of words w/ affixes Epstein (1961) showed ppl a string of nonsense words and could easily remember the second line because affixes were added which made it look more like a sentence easier to categorize and recall - Semantics: the meanings and the study of the meanings represented by words; word meanings also provide imp cues to syntax of words; greek word sema = sign context plays a role in semantics and makes sense of what we already know about the world - Prosody: the use of changes in intonation and emphasis to convey meaning in speech besides that specified by the partic words; imp means of communication of emotion refers to the use of stress, rhythm, and changes in pitch that accompany speech, can serve as the primary source of syntactic info imp to lang comprehension cuz so much of our communication relies on spoken forms - we usually dont notice these cues as we process spoken lang, but they are part of our ability to segment speech and understand it - there is more than one way to say something, and a partic sentence can have more than one meaning we soon forget the form of a sentence, but its meaning stays much longer- newly formed sentences are rep in the brain in terms of their meaning deep structure: the essential meaning of a sentence, without regard to the grammatical features (surface structure) of the sentence that are needed to express it in words kernel of what a person intended to say deep structure is transformed into surface structure in order to say the sentence surface structure: the grammatical features of the sentence often results in slip of the tongue where something went wrong with the transformation of the deep structure (meaning) into the surface structure (word & syntax) - ppl w/ conduction aphasia have trouble repeating words/phrases but can still understand them can retain deep structure, but not the surface structure of ppls speech - comprehension of speech also involves knowledge about the world and about partic situations we may encounter schank and ableson (1977) suggested that knowledge is organized into scripts that specify various kinds of events and interactions that ppl have witnessed or learned about scripts: the characteristics (events, rules, etc) that are typical of a partic situation; assits the comprehension of verbal discourse BRAIN MECHANISMS OF VERBAL BEHAVIOUR Speech Production: Evidence from Brocas Aphasia - meaningful speech = convert percep, memories, and thoughts ctrl in frontal lobe; w/ Brocas area - brocas aphasia: severe difficulty in articulation words, esp function words caused by damage that includes Brocas area, a region in the frontal cortex on the left (speech-dom) side of the brain slow, laborious, non-fluent speech they have something to say, but damage to frontal lobe makes it hard for them to express these thoughts mispronounce words, but the ones they do come up wi
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