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Chapter 10 Notes.docx

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Steve Joordens

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PSYA02: Chapter 10 - Language Introduction to Language  It was not too long ago that humans were the only ones believed to have language.  One conclusion that has emerged from the studies of primates is that true verbal ability is a social behaviour.  Psycholinguistics: A branch of psychology devoted to the study of verbal behaviour. Speech and Comprehension  The ability to engage in verbal behaviour confers decided advantages on our species. Perception of Speech:  Common speech produces a series of sounds in a continuous stream. Humans use speech in segments and phrases rather than pausing after each word. Speech therefore doesn't come to us as individual words but rather a combination of many.  Recognition of Speech Sounds  Human vocalizations are clearly distinguished from other sounds around us. They contain enough information that we can recognize an individual by the sound of their speech.  For example the ability to recognize a face from hearing a persons voice.  Some regions of the brain responded more when people heard human vocalizations (both speech and non speech) than when they heard only natural sounds.  The auditory system on the left hemisphere showed a greater contrast to natural and scrambled frequencies in sound.  This suggests that when it comes to analyzing the detailed information of speech, the left hemisphere plays a larger role.  Phonemes: The minimum unit of sound that conveys a meaning in particul
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