Psychology 1000 Lecture 9: Chapter Nine Notes

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27 Feb 2016
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Thursday, January 7, 2016
Chapter 9 Lecture Notes
Psychology 1000
Language
Most common, universal feature of human society.
Pervades every facet of our lives, public and private.
Every culture, no matter how isolated or primitive has language.
Every person, except under extreme deprivation/accidents, develops skills in use of
language.
A shared symbolic system for communication:
-Letters, written and spoken symbols that stand for the referent of the world
-Shared by all speakers of a language culture.
-System enables communication.
Basic Principles
Words and rules
Words of language comprise the mental lexicon
Grammar: Rules that dictate the legal combination of the units of language
Properties
1. Symbolic : sounds, signs, gestures. Allows for forming and transferring mental
representations.
2. Structure: Rule-governed structures, symbols combined to create meaningful units.
3. Generativity: Symbols can be combined to generate an infinite number of
messages that can have novel meaning.
Displacement: Past,future, imaginary events, objects can be symbolically represented
and communicated.
1
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