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Jan 7 - Language.docx

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Department
Psychology
Course
Psychology 1000
Professor
Dr.Mike
Semester
Spring

Description
Language • System of symbols and rules that is used to communicate messages and meanings  Why Do We Use Language? • Social demands: communicate thoughts/intentions/feelings, cooperation, pass  along knowledge • Language provides ease  • Every culture has language Properties of Language 1. Symbols: alphabet, hand signals  2. Structure • Grammar: rules for combining symbols  • Syntax: “Car pretty is your” 3. Meaning • Semantics: meaning of words  4. Generativity: language combinations are infinite 5. Displacement • Beyond the here and now  • Past, present and future  • Make­believe Language Structure • Surface structure: symbols and structure (syntax) • Deep structure: meaning (semantics) Processing Language • Bottom­up processing: analyzing and combining single elements into a unified  whole  • We recognize words by: o Perceiving visual patterns of letters  o Translating visual patterns into sounds • Listen to a child learning to read, sounding out words in a new language • Top­down processing: interpreting stimuli in terms of existing knowledge,  concepts, ideas and expectations  • Speech segmentation: perceiving where each word within a spoken sentence  begins and ends o We learn that certain phonemes are unlikely to occur within the same word  – creates a “break” Pragmatics  • Language occurs in a social context  • Knowledge of the practical aspects of using lang
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