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Chapter 8-Text Book Notes (Language).pdf

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York University
PSYC 1010
Jill Bee Rich

Chapter 8-Text Book Notes (Language) January-13-13 The Structure of Language What is Language? Phonemes  Language consists of symbols that convey meaning, • The smallest units in a language that can be distinguished perceptually plus rules for combining these symbols, that can be • Linguistics say humans are only capable of recognising only about 100 basic sounds used to generate an infinite variety of messages • English language is made up of 40 phonemes 1. Language is symbolic • e.g. letter 'a' is pronounced differently in: father, had, call, take.. ○ Spoken sounds and written words are used to Morphemes and Semantics represent objects and events • Morphemes There are approximately 50000 English morphemes, which include root 2. Language is semantic or meaningful words as well as suffix and prefixes ○ A relationship exists between the look or sound • e.g. fire, guard, cost consist of a single morpheme, unfriendly has 3 morphemes of the word and the object they stand for • Semantics is the area of language concerned with understanding the meaning of 3. Language is generative words and word combinations ○ A limited number of symbols can be combined • A word's meaning may consist of both is denotation( dictionary definition) and in infinite number of ways to generate an connotation(emotional overtones and secondary implications) endless array of messages Syntax 4. Language is structured • Syntax is a system of rules that specify how words can be arranged into sentences ○ Although an infinite number of sentences can be • A simple rule is that: a sentence m
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