PSY 1001 Lecture 4: Language notes

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Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSY 1001
Professor
Meara Habashi

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Language
Defined as:
o Our spoken, written, or gestured works and the way we combine them to
communicate the meaning
2 main functions
o communicate information
o establishes and maintains relationships
emotional content
Background
o Highest achievement of human thought
Language
o Other animals are capable of language
Rico- border collie who understood over 225 words
Washoe- sign language chimp
Bees- use dance to communicate location of food
o Language is more limited in all other animals
Unable to indicate specific details
Bees- no indication of time to get food
Chimps- no grammatical structure
Properties of Human Language
o Communicative
Anyone who shares language can understand
o Arbitrarily symbolic
Arbitrary relationship between symbol (word) and its referent (location)
o Dynamic
Always changing and evolving
Parts (Features) of human language
o Phonemes
Lowest structure of language
Single speech sound
Differ by language
Infants can use phonemes
Without practice, they lose this ability
Will never be able to make this sound
American English
44 phonemes
people who know other languages may have different sounds
o Morphemes
Smallest unit of language that is meaningful
include:
words
prefixes
suffixes
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Description
Language Defined as: o Our spoken, written, or gestured works and the way we combine them to communicate the meaning 2 main functions o communicate information o establishes and maintains relationships emotional content Background o Highest achievement of human thought Language o Other animals are capable of language Rico border collie who understood over 225 words Washoe sign language chimp Bees use dance to communicate location of food o Language is more limited in all other animals Unable to indicate specific details Bees no indication of time to get food Chimps no grammatical structure Properties of Human Language o Communicative Anyone who shares language can understand o Arbitrarily symbolic Arbitrary relationship between symbol (word) and its referent (location) o Dynamic Always changing and evolving Parts (Features) of human language o Phonemes Lowest structure of language Single speech sound Differ by language Infants can use phonemes Without practice, they lose this ability Will never be able to make this sound American English 44 phonemes people who know other languages may have different sounds o Morphemes Smallest unit of language that is meaningful include: words prefixes suffixes
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