PSYC 100 Study Guide - Final Guide: Puberty, Vise, Social Environment
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Psyc 100 Exam Notes (SOS and Weekly Objectives)
Language and Communication:
Language is a form of communicating that has specific rules (semanticity, generativity,
displacementcant be considered )
Example- moneys communicate by calling to each other, but because they can‟t
communicate ideas about both present and other times and places, it can‟t be
considered a language.
Properties of Human Language:
1. Semanticity: Extent to which a form of communication can meaningfully represent ideas,
events and objects symbolically
2. Generativity: The ability to use a limited number of words and a few rules to create an
unlimited number of sentences
3. Displacement: The ability to convey messages talking about something not talking about
right here and now (talk about the past, present and future)
What Makes Something a Language?
1. Its Symbolic
2. It can be used to communicate novel ideas
3. It can be used to communicate something not happening here or now
Components of Language (Rules)
Phonology: the sounds (phonemes) a language uses
Phonemes: perceptually distinct units of sound that serve to distinguish one word from
another (ex. Rice vs Lice)
Phonological Rules: govern how phonemes can be combined in a given language.
Voice Onset Time= delay between the initial sound of a consonant and the vibration of
the vocal chords.
Phonetic Discrimination: Perception of a phoneme is effected by the sounds that follow
it. (we recognize speech sounds in larger pieces than individual phonemes)
Morphemes: The smallest unit of meaning in language (created by combined phonemes)
Free Morphemes: meaningful on their own, can stand alone as words.
Bound Morphemes: meaningful only when combined with other morphemes to form
Syntax: (Grammar) words need to be in the right order to be understood. The understanding of
syntax is automatic and learned implicitly.
Syntactical Rules: grammatical rules for combining words to form phrases and
Semantics: the meanings of words and the rules that govern those meanings. Semantic rules
can be crucial for understanding.
Prosody: use of stress, rhythm and changes in tone that accompany speech.
Pragmatics: knowledge of intended meaning, rather than explicit meaning. Allows you to
understand tone, body language (what people actually mean).
Deep Structure: sentences are represented in the brain in terms of their meaning.
Surface Structure: particular form the sentence takes (brain must transform the deep
structure into the appropriate surface structure)
Steps to Understanding Language:
1. Recognizing the sounds/phonemes
2. Identify words and associate them with meanings (morphology/semantics)
3. Analyze the syntax using syntactical cues
4. Interpret the message in its context (pragmatics, syntax, semantics)
Broca‟s Area: (Speech Production) region of the brain that stores motor memories (muscle
movements such as opening your mouth)
1. Broca‟s Aphasia: Language disorder characterized by slow, laborious, non-fluent
speech. Can understand everything that is said to them. Great difficulty with speech, but
can say more than one word.
2. Agrammatism: difficulty in producing or comprehending the grammar of speech. Effects
comprehension, can understand the words, but doesn‟t put it together.
Wernike‟s Area: where memories of the sequences of sounds that make up words are formed.
1. Wernike‟s Aphasia: poor speech comprehension and production of meaningless speech
(they know how to talk, they just don‟t know what they are saying, as if all of a sudden I
started speaking Russian, I would be speaking but I would have no idea what I was
*Produces Word Deafness- you might as well be deaf cause you don‟t know what anything
means/cant understand anything
2. Isolation Aphasia: when there is damage around the Wernikie‟s area, you have all the
symptoms of Wernikie‟s aphasia except difficulty in recognizing spoken words (can
repeat speech and learn sequences of words, cant produce meaningful speech)
How Speech is Produced:
Requires articulators to move very quickly (the way they form determines the sound)
Coarticulation: speech is contextual in nature. Happens because articulators are getting
ready to produce the next sound before the last one is finished. Articulators not involved
in the production of one phoneme are getting ready for the next one they are involved in.
Variability in speech can be caused by- people having different voices, people having
different pronunciation of words and accents.
We rely on our experience and knowledge of language to understand speech
Steps We Take To Speak:
1. Form an idea and decide to speak
2. Choose Meaning
3. Apply Syntax and Morphology
4. Map Words onto motor sequence
5. Analyze acoustic signal
6. Acoustic signal
Depends on knowledge and experience, allows us to perceive sounds as one phoneme
or another, when the sound might actually be ambiguous
our ability to discriminate is better than our ability to label features of objects (eg. colour,
Skills Required in Learning How to Read:
Eyes make rapid jumps (saccades) as we read
We fixate more on content words than function words (the less frequently a word occurs
in normal language, the greater the fixation time) Therefore, fixation time is influences by
predictability of words in text.
Readers have 2 basic ways to recognize words
1. Phonetic Reading- sounding out words (word is unfamiliar)
2. Whole Word Reading- recognizing a word as a whole “sight reading” (word is
Surface Dyslexia: can read words phonetically, but have a deficit in whole word reading
Phonological Dyslexia: can read by the whole word method but cant sound out words.
(provides evidence that whole word reading and phonological reading involve different
Direct Dyslexia: Can read words, but cant understand them (recognizing a spoken word
is different from understanding it)
Understanding the meaning of a word involves memories of objects, actions and their
characteristics, meaning of function words are more abstract
Semantic Priming: recognize words more quickly if they have a meaning related to a
word that was mentioned previously. (we are more likely to make out a fuzzy image of
the word butter if we see the word bread before)
Phonemic Awareness: analyze phonemes in a way that is not necessary for language.
(its not necessary to understand the same ending sounds in cat, bat, hat to understand
Nativism (Noam Chomsky)
Children are born with an innate knowledge of a universal grammar, the basic features
that are apart of every language (LAD)
Language Acquisition Device:
o Children make hypotheses about grammar that are confirmed or disconfirmed
o An LAD guides their hypotheses- will never say certain sentences because of
o LAD makes reinforcement unnecessary
o Critical period for learning language- LAD works best during childhood
Only humans are capable of high competency in their native language- no other species
can do this
Critical periods when humans must be exposed to something for development to
occurred normally (ex. Genie- girl who was locked in a basement for 11 years was never
exposed to a language, now she cant talk)
View language acquisition as either a product of the infants social environment or as a
learning experience guided by the infant itself
They believe that language development results from interaction among multiple
biological and social influences
Your vocabulary/grammar improves with experience (correlation between vocab and
Social environment is structured around language (perfect environment to learn)
Children can learn multiple languages
We are prepared to learn any language that we are born into (not set to learn one
Psyc 100 exam notes (sos and weekly objectives) Language is a form of communicating that has specific rules (semanticity, generativity, displacementcant be considered ) Example- moneys communicate by calling to each other, but because they can t communicate ideas about both present and other times and places, it can t be considered a language. What makes something a language: its symbolic, it can be used to communicate novel ideas, it can be used to communicate something not happening here or now. Phonemes: perceptually distinct units of sound that serve to distinguish one word from another (ex. Phonological rules: govern how phonemes can be combined in a given language. Voice onset time= delay between the initial sound of a consonant and the vibration of the vocal chords. Phonetic discrimination: perception of a phoneme is effected by the sounds that follow it. (we recognize speech sounds in larger pieces than individual phonemes)