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PSYC 102 Final: PSYCH 102 (combined notes of text and lectures)

Course Code
PSYC 102
A.George Alder
Study Guide

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September 10, 2015
-5 key higher cognitive functions
Acquiring and using language
Forming concepts and categories
Making decisions
Solving problems
Psycholinguistics study of the psychological mechanisms underlying the
acquisition and use of language
• “the sole sign and only certain mark of thought hidden and wrapped up in
the body” – Descartes
• Collection of symbols and rules for combining those symbols that can be
used to create an infinite variety of messages
•a set system for communicating with others using signals that are combined
according to rules of grammar and convey meaning
•set of rules that specify how the units of language can be combined to
produce meaningful messages
Properties of Human Language
• Language is Creative (generative)
• Language is Structured
• Language is Meaningful
• Language is Referential (symbolic)
• Language is Interpersonal
Structure of Language
• Smallest units of sound in spoken language
Phonological rules
•smallest unit of sound that is recognizable as speech rather than as random
•”B” and “P” are classified as separate phonemes in English because they
differ in the way they’re produced by a person
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• Smallest units of meaning in language
-All languages generally have 2 grammar categories:
•Morphological- rules that indicate how morphemes can be combined to
form words
Content morpheme- refers to things and events
Function morpheme- serve grammatical functions such as tying
sentences together or indicating time
oAbout ½ of morphemes are function morphemes
oMake human language grammatically complex enough to
permit us to express abstract ideas
•Syntax - system of rules that specify how words can be combined into
phrases and sentences
oEvery sentence must contain one or more nouns and
Deep structure
•refers to the meaning of the sentence
Surface structure
•refers to how a sentence is worded
Often times people confuse sentences they heard that had the same
deep structure but a different surface structure
Development of Language
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• crying
• cooing –end of first month
• babbling –by 6 months –babbling drift
• words –10-12 months of age
–Small words- words of objects they can grasp (i.e. ball, red, small)
Development of Language (continued)
-3 characteristics of language development:
1) Children learn language at an astonishingly rapid rate
2) Children make few errors while learning to speak
3) Children’s passive mastery of language develops faster than their active
-Children understand language better than they speak
-At birth, infants can distinguish among all the contrasting sounds that occur in all
human languages
Ability is lost within first 6 months
Fast mapping- in which children map a word onto an underlying concept after only
one exposure
– Over-extensions- generalization of words/ overlapping of same meaning
– holophrases
-Combining Words
• Telegraphic speech
– Consists mainly of content words
– Articles, prepositions and other less critical words are omitted
• Overgeneralizations
–overgeneralizing a rule
– e.g., He “goed” home.
Refining Language Skills
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