chap 10-14

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University of Toronto Scarborough
John Bassili

Chapter 10 Language Language permits us to communicate perceptions, thoughts and memories. Words have meanings (semantics) and theyre arranged into sentences that follow specific rules (syntax). Context plays an important role in the complex task of indentifying individual words from continuous speech. Reading allows words to be transmitted anywhere in the world and to be preserved for future generations. Reading is accomplished by whole word recognition and by decoding the sounds that are represented by letters and groups of letters. Brain damage can acquire dyslexia which involves abnormal development of parts in the left hemisphere that play an important role in language abilities. By the time babies are born, theyve already learned something about language from what theyve heard while in their mothers uteruses. Language is a social behavior; babies learn to carry on conversations with care givers even before they say words and use movements, facial expressions and sounds to communicate. Prologue Do animals have language? Washoe 1 yrs old female chimpanzee, began to learn sign language; at the age of four she had a vocabulary of 130 signs. However just like previous attempts to teach language to chimps failed, Washoe was unable to control her tongue, lips, palate, and vocal cords that humans have and she couldnt produce a variety of complex sounds that characterize human speech. Her learning ability was a lot like a child and made correct generalizations of herself. Language: flexible systems that use symbols to express many meanings. Psycholinguistics: Branch of psychology devoted to the study of verbal behavior.
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