ch. 9 lec 10.docx

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Michael Inzlicht

Lecture 10 Ch. 9 Pg. 331-34 THE ORGANIZATION OF LANGUAGE - At the highest level of the structure are the ideas intended by the speaker, or the ideas that the listener derives from the input - These ideas are typically expressed in sentences – coherent sequences of words that express the intended meaning of a speaker - Sentences, in turn, are composed of phrases which are composed of words; words are composed of morphemes, the smallest language units that carry meaning - Some morphemes are units that can stand alone, and they typically refer to particular objects or ideas or actions - Other morphemes get bound onto these free morphemes and add info crucial for interpretation - Morphemes are conveyed by sounds called phonemes, defined as the smallest unit of sound that can serve to distinguish words in language - Some phonemes are easily represented by letters of the alphabet, but others are not - In each level, people can combine and recombine the units to produce novel utterances – assembling the phonemes into brand-new morphemes or assembling words into brand-new phrases - Not all combinations are possible – so that a new breakfast cereal might be called “Klof” but would probably seem strange to English speakers if it were called “Tlof” PHONOLOGY The Production of Speech - Ordinary breathing, air flows quietly out of the lungs, through the larynx, and up through the nose and mouth - Noise is produced, if this airflow is interrupted or altered, and this allows humans to produce a wide range of different sounds - Within the larynx there are two flaps of muscular tissue called the vocal folds (or vocal cords) o The folds can be rapidly opened and closed, producing a buzzing sort of vibration = voicing - Sound can also be produced by narrowing the air passageway within the mouth 1. Distinguish sounds according to how the airflow is restricted = manner of production o Air is allowed to move though the nose for some speech sounds but not for others o For some speech sounds, the flow of air is fully stopped for a moment (i.e. p/b/t) o For other sounds the air passage is restricted, but air continues to flow (i.e. f/z/r) 2. Distinguish b/w sounds that are voiced – produced with the vocal folds vibrating – and those that are not (i.e. v/z/n) 3. Sounds can be categorized according to where the airflow is restricted = place of articulation; o close your lips to produce “bilabial” sound like /p/ and /b/; o you place your top teeth close to your bottom lip to produce “labiodentals: sounds like /f/ and /v/ o place your tongue behind your upper teeth to produce “alveolar” sound like /t/ and /d/ The Complexity of Speech Perception - the features of speech production also correspond to what listeners hear when theyre listening to speech - phonemes that differ only in one production feature sound similar to each other - phonemes that differ in multiple features sound more distinct - reflected in the errors people make when they try to understand speech in a noisy environment: their misperceptions are usually off by one feature so that /p/ is confused with /b/ (a difference in voicing) - speech is fast; normal speaking rate is around 180 words per min - ~15 phonemes per sec – but people can follow speech that’s as fast as 250 words per min - as a first step prior to phoneme identification, you need to slice this stream into the appropriate segments – speech segmentation - speech perception is further complicated by a phenomenon known as coarticulation – refers to the fact that in producing speech, you don’t utter one phoneme at a time o the phonemes overlap and while your producing the /s/ sound in soup i.e. your mouth is getting ready to say the vowel - this overlap allows speech production to be faster and considerably more fluent; o the overlap has consequences for the sounds produced, and so the /s/ you produce while getting ready for one upcoming vowel is actually different from /s/ you produce while getting ready for a different vowel Aids to Speech Perception - 50 most commonly used words in English make up more than half of the words you actually hear 1 Lecture 10 Ch. 9 Pg. 331-34 - The perception of speech shares a crucial attribute with all other types of perception: don’t rely on the stimuli you receive; instead you supplement this input with a wealth of other knowledge – including knowledge about what the words are in our language - The moment you hear the first phoneme in a word, you activate all the words in your vocab that have this starting sound - The moment you hear the second phoneme, you narrow this cohort of words so that you’re thinking only about words that start with this pair of phonemes - Phonemic restoration effect – a pattern in which people hear phonemes that actually are not presented but that are highly likely in that context o If one is presented with the word “legislature” but with the /s/ sound replaced by a cough, one is likely to hear the /s/ sound anyhow - Participants don’t just infer what the missing sound was, they seem to hear the sound Categorical Perception - Speech perception benefits a pattern called categorical perception – refers to the fact that you’re much better at hearing the differences b/w categories of sounds than you are at hearing the variations within a category of sounds MORPHEMES AND WORDS - For each word, the speaker has several bits of info 1. The speaker knows the words sound – the sequence of phonemes that make up the word 2. In a literature culture, the speaker knows the words orthography – the sequence of letters that spell the word 3. The speaker also knows how to use the word within various phrases, governed by the rules of syntax 4. The speaker needs to know the meaning of a word; must have a semantic representation for the word to go with the phonological representation, essentially connecting the meaning to the sound Word Meaning - What a word refers to is called the words referent – one might propose that the meaning of a word or phrase is linked to the words (or phases) referent: i.e. if you know referent of bird, you know what the word bird means Building New Words - Generativity of language – that is the capacity to create an endless series of new combinations, all built from the same set of fundamental units SYNTAX - Rules of syntax – rules governing the sequence of words in a phrase or sentence Phrase Structure - Phase structure rules – stipulations that list the elements that must appear in a phrase as well as the sequence of those elements - Rules also specify the overall organization of the sentence - One phrase structure rile i.e. stipulates that a sentence (S) must consist of a noun phrase (NP) and a verb phrase (VP) - A different rule stipulates that noun phrases can include a determiner, some number of adjectives, and the noun itself - Verb phrases can take several different form but often consist of verb followed by a noun phrase - Tree structure – you can read the structure from top to bottom, and as you move from one level to the next, you can see that each element has been expanded in a fashion that’s strictly governed by the phrase structure rules Prescriptive Rules, Descriptive Rules - Prescriptive rules – rules describing how language is supposed to be; language that doesn’t follow these rules, its clai
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