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Midterm Notes: Units 1-6

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Western University
Psychology 2134A/B
Marc Joanisse

PSYCH 2134 MIDTERMKEY POINTS UNIT 1y Inotation changes in pitch rhythm intensity babies are sensitive to it y Primingquickly choosing between wordsnonwordso People take less time to do so if two words are common associates shipboat wombatball y Experiments cannot prove a hypothesis true only false y All humans use language y No such thing as primitive language y No correct or best form of language y Nothing can be expressed in one language but not another y Grammatical fits with the rules of English as we know themdepends on word order y Mental grammar what people know about their languagelegalillegal grammar o Key characteristicthis knowledge is implicittacit o Form structure of language is different from meaning y Prescriptive grammar set of rulesstyle that we learn in school read in books y Descriptive grammar describes what language users knowkind that is used in linguisticsUNIT 2 y Onomatopoeic words sound like the things they refer to hiss o Dingdong heaveho bowwow theory language evolved from mimicry or imitationy Homo sapiensy Brocas arealanguage y Protolanguage Bickerton intermediate language between primate communication and human speechdistinguished from language by syntax o Seen in young children primates taught sign language children deprived of linguistic input speakers of pidgin language y FOXP2 gene mutationmore developed Brocas region coordination of complex movementsmade speech fully autonomous freed hands better communication o Animals coordinating sensorymotor information skilled complex movements o Humans acquiring language normally y Humans gorillas chimps show asymmetry between hemispheresenlarged left Brodmanns area 44 gestures Brocas region in humans y Mirror neurons role in imitating gesturesfire when animal performs specific gesturesees another animal performing the same gesture y Only humans show righthand dominancey Communication transmission of a signal that conveys informationo Communicative signal element of designintentionality saying you have a cold o Informative signal no designintentionality coughing y Honey bees waggle dance y Hocketts 16 design features of spoken human language o Vocalauditory channel broadcast transmissiondirectional reception rapid fading interchangeability complete feedback specialization semanticity arbitrariness discreteness displacement openness tradition duality of patterning prevarication reflectiveness learnability o All communication possesses some of the features y Syntax has 5 important properties o Language is a discrete combinatorial system o Wellordered sentences depend on ordering syntactic categories of words in correct sequences o Sentences are built around verbs which specify what goes with what o We can distinguish words that do the semantic work of the language from words that assist in the syntactic work or a language o Recursion enables us to construct an infinite number of sentences from a finite number of rules y Clever Hans effect animals that appear to know language are just picking up cues from their owner y Most work on teaching language to animals uses chimpanzeesour closest genetic neighbors
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