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Midterm

Midterm 1

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Department
Psychology
Course
Psychology 2134A/B
Professor
Marc Joanisse
Semester
Fall

Description
Class 1.1 12-09-30 10:32 PM Studying Language - formal linguistics - psycholinguistics - sociolinguistics - computer science/engineering - neuroscience Fundamentals - the nature of language What is language and how does it relate to other forms of communication? o language is a human faculty that we take for granted - what do we know when we language? mental grammars phonemes, morphemes, etc. Biology of Language - how does the mind/brain create language? Evolutionary perspectives Language Development - how do children learn language? (why do we care anyway?) Language Processing - understanding spoken words majority of the spoken language that we hear around us is one long, continuous, changing sound - understanding written words how are they similar? How are they different? - sentence comprehension - language production Language and the Brain - how the brain creates language patients with brain damage neuroimaging Exceptional Cases - language disorders - reading disorders - bilingualism - sign language Part 1: The Fundamentals psycholinguists search for a unified theory of how we produce and understand language experienced an intellectual growth spurt in the mid 1960s, just as the study of linguistics got under way needed a vocabulary with which to talk about language o attempts to determine how these structures, whether sounds, words or sentences, are produced to yield utterances or are analyzed to yield meaning o comes under a brand of psychology called cognitive - linguistics is concerned with the simplest of sounds and their combination into the most complex of sentences provides a vocabulary for talking about the ways in which sentences are constructed from individual words and the ways in which words are themselves constructed from smaller components - in psycholinguistics, we don't just think that certain things may go on within the mind, we know they do know that newborn babies are sensitive to the intonation of their maternal language know that very young infants are sensitive to sounds which may not occur within their own language, but may occur in other languages o know that they lose this sensitivity within about 8-9 months - priming involves presenting people with words on a computer screen each time a word comes up, the person has to decide whether it is a real world in their language or a nonword even without a proven theory of how it works, we can use it as a tool to find out about which words are accessed during spoken language recognition - the purpose of experimentation in psycholinguistics is to narrow down the range of hypotheses that could explain the phenomena of interest - psycholinguistic theory is becoming so sophisticated that computer programs can be written which embody that theory computer simulations exist which mimic even the earliest learning of babies and infants - psycholinguistics is a science like any other it has empirical tools, its testable theories and its unsolved mysteries Mental Grammars - Noam Chomsky: what do we know when we know language? - developed a new way of describing rules that determine which sentences are grammatical and which are not - prescriptive grammar rules do not end a sentence with a preposition don't say aint never split an infinitive - speakers frequently violate these rules - rules of style Descriptive Grammar - we want to describe what language users know, not what is right - there are lots of principles that all English users abide by The Human Language - language is a unified phenomenon across humans all humans use language - languages differ in some basic ways but share many important characteristics - languages have a lot of surface differences - but there are lots of deep similarities across languages All Languages Are The Same - no such thing as primitive languages - no correct or best form of a language rural, urban dialects are just as grammatical and complex as the Queens English high versions of a language: strictly social construct - nothing can be expressed in one language that cannot be expressed in another
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