Textbook Notes (368,776)
Canada (162,160)
Psychology (1,468)
PSYCH 1X03 (260)
Joe Kim (247)
Chapter 5

Chapter 5 - Language Textbook Notes Psych 1X03

5 Pages
Unlock Document

Joe Kim

Textbook Notes Psych 1X03 Chapter 5: Language Section 1: What Sets Language Apart from other Forms of Communication?  Language is symbolic o Various language stimuli represent difference meanings and concepts o Language Stimuli – in an oral language; sounds that you emit in the form of words, in sign language; the signs that represent a different word or letter o Language gives us the ability to refer to objects in their absence  Opens the possibility to communicate about complex ideas and hypothetical concepts  Allows you to communicate memories of past events and hopes for the future  Allows us to discuss objects that we might never directly see and/or only exist in theory o Language provides an organized system to represent concept symbolically and communicate simple and complex ideas about them  Language involves arbitrary associations o The words we use for concepts are arbitrarily assigned o Arbitrary associations allow various languages to use different sounds to label he same item; if the sound is used to identify items and concepts were associated with their inherent meaning, all languages would use the same sound to identify a given item o Onomatopoeia – words whose sounds are associated with their meaning (Eg/ meow, splash, hiccup)  Language is productive o Language is designed to use a small number of components to produce and understand a wide range of symbols o Eg/ Oral language is made up of phonemes, which can be combined to form words, which can be combined to form sentences – the English languages uses only about 40 phonemes  Language is rule-governed o Each combination must follow a defined set of rules in order to make sense o Different languages have different rules about how symbols can be combined Target Study – Effects of Language on Thought  The Whorfian Hypothesis – suggests that the particular language individuals use can shape thought, a theory that breaks from traditional views of language and non-linguistic concepts and universal  Problems with the Whorfian Hypothesis o The linguistic data used to indicate that different languages differ in terms of, for example metaphors, is subjective and anecdotal; an empirical database of such language differences had not been established o There is a lack of non-linguistic data to make any inferences about how differences in language affect mental concepts  “Thinking for Speaking Theory” – we think about things and pay attention to stimuli in our environment in ways that are shaped by and match how we conceptualize them through language; our thought, abstract mental concepts in particular, is shaped by how we speak Experiment 1  In order to conceptualize abstract non-spatial phenomena, spatial metaphors are often used o Eg/ English – she is of high social class  Languages such as English and Indonesian conceptualize time in a spatiotemporal sense or in measure of distance o Eg/ He ran for a long time, she was gone for a short while Textbook Notes Psych 1X03  Languages such as Spanish and Greek tend to conceptualize time as quantity o Eg/ he was gone for much time, she had a big day at work  Variety of distance and quantity time phrases for each language was entered into Google, and the number of hits for each phrase was recorded – researchers found significant differences between English and Indonesian metaphors in comparison to Spanish and Greek metaphors that matched predictions Experiment 2 and 3  Effects of language on temporal thinking on a non-linguistic level, not just a “thinking for speaking” level  Non-linguistic, non-symbolic conceptions of time are influenced by spatial factors  Individuals were asked to estimate how far and for how long lines growing across a screen were in growing o For English speakers, lines that grew a long distance were estimated to take a longer time to grow than lines that grew a short distance even though the time taken was actually the same  Conceptions of time were influenced by spatial factors  When asked to judge the distance of line growth, individuals did not show any influences of time  Because English speaks of time in terms of distance, distance had a substantially larger influence on conceptions of duration  The English and Indonesian speakers were significantly influenced by distance  The Spanish and Greek speakers were significantly influenced by quantity Section 2: The Structure of Language  Morphemes – the smallest units of sound that contain information o Often words, but a single word can be made up of more than one morpheme  Eg/ lady (1 morpheme) vs. ladybug (2 morphemes) o Some morphemes cannot stand alone as an individual word  Eg/ bugs  bus vs. s; s cannot stand alone, it indicates plural  Phonemes – the smallest unit of sound o Eg/ the word “map” - /m/a/p/ o Can include sounds such as clicks o Not necessarily one letter  Eg/ th, sh  Syntax – refers to the rules that govern how we put morphemes and words together to form a sentence o Unique to each language o Some languages (French) assign a gender to different objects o Order in which words occur in a sentence  English uses a subject-verb-object order  Hindi and Japanese use a subject-object-verb order  Semantics – the meaning that is produced through the use and combination of certain words and morphemes o Language can have meaning and be understood without syntax Section 3: Language Development  Universal Phonemic Sensitivity – the ability to discriminate between virtually all phonemes even before language is learned; infant ability, lost into adulthood  Conditioned head-turn procedure – used to determine whether infants can distinguish different phonemes  Perceptual-narrowing – the process of losing the ability to distinguish between contrasts In sounds not used in native language Textbook Notes Psych 1X03
More Less

Related notes for PSYCH 1X03

Log In


Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.