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PSYC 100

Week 13- Language 1/13/2013 2:54:00 PM FQ: why are humans better than computers at interpreting both spoken and written language? Language is a method for communicating information, including ideas, thoughts, and emotions. - music= a universal form of communication used by humans - way we hold are body also communicates emotions information can only be communicated if both the ender and receiver understand what‟s going on. Semanticity- The extent to which a language can use symbols to transmit meaningful messages. Generativity- is when a limited number of words and a few rules convey many ideas. Language is used this way (more than one meaning for some words) [The ability to combine words or symbols of a language using rules of composition and syntax to communicate an almost infinite variety of ideas using a relatively small vocabulary.] Ex. by combining the same words in a different order the sentence can take on a completely different meaning. - to be considered language- it must have generativity. - larger vocabulary increases ability to communicate but have to be able to combine grammar and vocabulary to come up with compelling ideas. -to be considered language it also has to have displacement- The ability to convey a message that is not tied to the current time and place- but instead communicate information about events in the past, future or some other location. Language- a socially agreed upon, rule-governed system of arbitrary symbols that can be defined in different ways to communicate ideas and feelings about both the present time and place and other times and places, real or imagined. Linguistics - linguists study the “rules” of language -Psycholinguists study the verbal behaviour and cognition (acquisition, comprehension, and production of language) - each rule studied by linguists represents a different area of knowledge about human language Basic Sounds Phonology- The rules that govern the patterns of sounds that are used in a language - which sounds are used, and how they're combined. Phonemes- The basic distinctive speech sounds in a language that distinguish one word (e.g., rice) from another (lice). - phonological rules govern how phonemes can be combined in a given language. - phonemes combined to create morphemes which is the smallest meaningful unit in a language. Morphemes can be combined and is called morphology. 2 types of morphemes  free morphemes- meaningful on their own and can stand alone as words  bound morphemes- meaningful only when combined with other morphemes to form words. Ex. (ed) on the ends of words Morphemes- „Lego bricks” we use to build words. Languages use many codes and assumptions Semantics- The relationship between words and their meanings (crucial for comprehension.) Syntax or syntactical rules- Grammatical rules of a particular language for combining words to form phrases and sentences. Pragmatics- The social rules of language that allow people to use language appropriately for different purposes and in different situations. To use the knowledge of the world (helps you interpret what people say) Levels of language processing 1. recognize phonemes (sounds) 2. identify words & associate with their meanings (using morphological and semantic knowledge) 3. Analyze the syntax of the message (involves word order, context, semantics and prosody. ) and interpret the utterance in its context (ivolves use of knowledge of the world (pragmatics) and syntax and semantics) - each level requires a number of rules/cues ------------------------Written and Spoken --------------------------------- making sounds articulators- Mouth structures that make speech sounds (jaw, tongue, lips, and soft palate). Identifying phonemes - language has many ambiguities so rely on our experience with language and our knowledge of pragmatics - two b‟s sound the same in different words because of the positioning of the tongue for the next letters. – use this info when understanding speech. -phonemes overlap - coarticulation- Speech sounds for words are not produced in a discrete sequence. Instead, the articulators are effectively shaping multiple sounds at any moment in time, so that different instances of a particular phoneme (e.g., "b") are acoustically different, depending on the sounds preceding and following them. -different languages use different phonemes We don‟t hear all phenomes -brain learns to disregard unneeded information - only learn distinction between phonemes learnt in their language categorical perception-The tendency of perceivers to disregard physical differences between stimuli and perceive them as the same, such that a continuous change in a physical attribute is perceived not as continuous, but as a discrete change at a category boundary. - allows us to perceive sounds as one phoneme or another - ex. Distinguishing based on facial queues whether someone is male or female - auditory categorical perception depends on your ability to ignore acoustic variability that is irrelevant to your language, while making use of meaningful variability to distinguish phonemes. Multilingualism - Iverson and kuhl studied perception in english speaking and Japanese speaking individuals by creating synthetic speech syllables – created continuum of r to l that differed by the same amount of intervals -english speakers distinguish ra and la as distinct differences but Japanese do not. Perceptual similarity different. Speech perception system -speech perception system highlights the phonemic contrasts that are used in the language you speak and minimizes contrasts that are not meaningful - allows speech system to dismiss meaningless variability in speech -also affects tone- change in tone in some language is meaningless for words but in other will change the meaning. Therefore very hard for English speakers to learn mandarin. 3 types of language : oral language, written language, and internal language Written Language - written language builds on top of oral language - therefore the linguistic knowledge and analytic skills that help speech comprehension also helpful for written language -most languages represent the sounds in speech symbolically Reading sounds and words - can either “sound out” words also called phonetic reading or reading by sight also called whole-word reading -reader brings other knowledge into play when reading text - knowledge of morphology helps reader break word into smaller units -readers vocabulary(semantics) plays role in ability to comprehend text- if you don‟t know what the word means just by reading it wont help much. -knowledge of the world is also important to be able to interpret the meaning of the word in the sentence and different types of writing and media. Discovering rules Written language does have some rules that differentiate it from oral language – these characteristics have to be learned - in writing spaces break writing into different words -writer has to learn which way to read the text - writer has to learn the rules for which punctuation is used to convey their intended meaning - before people can learn to read they have to be able to map the visual symbol system onto the auditory symbol system learn by: 1. learning the letters of the alphabet & the sounds they make 2. begin to analyze phonemes in ways that are not required for language comprehension (phonemic awareness) ex. Knowing that bat cat and hat all end the same way Eye Tracking -Alred Yarbus found that our saccades (eye movements) tend to fixate on interesting scenes in a particular scene. Depends on the individual and what they find interesting -eye tracking= good way of tracking cognition - eye tracking can also be used to study advertisements and web page design, study object permanence is young children. For example if a ball rolls behind a box and comes out the other end repeatedly a young child cannot predict this but a older child would be able to ------------------------Language Development ---------------------------- roles of phonemes, multilingualism, and parental involvement in language acquisition between 7-8 months infants start to babble and figure out where the words start and end and by 9 months start to put things together to tell adults they need something specific. Ex. Toy with a shout and point by 10 months they are starting to understand a few words 12-13 months start to speak first word(s) take in what adults are labeling, putting it together with the physical world and picking out the sounds in the world recognizing how they string together from there start to grasp that everything can be labeled -much easier for young kids to grasp multiple languages than adults because adults have a structure of language already and so it is harder to build on top of that Infant direct talk (IDT) Exaggerated expressive verbal and nonverbal communication used with infants. -May help distinguish between encouragement and discourage before they can actually understand the words. -help to understand meaning of words phonemes also help in such development -language is composed of different arrangements of phonemes -infants 6-8 months can distinguish between phonemes while adults cannot -changes occur in the infants brains at around 12 months that changes the way they hear spoken language making their language perception more adult-like. Language development Crying- first 2 months Cooing- 8-10 wks begin to coo (first speech like sounds) Interaction and increased sound production Babbling 7 months begin mixing consonants and vowel sounds Becoming better babblers Before being able to speak language have to understand it Infants have problem of reference How do they begin to understand words when 1. when they are surrounded by numerous objects that could be the word 2. have no point of reference and cant ask for clarification - start to distinguish between words from 4.5 month to 7-8 months -most infants produce first word between 10-15 months infants usually: overextend: Generalize known words to a wider variety of contexts than is appropriate for those words. Point to any man and say “dada” underextend: Limit context for generalized words to a certain specific meaning. Point to only their ball and say ball but not to any other ball. Vocabulary Spurt: Period of strong language growth in children in which they are able to learn and use a large number of words. (around 15 months) -also start to string words together at this time Telegraphic speech: Speech that sounds very much like a telegram, with only essential words, has words arranged in an order that makes sense, and contains almost all nouns and verbs strung together in pairs. Theories of acquiring language Nativism (language)- Theory of language development that proposes that children are born with an innate knowledge of a universal grammar. Noam Chomsky- argues that children are born with an instinctive knowledge of grammar (basic) -argues in favour of a system in the brain that begins to develop after our first exposure to language. -no learning involved in early language achievement- have no control over it and only require words to grow their language ability -born with the principles of language- they are in our genes -person will develop high expertise in native language -“critical time period” children can learn language rapidly when they are young but may never be able to make up for it if they do not experience language when they are young Genetic Evidence Linguistic ability difference between humans and non-humans may be a result of a pair of genetic mutations in gene called FOXP2 -FOXP2 present and similar in all mammals -very few mutations are survivable in this gene Interactionist theories -A person who believes that language development results from interaction among multiple biological and social influences. -place much more emphasis on social environment and learning than nativists -increased complexity in development of vocabulary and language are direct results of their cognitive abilities Interactionist understanding of grammar Complexity - grammar emerges from the complexity of a growing vocabulary rather than navists theory of universal grammar in all of us. -grammar seen as extremely complex system that we are not simply born with -correlation between the amount of words in child‟s vocabulary and the complexity of grammar that they can use Social Process - structure of the social environment is based on the use of language, therefore environment is very conductive to language development -emphasis on language as a social process (interactionists) human development of language does not reflect a fundamental difference in the way that human brains work. 2 chimpanzee‟s Kanzi and Washoe respond to signed (w) and verbal (k) language and demonstrate syntax and the three properties of language sematicity, generativity, and displacement subsongs- Unstructured, often rambling vocalization at low intensity heard mainly in young birds. (similar to babbling in human babies) develops into more complex songs and sounds later on week 14: genetics and intelligence 1/13/2013 2:54:00 PM FC: how is inheritability of intelligence connected with inheritability of other behavioural and human factors we have studied so far? Behavioural Genetics Heritability and inheritability mean basically the same thing- the ability to be passed from generation to generation Behaviour has 2 origins: either you are born with it (nativism) and it is in your genes or you gained it from experience (empiricism) from the environment -all behaviour aries from both nature (nativism) and nurture (empiricism) to an extent because genes interact with the environment at every level -many psychological disorders and processes have genetic underpinnings behaviour genetics- the study of genetic influences on behaviour ex. our response to alcohol may be affected by many genetic and environmental factors (more prone to abuse it/get addicted) Sexual Reproduction DNA- deoxyribonucleic acid- Genetic material of all organisms that makes up chromosomes; resembles a twisted ladder, with strands of sugar and phosphates connected by rungs made from nucleotide molecules of adenine, thymine, guanine, and cytosine. Chromosomes- Threadlike structures in the nuclei of living cells; contain genes. -humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes -22 called autosomes rd -23 containing X and Y chromosomes (women= XX, men=XY) -sperm and eggs cells produced by process called meiosis, resulting in each cell having half of each pair of chromosomes -when sex cells combine during reproduction, chromosomes combine giving the cells complete set of 23 chromosomes chromatid- One of two identical halves of a replicated chromosome. -egg can only have an X chromatid, sperm can have X or Y so father (sperm) determines sex of the child Genes and Alleles Genes- Small units of DNA that direct the synthesis of proteins and enzymes and result in the expression of inheritable traits.( encode particular proteins) -point on chromosome where gene is located is called its locus or loci homozygous- Each parent contributes the same allele for a particular gene. (genes on same locus but on different chromosomes are the same) heterozygous- Each parent contributes different alleles for a particular gene. Alleles- Alternative forms of the same gene. (pair of genes at a given locus) one inherited from father, another from the mother. -if alleles are different one allele has a dominant (Trait that is exhibited when an individual possesses heterozygous alleles at that locus) effect over the other recessive- Trait that occurs only when it is expressed by homozygous alleles. (ex brown eyes dominant and blue eyes recessive. For someone to have blue eyes, both alleles must encode for blue eyes) - appearance and behaviour depend on genes AND the environment -identical twins can still look different because of their diets etc. -genes don‟t directly influence our behaviour- genes guide cells to generate proteins that cause our cells to form chemicals that are related to behaviour -some genes have only one purpose/function while others have a few -type of protein made depends on structure of gene and the environment -heritability- The amount of variability in a given trait in a given population at a given time 2 due to genetic factors; measured as h and sometimes referred to by this measure instead of the word. (passed through genes) Genotype and phenotype Genotype- the genetic makeup of n organism Phenotype- refers to how a trait is expressed Ex. two people that have brown eyes. One has genotypes Bb and one has genotype BB- but both have brown eyes. They have same phenotype but different genotype- also an example of the single gene effect Polygenic- A trait that is influenced by more than one pair of genes. (ex labs have 2 separate genes for colour) one gene controls expression while the other controls colour crossing black lab and brown lab can make golden lab because its golden every time there are two e‟s Single gene traits - most behaviour cannot be affected by just a single gene -genetic basis to fearfulness in dogs (scott and fuller) directly predicted what percentage of dogs would show trait based on single gene. FOXP2 gene found on chromosome 7 that is related to sever language disorder in humans Multi-gene traits -can see if there is genetic link by seeing if it runs in families. -most genes perform multiple tasks so hard for just one gene to control one behaviour Video - sperm= 23 chromosomes egg= 23 chromosomes when they unite they form pairs so total of 46 individual chromosomes (but they match up with each other) -family study- take individuals from many families and measure particular behavioural trait. Then measure correlation of siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins etc.. if there is a higher correlation with closer related family members provides indication that the behavioural trait is likely genetic -adoption study- track presence or absence of a trait in adopted children as well as biological and adoptive parents more similar trait= higher correlation=greater genetic contribution more similar trait= higher correlation= greater environmental contribution twins studies take fraternal twins (dizygotic) (share 50% of genes) take identical twins (monozygotic) (share 100% of genes) compare frequency of trait- if twins share same trait they are described as concordant for that trait concordance rate= % of twins in a study that share a particular trait. Usually higher concordance rate (6/10) in identical twins The expression of similarity in traits (or absence of traits) by both twins. if genetics are solely responsible the concordance rate would be 100% twin studies- important for 2 reasons can compare similarities of identical and fraternal twins to see extent to which genetics are responsible -genetics play a significant role in individual differences in personality about 50% of variation -way that environment affects people- environments we share with family members have only modest affect -environments that have greatest affect are the ones that are unique to us ex. If one sibling travelled to an exotic country Epigenetics Epigenetics- The study of heritable changes that occur without a change in the DNA sequence.(mutations) video on field of epigenetics: -environment influences
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