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PSYC100 13/14 Week 13.docx

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PSYC 100
Jon Miller

Week 13: Language Language - A method of communicating information (ideas, thoughts, emotions, etc.) - A socially agreed upon, rule-governed system of symbols which are combined in ways that communicate ideas and feelings about any time or place Properties of Human Language - Semanticity o The extent to which a language can use symbols to transmit meaningful messages - Generativity o The combination of limited words and rules to convey a large range of ideas - Displacement o The ability to use language to convey messages not tied to the immediate context (time and place) Linguistics - Phonemes o Distinct speech sounds that distinguish one word from another - Morphemes o Formed by phonemes o Smallest unit of meaning in language o Free morpheme  Meaningful on their own; can stand alone as words • Eg. “Engagement” < “Engage” o Bound morpheme  Meaningful only when combined with other morphemes to form words • Eg. “Engagement” < “-ment” - Semantics o The relationship between words and their meanings  Can be crucial for comprehension - Syntax o Grammatical rules for combining words to form phrases and sentences  Ie. Word order - Pragmatics o Knowledge of the world as it relates to understanding and using language  Helps with interpretation Levels of Language Analysis 1. Recognize the sounds (phonemes) 2. Identify words and associate them with meanings (access morphological and semantic knowledge) 3. Analyze the syntax of the message (word order, function, etc.); interpret the message in its context (integrate pragmatics with syntax and semantics) Speech Production - Articulators o Mouth structures that make sounds  Jaw, tongue, lips, soft palate - Coarticulation o Articulators shape multiple sounds at any moment o Information about different sounds overlap o Sounds associated with phonemes depend on the preceding and following sounds Categorical Perception - The tendency to disregard physical differences between stimuli and perceive them as the same o Allows us to perceive sounds as one phoneme or another, even when the sounds is ambiguous  Depends on ability to ignore irrelevant acoustic variability in speech sounds while making use of meaningful variability to distinguish phonemes Learning to Read - Written language o A visual symbol system imposed on top of an auditory symbol system (oral language) - Reading phonetically o Must be able to map the visual symbol system onto the auditory symbol system o Methods  Alphabetic knowledge • Learn letters and their sounds  Phonemic awareness • Analyze phonemes in ways not required for language comprehension o Eg. Recognizing words with same ending sounds (cat, bat,
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