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PSYC 100
Ingrid Johnsrude

WEEK 13 ONLINE LESSON NOTES-LANGUAGE COMMUNICATING INFORMATION Language: a method of communicating information, including ideas, thoughts, and emotions -animals other than humans can communicate info (eg. bees with intricate dances to indicate where a source of nectar is) -some forms of human communication do not qualify as "language" (eg. music, flower arrangements, body posture) COMPREHENSION -info can only be communicated if both the sender and receiver understand SEMANTICITY -the extent to which a form of communication can meaningfully represent ideas, events, and objects symbolically -the range of meaning that a symbol can convey -low level of semanticity: bees dancing -->conveys a meaningful message, but limited selection of symbols and only conveys distance and direction; can't indicate more complex or varied messages -moderate level of semanticity: young monkey uses snake warning when it sees a stick; tribe responds -->ability to warn tribe of a range of different dangers; specific alarm calls indicate specific threat -high level of semanticity: Sarah builds a bouquet of yellow roses, calla lilies, oak leaves, and ivy to congratulate her sister for graduating -->specific language of flower arrangement; multiple complex symbols and evidence of a higher order of communication through abstract symbolism GENERATIVITY -when language combines a limited number of words and a few rules to convey many ideas -eg. "the boy hit the ball" and "the ball hit the boy" have very different meanings -can convey more ideas than we have specific symbols for TO BE CONSIDERED LANGUAGE... 1. A FORM OF COMMUNICATION MUST HAVE GENERATIVITY--> few words and rules to generate an unlimited number of meanings 2. MUST HAVE DISPLACMENT--> the ability to convey messages that are not tied to the immediate time and place -communicates about the past, present, or another location -eg. sign language; not poker (can only communicate about your present hand) 3. LEVEL OF SEMANTICITY -->language is highly complex and variable LINGUISTICS Psycholinguistics: study of verbal behavior and cognition PHONOLOGY -the rules that govern the sounds, or phonemes, of a language -speech sounds in language -phoneme: distinct units of sound that serve to distinguish one word from another -eg. "rice" vs "lice"; L and R phoneme MORPHOLOGY -knowledge about how morphemes can be combined and used -phonemes combined to form morphemes: smallest meaningful units in a language 1. Free morphemes: meaningful alone; can be used as words (eg. engage) 2. Bound morphemes: meaningful only when combined with other morphemes to form words (eg. engagement = free morpheme "engage" + bound morpheme "ment") -morphemes can include things that indicate past tense (eg. "ed" SEMANTICS -ability of system to meaningfully represent ideas, events, and objects symbolically -the meanings of words and the rules that govern those meanings -important for comprehension eg. "William put the wedding band on Kate's finger"-->interpreted "William put the ring on Kate's finger" SYNTAX -determines how we combine words to form phrases/sentences -order and linear combination of words -eg. "Is words sentence of out impossible understand of are order to it it" --> "if the words of a sentence are out of order it is impossible to understand it" PRAGMATICS -knowledge of the world as it relates to understanding and using language -helps to interpret what others say to you -eg. "You'd better not eat that piece of cake, you're looking kind of fat"--> said to best friend, not boss LEVELS OF LANGUAGE ANALYSIS Comprehension requires 1. recognizing the sounds (phonemes) 2. identify words in message and associate them with meanings (by using morphological + semantic knowledge) 3. analyse syntax 4. interpret message based on context (integrate pragmatics with syntax and semantics) -each step uses multiple cues and rule systems -levels may occur simultaneously LANGUAGE: a form of communication using phonemes, morphemes, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics SPEAKING AND HEARING: ORAL LANGUAGE articulators: mouth structures that make speech sounds -different languages have different phonemes, different accents come from the usage of different phonemes Coarticulation: -info about speech sounds is spread over time and info about different sounds overlap in time -phonemes overlapping affects the sound of these phonemes and phonemes around them -sound associated with any phoneme varies depending on context (on other sounds preceding and following it) -articulators move rapidly and prepare to say the next phoneme before the previous one is finished, resulting in coarticulation -many different sounds can map to a single phoneme -some sounds correspond to more than one phoneme (eg. p in peacock and k in candy are acoustically the same) -when infants are very young, they can tell the difference between all phonemes -by one, they can only recognize phonemes in their own language -->brain learns to discard info that isn't needed; kids learn to disregard certain phonemes that aren't used CATEGORIZING AND GROUPING categorical perception: allows us to perceive sounds as one phoneme or another, when in reality, the sound might be ambiguous -eg. we can easily tell colours apart: discriminate them; ability to discriminate is much better than our ability to label the distinctions -easy to discriminate b/w different stimuli (eg. female and male face) -harder to discriminate b/w stimuli that is classified as the same thing (eg. shades of orange or two faces that are both male) -auditory categorization: ignores acoustic variability in speech sounds that are irrelevant to your language, and uses meaningful variability to distinguish phonemes -eg. Japanese people can't distinguish between the "ra-" and "la-" phoneme WRITTEN LANGUAGE -visual symbol system that is imposed on top of an auditory symbol system (oral language) -written language builds on oral language -most languages represent the sounds of speech symbolically--> alphabet READING 1. sounding out words (phonetic reading) 2. reading by sight (whole-word reading) -morphology helps us break words into smaller sections when reading -vocabulary (part of semantics) important in understanding text -knowledge of world helps us understand text's context (eg. different purposes, styles of writing, and media) LEARNING WRITTEN LANGUAGE 1. learn letters of alphabet and corresponding sounds 2. being to analyse phonemes in way not required for language comprehension (eg. recognizing words w/ same e
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