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Chapter 9

Chapter 9

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PSYC 221
Thomas Spalek

CHAPTER 9 Linguistics – the discipline that studies language as a formal system Psycholinguistics – the study of language from the perspective of psychology; the study of language as it is used and learned by people Language – the expression or communication of thoughts and feelings by means of sounds, and combinations of such sounds, to which meaning is attributed • Ashared (by culture) symbolic system for communication Linguistic universals – features and characteristics that are universall true of all human languages Semanticity – the fact that the elements of language convey meaning (Hockett) Arbitrary – there is no inherent connection between the units (sounds, words) used in language and the meanings referred to by those units • Knowledge of language must involve leaning and remembering the arbitrary connections Flexibility of symbols – the characteristic that enables the meaning of a language symbol to be changed and enables new symbols to be added to the language • The connection between symbol and meaning is arbitrary, we can change those connection and invent new ones Naming – the characteristics that human languages have names or labels for all the objects and concepts encountered by the speakers of the language Displacement – the fact that language permits us to talk about times other than the immediate present (Hockett) Productivity – generativity; refer to the rule-based nature of language, infinite number of sentences can be generated or produced by applying the rules of the language Grammar – a set of rules for forming the words or sentences in a language; rules generate only acceptable or legal sentences and do not generate any sentences that are unacceptable • Operates in three levels: 1. Phonology – sounds of language; includes how they are produced and how they are perceived 2. Syntax – deals with word order and grammaticality 3. Semantics – deals with accessing and combining the separate word meanings into a sensible, meaningful whole 4. Conceptual knowledge – analysis of phrase and sentence meaning with reference to knowledge in semantic memory 5. Levels of belief – analysis and discourse of meaning with reference to one’s own beliefs and one’s beliefs about a speaker’s intent and motivations Competence – the internalized knowledge of language and its rules that fully fluent speakers of a language possess, uncontaminated by flaws in performance that are unacceptable Performance – any observable behavior related to language; influenced not only by linguistic factors, but also by factors related to lapses in attention, memory and so on Dysfluency – error, flaw, or irregularity in spoken speech Linguistic intuition – one;s subjective judgment that a sentence is or is not “acceptable” or “correct”;the basis for most theorizing in linguistics Linguistic relativity hypothesis –one’s language determines – or at least influences strongly – what one can think about (Whorf) PHONOLOGY Phonemes – a sound or set of sounds judged to be the same by speakers of a language 1. Place of articulation – place in the vocal tract where the disruption of airflow takes place 2. Manner of articulation – how the airflow coming up from the lungs is disrupted 3. Voicing – refers to whether the vocal cords begin to vibrate immediately with the obstruction of airflow Categorical perception – the perception of similar language sounds as being the same phoneme, despite the minor physical differences among them • Different phonemes are the sounds that speakers of the language perceive as being different Phoneme redefined – the category or group of language sounds that are treated as the same sound, despite physical differences among the sounds  Early and concentrated exposure to your first language tunes you perceptual system so that your ability to discriminate differences that are not phonemic in that first language declines. Phonemic competence – extensive knowledge of the rules of permissible English sound combinations Problem of invariance – variabilit
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