PSYA02H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 10: Preposition And Postposition, Reading Education In The United States, Part Of Speech
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Psycholinguistics: A branch of psychology devoted to the study of verbal behaviour. They
are more concerned with human cognition than with the particular rules that describe
language. They are interested in how children acquire language: verbal behaviour
develops and how children learn to speak from their interactions with adults – also study
how adults use language and verbal abilities to interact with other cognitive abilities
When we speak, we produce a series of sounds in a continuous stream, punctuated by
pauses and modulated by stress and changes in pitch.
The auditory system recognizes the patterns underlying speech rather than just the
Some regions of the brain responded more when people heard human vocalizations
than only natural sounds. When it comes to analyzing the detailed information of speech,
the left hemisphere plays a larger role.
Phoneme: the minimum/smallest unit of sound that conveys meaning in a particular
language, such as /p/. eg. PIN has 3 phonemes /p/ + /i/ + /n/
Voice-onset Time: the delay between the initial sound of a consonant (such as the
puffing sound of the phoneme /p/) and the onset of vibration of the vocal cords
Vocal cords don’t vibrate until air from your lungs passes through them. Vocal cords
vibrate 0.06 seconds slower/later when saying “pa”
Regions of the left auditory cortex seem to specialize in recognizing the special aspects
Morpheme: The smallest unit of meaning in language. Phonemes are combined to form
Free Morpheme: can stand on its own and still have meaning - /fast/
Bound morpheme: cannot stand on their own and must be attached to other morphemes
to provide meaning
Able to recognize the sounds because of the context. Context affects the perception of
words through top-down processing. Other contexts also affect word perception.
Syntactical Rule: A grammatical rule of a particular language for combining words to
form phrases, clauses and sentences (learnt implicitly)
Syntactical cues are signaled by
•word order: tells us who does to whom. (the boy hits the ball / the ball hits the
•word class: grammatical categories (noun, pronoun, verb, adjective)
•Function Word: A preposition, article, or other word that conveys little of the
meaning of a sentence but is important in specifying its grammatical structure (a,
the, to, some, and) express the relations between content words
•Content Word: A noun, verb, adjective, or adverb that conveys meaning (apple,
rug, went, sadly) expresses meanings
•Affix: a sound or group of letters that is added to the beginning of a word (prefix)
or to its end (suffix) to alter their grammatical function (-ed, -ing, -ly)
•Semantics/ word meaning: The meanings and the study of the meanings
represented by words
•prosody: The use of changes in intonation and emphasis to convey meaning in speech
besides that specified by the particular words; an important means of communication of
OR refers to the use of stress, rhythm and changes in pitch that accompany speech.
Our understanding of syntax is automatic. As syntax becomes more complex, our brain
becomes more active.
Deep Structure: the essential meaning of a sentence, without regard to the grammatical
features (surface structure) of the sentence that are needed to express it in words
[Noam Chomsky, a noted linguist, suggested that newly formed sentences are
represented in the brain in terms of their meaning, which is called deep structure.]
In order to say the sentence, the brain must transform the deep structure into appropriate
surface structure (the particular form the sentence takes)
Surface Structure: The grammatical features of a sentence
People with Conduction Aphasia have difficulty repeating words and phrases, but they
can understand them. They can retain deep structure but not surface structure of other
Script: specify various kinds of events and interactions that people have witnessed or
have learned about from others.
The neural mechanisms that control speech production appear to be located in the
frontal lobes. Damage to a region of the motor association cortex in the left frontal lobe
(broca’s Aphasia) disrupts the ability to speak.
Broca's Aphasia: Severe difficulty in slow, laborious, non-fluent speech caused by
damage that includes Broca's area, a region of the frontal cortex on the left (speech-
dominant) side of the brain.