PSYA02H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 10: Bound And Unbound Morphemes, Verbal Behavior

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14 Jul 2011

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Chapter 10 Language
Language: flexible systems that use symbols to express many meanings
Project Washoes success on taught of species to use sign language conclude that
verbal ability is a social behaviour
Human use language as tools of thinking and remembering, for example, we often
we can extend our long term memory for information by writing notes and
consulting them later
It also enables us to think abstract issues by manipulating words using logical rules
Psycholiguistics: a branch of psychology devoted to the study of verbal behaviour
are more concerned with human cognition than with the particular rules that
describe languages, they are interested of how people develops the verbal behaviour
from learning environment and how verbal abilities interact with other cognitive
SPEECH AND COMPREHENSION: the ability to engage in verbal behaviour confers
decided advantages on our species. Such as listening and reading profit the experience of
others, through talking and writing, we can influence others and as well learn from them
Perception of Speech
Speech contains series of sounds in a continuous stream, punctuated by pauses and
modulated by stress and changes in pitch.
Speech does not come to us as a series of individual words; we must extract the
words from the stream of speech
Recognition of Speech Sounds: we tend to clearly distinguish individuals sounds
from others around us. we do depends on the speakers accent, how they pause and it
is same like our ability to recognize the faces visually
the auditory system recognizes the patterns underlying speech rather than just the
sounds themselves
The use of functional imaging technologies fMRI scans, Belin, Zatorres, and Ahad
(2002) found that some regions of the brain responded more when people heard
human vocalizations (both speech and non-speech) than when they heard only
natural sounds. Regions in which there was a large difference were located in the
temporal lobe, on the auditory cortex
When it comes to analyzing the detailed information of speech, the left hemisphere
plays a larger role and this detailed information is called elements of speech or
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Phonemes: the smallest units of sounds that allow us to distinguish the meaning of
a spoken word. For example, the word pin consists of three phonemes: /p/+/i/+/n/
Voice onset time: the delay between the initial sound of a consonant and the onset
of vibration of the vocal cords. It permits us to distinguish between /p/and /b/, pa and
ba. One distinction of phonemic discriminations
Scott, Blank, Rosen and Wise identified some of these areas using PET scans, they
played recordings of either natural speech, speech that was computer distorted and
unintelligible but contained the phonemic complexity of the sounds, or speech that
was intelligible but lacked the normal frequencies of human speakers
Some areas responded to both natural and unintelligible speech, while others
responded only to speech that was intelligible even if it was highly distorted
Morphemes: the smallest unit of meaning in language
For example, the word fastest contains two morphemes, /fast/, which is a free
morpheme because it can stand on its own and still have meaning, and /ist/, which is
a bound morpheme
Bound morpheme cannot stand on their own and must be attached to other
morphemes to provide meaning
Morpheme are important component in language
Recognition of words in continuous speech: the importance of learning and context :
Sanders Newport and Neville examined brain wave activity and offer participant
learning the non-sense word such as butuba and they find out that when people
learn these words, they also need to learn its content because we are able to
recognize the sound because of the context
people use various cues present in the environment to help us understand what
someone is saying
we take advantage of context when reading just as we do when speaking
Understanding the Meaning of Speech
Syntax: the rules of the language; using words with which the listener is familiar
and combine then in specific ways
Syntactical rules: all language have a syntax or grammar, they all follow certain
Our understanding of syntax is automatic, but our brains behave differently when
we encounter more difficult syntax
fMRI shows that as syntax become more complex our brain become more active
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