-Larger units of speech are established by learning and experience.
-A special electrical signal, called the N100 wave, appears shortly after people hear the onset
of a word.
-In addition to learning the units of speech we also learn its content.
-Even though speech is filled with hesitations muffled sounds, and sloppy pronunciations, we
are able to recognize sounds because of the context.
-Context affects the perception of words through top-down processing.
Understanding the Meaning of Speech
-The meaning of a sentence (or a group of connected sentences that are telling a story) is
1.The words that are chosen,
2.The order in which they are combined,
3.The affixes attached to the beginning or ends of the words,
4.The pattern of rhythm and emphasis of the speaker, and
5.Knowledge about the world shared by the speaker and the listener.
-For a listener to understand our speech, we must follow the “rules” of language.
-All languages have a syntax or grammar.
-Syntactical rule: a grammatical rule of a particular language for combining words to form
phrases, clauses, and sentences.
-Syntax is to put together. It provides important information.
-Our understanding of syntax is automatic.
-As syntax becomes more complex or ambiguous, our brains become more active.
-The syntactical rules are learning implicitly (cannot be described verbally).
-Learning syntax and word meaning involves different types of memory—and consequently,
different brain mechanisms.
-Syntactical Cues are signalled by:
Important in English.
Does not play the same role in all languages.
e.g., “the boy hit the ball”...“the ball hit the boy”
oThe word order tells us who does what to whom.
Grammatical categories (such as, nouns, pronouns, verbs and adjectives).
A person need not learn to categorize these words deliberately in order to
recognize them and use them appropriately.
3.Function and Content Word
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.