Textbook Notes (378,536)
CA (167,156)
UTSC (19,214)
Psychology (9,984)
PSYB57H3 (376)
Chapter 9

Chapter 9 notes

7 Pages
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Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYB57H3
Professor
Gabriela Ilie

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PSYB57- Chapter 9- Language
Some language are bottom up and some are driven by listeners expectations; some occurs
automatically and some is performed intentionally
Although language is often used as a communication system, there are other
communication systems that do not form true language
A natural language has 2 necessary characteristics: it is regular (governed by rules
called grammar) and it is productive, meaning that infinite combinations of things can
be expressed in it
Other characteristics include arbitrariness (lack of necessary resemblance b/w a word
and what it refers to) and discreteness (the system can be divided into recognizable
parts)
All human languages are communication systems but not all communication
systems have the prerequisites to be classified as natural languages
The structure of language
Sounds= phonemes ; the study of ways in which phonemes can be combined in any
language is the study of phonology
Putting the sounds in a coherent way and identifying the meaningful units of language is
known as morphology
Morphemes – smallest meaningful units of language are words
Syntax- structure of a sentence; semantics- meaning of a sentence
Pragmatics-studies the ways in which context contributes to meaning
In psycholinguistics, grammar refers to ways of speaking that form intelligible phrases
recognizable as ex of language that a native speaker of the language might produce
our knowledge of rules is implicit, not explicit
linguistic competence- underlying linguistic knowledge that lets people produce and
comprehend their language; not fully evident in actual use or performance of language
lapses of memory, nervousness or tiredness, environmental changes, shifts in interest or
random error can all interfere with our use of language
linguistic performance- reflects linguistic competence under completely ideal
conditions; such conditions are never achieved in real life
Phonology
phonetics- study of speech sounds and how they are produced; phonology- study of
systematic ways in which speech sounds are combined and altered in language
English has 40 phonetic segments
Vowels work w/o obstructing airflow; consonants are phonemes made by opening and
closing part of mouth
Consonants differ in place of articulation (where airflow obstruction occurs), manner of
articulation (mechanics of how airflow is obstructed); voicing (z is voiced and s is
unvoiced)
Syntax
Arrangement of words within sentences or structure of sentences
www.notesolution.com
Syntactic rules should meet 2 requirements: they should be able to describe every legal
sentence and they should never be able to describe and illegal sentence
Preposing- taking a certain part of a sentence and moving it to the front, usually for
emphasis ex. my naughty dog, I’m mad at
Only constituents labelled as being whole phrases can undergo movement from one
position in a sentence to another
The rules of syntax, like the rules of phonology are not consciously present in awareness
Semantics
Study of meaning; theories of meaning have to explain several things:
oAnomaly- Coffee ice-cream can dictation
oContradictions - “My dog is not an animal
oAmbiguity - “I need to go to the bank
oSynonym - “The rabbit is not old enough
oEntailment - “Pat is my uncle
To understand a sentence, listeners need to pay attention to the meaning as well as the
syntax
The study of semantics also involves the study of truth conditions of sentences and of the
relations between sentences- truth conditions are circumstances that make something true
Thus, our understanding of a meaning of a sentence requires 1) understanding of the
meaning of each word in the sentence, 2) understanding syntax of sentence and 3)
understanding truth conditions of sentence
Pragmatics
Social rules of language; include etiquette conventions
Different kind of utterances demand diff responses from us; assertive- speaker asserts
his or her belief in some proposition; in directives- instructions from the speaker to the
listener; in commissives- commit the speaker to some later action (I promise to clean
my room); expressive- describe psychological states of the speaker; declerations-
speech acts in which the utterance is itself the action (ex. you’re fired)
According to Searles speech act theory, our job is to figure out which of the 5 types a
particular utterance is and to respond appropriately
Language comprehension and production
Speech perception
George Miller described 2 problems in speech perception: 1) speech is continuous and 2)
a single phoneme sounds diff, depending on context
A spectrogram is a graphic representation of speech, showing the frequencies of sounds
Our perception of speech sounds is categorical- we automatically, w/o intention or
awareness force the sounds into discrete categories
Lisker and Abramson demonstrated categorical perception- played speech sounds like b
or p followed by an ‘ah’ sound. The b and p sounds have the same consonantal features
and differ only in voice onset time
We pay more attention to certain acoustic properties of speech (those that are meaningful)
and ignore others
www.notesolution.com

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Description
PSYB57- Chapter 9- Language Some language are bottom up and some are driven by listeners expectations; some occurs automatically and some is performed intentionally Although language is often used as a communication system, there are other communication systems that do not form true language A natural language has 2 necessary characteristics: iregular (governed by rules called grammar) and it iproductive , meaning that infinite combinations of things can be expressed in it Other characteristics includarbitrariness (lack of necessary resemblance bw a word and what it refers to) adiscreteness (the system can be divided into recognizable parts) All human languages are communication systems but not all communication systems have the prerequisites to be classified as natural languages The structure of language Sounds= phonemes ; the study of ways in which phonemes can be combined in any language is the study of phonology Putting the sounds in a coherent way and identifying the meaningful units of language is known as morphology Morphemes smallest meaningful units of language are words Syntax - structure of a sentence; semantics- meaning of a sentence Pragmatics -studies the ways in which context contributes to meaning In psycholinguistics, grammar refers to ways of speaking that form intelligible phrases recognizable as ex of language that a native speaker of the language might produce our knowledge of rules is implicit, not explicit linguistic competence - underlying linguistic knowledge that lets people produce and comprehend their language; not fully evident in actual use or performance of language lapses of memory, nervousness or tiredness, environmental changes, shifts in interest or random error can all interfere with our use of language linguistic performance - reflects linguistic competence under completely ideal conditions; such conditions are never achieved in real life Phonology phonetics - study of speech sounds and how they are produced;phonology - study of systematic ways in which speech sounds are combined and altered in language English has 40 phonetic segments Vowels work wo obstructing airflow; consonants are phonemes made by opening and closing part of mouth Consonants differ in place of articulation (where airflow obstruction occurs), manner of articulation (mechanics of how airflow is obstructed); voicing (z is voiced and s is unvoiced) Syntax Arrangement of words within sentences or structure of sentences www.notesolution.com
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