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PSYA02H3 (961)
Chapter 10

Chapter 10 and 11 Notes

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYA02H3
Professor
Steve Joordens
Semester
Winter

Description
PSYA02Winter2012 Chapter 10 Language o Example Washoe a female Chimp learned sign language and over 130 signswas able to string 23 word sentences to communicate her needs and desires to other people and even other animalso Languages flexible systems that use symbolso Most species communicate with one anotherdoes not mean they have language o Example insectsa female moth that is ready to mate releases a chemical that will bring male moths from miles away o Conclusion from teaching primates languagetrue verbal ability is a social behaviour o Language enables us to think of very complex and abstract issues by encoding them as words and then manipulating the words according to logical rules o Psycholinguistics a branch of psychology devoted to the study of verbal behaviour o They are interested in how children aquire language how verbal behaviour develops and how children learn to speak from their interactions with adults Speech and Comprehension Perception of Speech o When we speak to someone we produce a series of sounds in a continuous stream punctuated by pauses and modulated by stress and changes in pitch o Speech does not come to us as a series of individual wordswe must extract the words from a stream of speech o The auditory system recognizes the patterns underlying speech rather than just the sounds themselveswe can recognize individuals from the sounds of their speech and filter out sounds that are non speech like chuckles and coughs oBelinm Zatirre and Ahad studied fMRI scans that show that regions of the brain responded more when people heard human vocalizations than when they heard only natural soundslarge difference in the temporal lobe on the auditory cortexthe auditory area on the left hemisphere showed a greater contrast in responsesuggests that the left hemisphere plays a greater role in speech o Phoneme the minimum unit of sounds that conveys meaning in a particular language such as p o Phonemes are the elements of speech the smallest units of sound that allow us to distinguish the meaning of a spoken word o Voiceonset time the delay between the initial sound of a consonant and the onset of vibration of the vocal cords o The distinction between voiced and unvoiced consonants permits us to distinguish between p and b k and g and between t and d o When you say pabuild up pressure in your mouth and when you open it a puff of air comes out the ah sound does not occur immediately after because the increased pressure stops air from leaving your lungs for a brief amount of time therefore your vocal chords do not vibrate until air from the lungs passes through them which does not occur immediately o When you say ba your vocal cords start vibrating as soon as you open your mouth o The delay between the vocal cord vibration between pa and ba is only of 006secondso Scott Blank Rosen and Wise identified some of the areas of the left auditory cortex which specialize in recognizing special aspects of speech using PET scans 1o They played recordings of normal speech computer distorted speech and unintelligible but contained the phonemic complexity of the sounds or speech that was intelligible but lacked the normal frequencies of human speakerso Some areas responded to both natural and unintelligible speech while other only responded to the natural o The latter regions of the auditory cortex must rely on information that transcends the distortions of individual phonemesperhaps this information is based on larger segments of speech o Ganong found that the perception of a phoneme is affected by the sounds that follow itwe recognize speech sounds in pieces larger than individual phonemes o Morpheme the smallest unit of meaning in language o The syntax of a particular language determines how phonemes can be combined to from morphemeso Free morpheme has meaning on its own example fast in fastest o Bound morpheme doesnt have meaning on its own example est in fastest o Morphemes are established by learning and experienceo Sanderes Newport and Neville examined brain wave activity when people listened to a continuous wave of soundsshort syllabic sounds spliced together like babupudutaba o Then they took some of the sounds from the continuous stream and designated them as wordsa special electrical signal called N100 wave appears shortly after people hear the onset of a wordwhen people learned these nonsense sounds as words the onset of the N100 wave appearedshows that we learn the units of speech o In additions to learning the units of speech we learn its content o Context helps us understand the meaning in speech Speech and Comprehensiono All languages have a syntax grammarthe all follow certain principals known as the syntactical rules o Syntactical rules a grammatical rule of a particular language for combining words to from phrases clauses and sentenceso Our understanding of syntax is automatic but our brain behaves differently when we encounter more complex syntax o fMRI shows that our brains become more active with more complex syntax o syntactical rules are learned implicitly cannot be described verbally how o later we can be taught to talk about theses rules and recognize their application but this isnt needed to speak and understand speech o learning syntax and word meaning involve different type of memory implicit vs explicit memory o syntactical cues are signalled by word order word class function and content words affixes word meanings and prosody o word order in English is important because it conveys the meaning o word class refer to the grammatical categories like noun and verbwe dont need to learn how to classify in order to identify the meaning of the word o function words a preposition article or other word that conveys little of the meaning of a sentence but is important in specifying its grammatical structureexpress relation between content words o content words a noun verb adverb or adjective that conveys meaningexpress meaning o affixes are sounds that we add to the beginning or end of a word to alter their grammatical functionquick recognizing of function words with affixes o semantics the meanings and the study of the meanings represented by words 2
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