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Chapter 8

PSY100H1 Chapter Notes - Chapter 8: Fast Mapping, American Sign Language, Myelin

Course Code
Michael Inzlicht

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Module 8.3 - Language and Communication
Aphasia - language disorder characterized by inability to use and understand words
Broca's area - region, at the back of LEFT frontal lobe, responsible for speech production
Broca's aphasia - inability to articular words normally
Speech with no smooth, grammar
Difficulty understanding phrases of certain structure (trouble understanding complex,
passive voice sentences)
Wernicke's area - region, at the posterior-superior of LEFT temporal lobe, responsible for
language comprehension
Wernicke's aphasia - inability to understand words a person hears as well as speaking normally
(words that are put together in sentences are randomly thrown together)
Properties of language
Language - a form of communication that involves the use of spoken, written, or gestural symbols
that are combined in a rule-based form
Involves communications about objects and events that are not present in the present
time and place
Produces completely new meanings (language and context - same words different
meaning ...)
Is passed down from parents to children (experience dictates which language we will
Phonemes & Morphemes: The Basic Ingredients of Language
Phonemes - most basic speech sounds
Ex. /t/, /b/, /c/, /d/, /y/ (not vowel letters like AEIOU)
Morpheme - the smallest meaningful units of a language
Simple words
o Ex. words like "pig"; cannot be broken down into smaller units of meaning
o Ex. /s/, /ish/, /fy/, etc.
Help with expressing intended meaning
We can combine morphemes into words to express ideas
We can also understand new words based on our understanding of morphemes.
Semantics - the study of how people come to understand meanings from words.
Orthography - word's visual form
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Phonology - sounds that make up that word (1 word = combination of sounds)
When we read (or recognize words) --> orthography --> phonology
Dyslexia (developmental reading disorder) - difficulty translating words into speech sounds
Less activity in left fusiform cortex (near the temporal lobe)
o Left fusiform cortex - area involved with word recognition and linking word &
sound representation
Syntax: The Language Recipe
Syntax - the rules for combining words and morphemes into meaningful phrases and sentences
Most basic units of syntax: nouns & verbs
Explains the significance of the order of words in a sentence
o Question vs. sentence (the position of the verb "is" in the phrase)
NOTE: at times a big phrase chunk can be part of a noun
Ex. a goat that is eating a flower....[all part of the noun]
Pragmatics: The Finishing Touches
Syntax = recipe; pragmatic = icing on the cake
Pragmatics - the study of nonlinguistic elements of language use
Emphasis on speaker's behavious & the social situation
Helps us understand what someone implies (how we say things is sometimes more
important than what we say)
o Ex. Exaggeration / metaphors / sarcasm
Flouting (psychology/linguistics) - disobeying language rules
Flouting --> implied rules
Slang - Shortened LANGuage
REMARK: Experience with a culture influences how we use and interpret language
The Development of Language
Infants, Sound Perception, & Language Acquisition
Infants are able to distinguish between almost all of the phonemes humans can produce.
o However, by 8-10 months of age, infants show superior perception of phenomes
from their own language.
o 1-2 months: cooing
Ex. Ahhh, ai-ai-ai (mostly vowels)
o 4-10 months: babbling (consonants start)
Ex. Ab-ah-da-ba
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