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Ch11 Textbook Notes

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University of Toronto St. George
Christine Burton

CHAPTER 11 LANGUAGEWhat is Languagelanguage a system of communication using sounds or symbols that enables us to express our feelings thoughts ideas and experiencesThe Creativity of Human Languagelanguage makes it possible to create new and unique sentences because it has a structure that is 1 hierarchical consists of small components that can be combined to form larger units and 2 governed by rulesenables humans to communicate whatever they want to express The Universality of Language predominant staging ground for language is one person conversing with anotherwhen deaf children find themselves in an environment where nobody speaks or uses sign language they invent a sign language themselveseveryone with normal capacities develops a language and learns to follow its complex rules even though they are usually not aware of these ruleslanguage is universal across culturesthere isnt a single culture that is without languagelanguage development is similar across cultures Studying Language Skinner proposed that language is learned through reinforcementChomsky proposed that human language is coded in the genescriticised Skinners Verbal Behaviourpsycholinguistics the psychological study of language1 comprehension how do people understand spoken and written language2 speech production how do people produce language3 representation how is language represented in the mind and the brain4 acquisition how do people learn languagePerceiving Words Phonemes and Letterslexicon a persons knowledge of what words mean how they sound how they are used in relation to other words Components of WordsPhonemesthe shortest segment of speech that if changed changes the meaning of a wordrefer to sounds not lettersnumber of phonemes varies across different languagesMorphemesthe smallest units of language that have a definable meaning or a grammatical function
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