Psychology 1000 Chapter Notes - Chapter 9: Psycholinguistics, Surface Roughness, Deep Structure And Surface Structure
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Humans have a remarkable ability to create mental representations – include images, ideas, concepts,
Language: concsists of a system of symbols and rules for combining these symbols in ways that can
generate an infinite number of possible messages and meanings.
Psycholinguistics: scientific study of the psychological aspect of language, such as how people
understand, produce and acquire language.
Adaptive Functions of Language: some evolutionary theorists believe that the use of language evolved
as people gathered to form larger social units. As the social environment became more complex, new
survival problems emerged: the needed to create divisions of labour and cooperative social systems, to
develop social customs, communicate thoughts, and to pass on knowledge and wisdom.
Language also is an extremely powerful learning mechanism.
Properties of Language:
Language is symbolic and structured: language uses sounds, written characters, or some other system
of sysbols to represent objects, events, ideas, feelings and actions. Symbols used in any given language
- Grammar: is a set of rules that dictate how symbols can be combined to create meaningful units
o Syntax: the rules that govern the order of words.
****new words and new phrases need to conform to the basic rules of that language****
Language conveys meaning: once the symbols and rules are learned, one can form and then transfer
mental representation to the mind of another person.
- Semantics: the meaning of words and sentences actually is a tricky business.
Language is Generative and Permits Displacement:
Generativity: means that the symbols of language can be combined to generate an infinite number of
messages that have novel meaning.
- Displacement: refers to the fact that language allows us to communicate about events and
objects that are not physically present. Even discuss completely imaginary situations.
The Structure of Language:
Psycholinguists describe language as having a surface structure and deep structure
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