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Chapter 5

Chapter 5

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Todd Ferretti

Psycholinguistics – Chapter 5  Introduction  psycholinguists refer to the representation of words in permanent memory as our internal lexicon  when a word is found in our lexicon, then all properties we associate with that word is accessible to us  including spelling, pronunciation, relationship to other words and related information  process of looking through our internal lexicon is  lexical access  words may be accessed several ways  perception of the word (written, oral)  activate the meaning through other words  Dimensions of word knowledge  phonological knowledge  we have knowledge of the phonological structure or pronunciation of words  we know when two words are homophones  tip of the tongue phenomenon  when we are unsuccessfully retrieving a particular word and can only remember slightly how it sounds  systematically studied for the first time by Brown and McNeill  retrieves similar sounding words, but brain will reject it  syntactic knowledge  knowledge of the word's part of speech, or where they belong  words of the same syntactic category can be substituted with another one from the same category  example: adjectives can be interchanged in a sentence  changing the word, even though it's syntactically the same, may change the meaning of the sentence  allows us to create rules in terms of categories rather than lexical terms  agrammatism  disorder which causes patients to omit closed-class words from sentences while preserving open-class words  process closed-class words differently than individuals without neurological damage  morphological knowledge  identifying vocabulary size depends on the morphology of language  morphemes are smallest unit of meaning in language  bound morphemes and free morphemes  two types of bound morphemes  inflectional morphemes  added to free morpheme to express grammatical contrasts in sentences  includes plural phonemes and past tense morphemes  derivational morphemes  added to free morphemes to create new words  example  -nests  -ion  -in  can change the pronunciation of the word as well as the syntactical category  inflectional morphemes must be applied before derivational morphemes 1 Psycholinguistics – Chapter 5  both can used at the same time  average high school graduate knows about 45,000 words  semantic knowledge  sense and reference  relationship between words and things in world is reference  things in world are called referents of the word  used to determine the truthfulness of a sentence  "there is a brown cow grazing in the field"  there has to be a brown cow  has to be a field  cow has to be grazing in the field  reference only applies to tangible or visible things in the world  some words have meaning, but no referent  abstract words  words that have no real referent  unicorn  may refer to objects in other hypothetical roles  this process plays a huge role in imaginary play/literature  mental model  cognitive structure that represents some aspect of our environment  not limited to language  example would be us being able to visualize our house or bedroom  two different sentences may have the same referent but not the same meaning  sense  its place in a system of relationships which it contracts with other words in the library  synonymy  when two words or expressions mean the same thing  coordination  when two words exist at the same level in a hierarchy  cat and dog both fall under the heading of animal  hypernymy  relationship of superordination within a hierarchy  bird is hypernym of sparrow  hyponymy  opposite of hypernymy  sparrow is hyponym of bird  meronymy  pertains to the parts of the referent object  back, legs would be meronyms of chair  word association test is used to see how sense relations correspond to how people use words  word is given to the subject, subject is then asked to give the first word that comes to their mind  based off of responses given to the word chair  taxonomic relations  table - coordinate 2 Psycholinguistics – Chapter 5  furniture - hypernym  rocker - hyponym  seat, cushion, legs - meronym  attributive relations  terms that identify attributes of the word  comfortable  wooden  hard  white  functional relations  what can be done with the object  sitting  rest  rocking  sense and reference are complementary aspects of meaning  sense refers to relationship between the word and other words  reference deals with the relationship between words and what it stands for in the world  need to pay attention to both properties to use language in a meaningful manner  denotation and connotation  denotation  objective or dictionary meaning of a word  connotation  suggest aspects of meaning beyond what is explicitly described or named  two words may have the same denotation but very different connotations  bachelor / spinster  both mean a single adult who has never been married  spinster brings up the image of an older woman  bachelor brings up the image of a young eligible man  we can use words in the wrong denotation, but then we will look like we don't know the definition of the word  if we use the words in the right connotation and use adjectives to describe it, people may be surprised  example: Annie is 20, beautiful and a spinster  Organization and Internal Lexicon  How is the lexicon organized and how do we access this information?  concept of a semantic network  main idea of how our lexicon is organized is that it is a semantic network of interconnected elements  elements are concepts or nodes which are connected to one another by virtue of having relations with one another  similar to the structure of the brain, and how nodes are activated, words are interconnected in a similar fashion  hierarchical network models 3 Psycholinguistics – Chapter 5  network is hierarchical if some of these elements stand above or below other members of the network  model used by Collins and Quillian shows a network of distinct nodes based on taxonomic and attributive relations  two sentences  luckily, Aristotle was not blinded by the incident  luckily, the rock was not blinded by the incident  first sentence makes sense because Aristotle was a person, and people have eyes  we are not explicitly presented with the fact that Aristotle had eyes, but using information from our mental lexicon, we make that assumption  waste of space to store information, but it can be stored somewhere that activation of certain nodes will retrieve that information  storage of semantic information was limited  beneficial to store the information in only one place in the network  cognitive economy  information was stored at the highest node  fact that birds breathe would be connected to the fact that all animals breathe  only occur
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