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Chapter 1

Chapter 1 Reading Notes.odt

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Department
Psychology
Course
PS366
Professor
Todd Ferretti
Semester
Summer

Description
READING NOTES CHAPTER 1: Introduction: Themes of Psycholinguistics Main Points : • Psycholinguistics is the study of how individuals comprehend, produce, and acquire language • The study of psycholinguistics if a part of the field of cognitive science ◦ Cognitive Science reflects the insights of psychology, linguistics, and, to a lesser extent, field such as artificial intelligence, neuroscience, and philosophy • Psycholinguistics stresses the knowledge of language and the cognitive processes involved in ordinary language use • Psycholinguistics are also interested in the social rules involved in language use and the brain mechanisms associated with language • Contemporary interest in psycholinguistics began in the 1950s, although important precursors existed early in the 20 century Introduction • The psychology of language deals with the mental processes involved in language use • Three sets of processes are of primary interest: ◦ Language comprehension ▪ How we perceive and understand speech and written language ◦ Language production ▪ How we construct an utterance from idea to completed sentence ◦ Language acquisition ▪ How children acquire language • The psychological study of language is called psycholinguistics The Scope of Psycholinguistics • Psycholinguistics is part of the emerging field of study called cognitive science ◦ Cognitive science is an interdisciplinary venture that draws upon the insights of psychologists, linguists, computer scientists, neuroscientists, and philosophers to study the mind and mental processes • Linguistics is the branch of science that studies the origin, structure, and use of language Language Processes and Linguistic Knowledge • Tacit Knowledge ◦ Refers to the knowledge of how to perform various acts ▪ e.g.) Abaseball pitcher might know how to throw a baseball 90 miles per hour ◦ Most of our linguistic knowledge is tacit • Explicit Knowledge ◦ Refers to the knowledge of the processes or mechanism used in tacit acts ▪ e.g.) ... but he might have little or no explicit knowledge of the muscle groups that are involved in this act • Four broad areas of language knowledge: ◦ Semantics deals with meanings of sentences and words ◦ Syntax involves the grammatical arrangement of words within a sentence ◦ Phonology concerns the system of sounds in a language ◦ Pragmatics entails the social rules involves in language use Four Language Examples Garden Path Sentences • We get a hint of what is involved when the process breaks down ◦ e.g.) The novice accepted the deal before he had a chance to check his finances, which put him in a state of conflict when he realized he had a straight flush ▪ The subjective impression is one of following a garden path to a predictable destination until it is obvious that you were mistaken & therefore are forced to “backtrack” and reinterpret the sentence ▪ In our memory, we have at least two different meanings of “deal” • Apart of our semantic knowledge Indirect Requests • e.g.) Can you open the door? ◦ This sentence asks whether we have to ability to open the door, but everybody assumes that the speaker is asking us to open the door in an indirect manner ▪ (as opposed to “Open the door!”) ▪ We know this as a part of our pragmatic knowledge • Arequest is an attempt to change another person's behaviour • The study of the relationships between language and social behaviour is called sociolinguistics Language in Aphasia • An aphasia is a language disorder due to brain damage • Wernicke's aphasia involves a break down in semantics ◦ e.g.) Before I was int he one here, I was over in the other one. My sister had the department in the other one ▪ The semantic relationships between words are seriously disrupted ▪ Phonological knowledge was spared ▪ The speech, although devoid of meaning, was articulated smoothly with appropriate pausing and intonation ▪ Also displays appropriate syntactic structure • The study of the relationship between brain and language is called neurolinguistics Language in Children • Children somewhat older than one commonly express themselves in two words at a time ◦ e.g.) baby gone ▪ By eliminating the closed-class or function words (prepositions, conjunctions) in favour of open-class or content words (nouns, verbs, adjectives • This pattern suggests that children have an intuitive understanding of these two grammatical classes, which is a part
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