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Chapter 5

Chapter 5 Reading Notes.odt

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Todd Ferretti

READING NOTES Chapter 5: The Internal Lexicon Main Points: • When we know a word, we know its phonological, morphological, syntactic and semantic attributes • Aword's meaning includes both sense and reference ◦ Sense refers to a word's relationship with others ◦ Reference pertains to the relationships between a word and an object or event in the word • The organization of word knowledge in permanent memory is called the internal lexicon ◦ In a semantic network, words are represented as nodes and are connected via relations to other words in the network • The process by which we activate our word knowledge is termed lexical access ◦ Lexical access is influenced by the frequency of a word, its phonological and morphological attributes, whether it is ambiguous, and whether a semantically similar word has just been encountered Introduction • Psycholinguists refer to the representation of words in permanent memory as our internal lexicon ◦ When a given word in our lexicon has been found, the properties we associate with the word become available for use ◦ Properties include meaning, spelling, pronunciation, relationship to other words, and related information ◦ The process by which we activate these meanings is called lexical access Dimensions of World Knowledge Phonological Knowledge • We experience the tip-of-the-tongue (TOT) phenomenon when we are not quite successful at retrieving a particular word but can remember something about how it sounds Brown & McNeill Study: • Systematically studied the TOT phenomenon • Presented definitions of infrequent words, i.e. Sextant and asked subjects to produce the defined word • When subjects were in the TOT state, they retrieved but rejected similar- sounding words such as secant ◦ Thus, we sometimes activate words by their sounds ▪ According to Bock and Levelt's model (see below), the speaker knew the word's meaning (the concept) and syntactic category (the lemma) but not its phonological features (the lexeme) Syntactic Knowledge • Another part of our knowledge of words is the syntactic category, or part of speech, to which they belong • Two words belong to the same syntactic category when they can substitute for one another in a sentence ◦ e.g.) We can replace “aging” with words such as wealthy, poor, fat, solemn, etc. ◦ Although the substitutions may change the meaning of a sentence, the sentence remains grammatical • Syntactic categories may be places into two groups: ▪ Open-class words (constant words) • Include noun, verb, adjective, and adverbs • There are more open-class words than closed-class words and therefore closed-class words are used over and over ▪ Closed-class words (function words) • Include determiners, pronouns, propositions, conjunctions and interjections • Agrammatism patients frequently omit closed-class words from their sentences while preserving open-class words somewhat better ◦ In addition, they process closed-class words differently than individuals without neurological damage Morphological Knowledge • Morphemes are the smallest unit of meaning in a language • Bound morphemes are those that are attached to free morphemes to create new words ◦ There are two different kinds of bound morphemes: ▪ Inflectional morphemes are involved when a bound morpheme is added to a free morpheme to express grammatical contrasts in sentences • They include the plural morpheme for nouns (cat/cats) and the past tense morpheme for verbs (jump/ jumped) ▪ Derivational morphemes are involved when bound morphemes added to free morphemes, create new words • e.g.) -ness turned good (an adjective) into goodness (a noun) ◦ When a word contains both inflectional and derivational morphemes, the derivational morphemes are applied first. ▪ e.g.) the word neighbourhoods: • The root word is neighbour, and both the derivational morpheme, -hood and the inflectional morpheme -s are applied to the root • The derivational morpheme is applied first making the word neighbourhoods, not neighborshood • It is possible to estimate that the average high school graduate knows about 45,000 words Semantic Knowledge • Sense and Reference ◦ The relationship between words and things in the world is termed the reference of a word ▪ The things in the world are called the referents of the world ▪ This aspect of meaning is crucial for determining whether or not a given utterance is truthful. For example: • “There is a brown cow grazing in the field” • When we understand the meaning of this sentence, then we grasp its truth conditions, the conditions under which the sentence may be said to be true ▪ Reference concerns what the world should be like if a given utterance is true ◦ Amental model is a cognitive structure that represents some aspect of our environment ▪ Some models are not limited to linguistic aspects ▪ When we hear a sentence, we may construct a “mental model of the particular state of affairs characterized by the utterance” ◦ The part of meaning that is not its reference is termed its sense ▪ The sense of a word means its place in a system of relationships which it contracts with other words in the vocabulary • Synonymy exists when two words or expressions mean the same thing, as in fear and panic • Coordination occurs when two words exist at the same level in a hierarchy; e.g.) cat and dog are coordinates because they both fall under animal • Hypernymy deals with the relationship of superordination within a hierarchy; bird is a hypernym of sparrow • Hyponymy is just the oopposite; sparrow is a hyponym of bird • Meronymy pertains to the parts of an object referred to by a word ◦ e.g.) for the word chair, both back and legs are meronyms ◦ One of the oldest methods psychologists have used to study semantic relations is the word association test ▪ Participants hear a word and they have to produce the first word that occurs to them other than the stimulus word itself ▪ Four types of semantic relations predominate: • Taxonomic relations ◦ table is a coordinate, furniture is a hypernym, and rocker is a hyponym of chair • Meronyms ◦ seat, cushion, legs • Attributive relations, which are terms that identify attributes of the words ◦ comfortable, wooden, hard, white • Functional relations indicate what can be done with the stimulus word (in this case, “chair”) ◦ e.g.) sitting, rest, rocking ◦ Sense and reference are complementary aspects of meaning ▪ Sense pertains to the relationships between a word and other words in language ▪ References deals with the relationships between a word and what it stands for in the world ▪ To use language in a meaningful manner, we need to pay attention to both properties • Denotation and Connotation ◦ Denotation is the objective or dictionary meaning of a word ▪ Adictionary definition of a word includes phonological information (pronunciation), orthographic information (spelling), syntactic information (part of speech), semantic information (various meanings), morphological information (related words) ◦ Connotation suggests certain aspects of meaning beyond that which it explicitly names or describes ▪ Two words may have the same denotation but differ in their connotations Organization of the Internal Lexicon The Concept of a Semantic Network • The main idea regarding the organization of the lexicon is that it is set up ◦ The elements are concepts or nodes, which are connected to one another by virtue of having relations with one another Hierarchical Network Models • Anetwork is hierarchical if some of these elements stand above or below other members of the network • Collins and Quillan Model: ◦ Collins and Quillan assumed that the space available for the storage of semantic information was limited, so that it would be beneficial to store information only in one place in the network ▪ This principle is referred to as cognitive economy ▪ They assumed that the information would be stored only at the highest possible node ◦ They tested their model with a semantic verification task ▪ Aperson is presented with a statement of the form “An A is a B” and asked to determine as quickly as possible whether the sentence is true or false • e.g.) Arobin is a bird.Abutterfly is a bird ◦ The process of deciding whether the sentence is true or false is a mechanism known as intersection search ▪ Assumes that we continue to search for relevant information until the two items in the sentence intersect ▪ Finally, we would check to make sure that the relation depicted in the sentence fits the relation in the lexicon ◦ Taken together, cognitive economy and intersection work together to make the correct prediction in a semantic verification task ◦ Category-size effect: In a statement of the form,An a is a B orAnAhas a B, the higher the location of B in the hierarchy in relation theA, the longer the reaction times ▪ e.g.) Abird can breathe takes longer thanAn animal can breathe ◦ Typicality effect: Items that are more typical of a given subordinate take less time to verify than atyp
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