Chapter 8 - Language and Thought

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20 Jan 2012
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Cognition: the mental processes involved in acquiring knowledge. Phonemes: the smallest speech units in a language that can be distinguished perceptually: humans are only capable of recognizing about 100, different languages use different groups of about 20-80. english is composed of 40 y a letter of the alphabet can represent more than one phoneme if it has multiple pronunciations y some phonemes are represented by a combination of letters. Morphemes: the smallest units of meaning in a language: about 50 000 in english, include root words, prefixes, suffixes. Semantics: the area of language concerned with understanding the meaning of words and word combinations: consists of a word s denotation (dictionary definition) and connotation (emotional overtones and secondary implications) 3 month old infants can distinguish between phonemes from all of the world s languages: ability disappears between 4-12 months, proves babies learn sound structure long before they start talking.

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