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Chapter 11

PSYC 3260 Chapter 11: Chapter 11

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PSYC 3260
Casperde Boer

Chapter 11- language What is language? • It is a system of communication sing sounds or symbols that enables us to express our feelings thoughts ideas and experiences • Psycholinguitic- field concerned with the psychological study of language o The goal is to discover the psychological rocess by which humans acquire and process language o Four major concerns: ▪ Comprehension, speech production, representation, acquisition Perceiving phonemes, words and letters • Our knowledge about words is stored in our lexicon • Two small units of language are o Phonemes- refers to the sound o Morphemes – refers to meanings • How perceiving sounds and letters is affected by meaning o Phonemic restoration effect- occurs when phonemes are perceived in speech when the sound of the phoneme is covered up by an extraneous noise o Meaning of sentence affects speech perception – top down processing o Speech segmentation- our ability to perceive individual words even though there are often no pauses between words in the sound signal o Word superiority effect- refers to the finding that letters are easier to recognize when they are contained in a word than when they appear alone or are contained in a nonword Understanding words • Word frequency effect- the fact that we respond more rapidly to high frequency words than to low frequency words • Readers look at low frequency words about 40 ms longer than high frequency words • Lexical ambiguity- existence of multiple word meanings o Meaning dominance: some meanings of words occur more frequently than others o Biased dominance: when words have two or more meaning with different dominance o Balance dominance: when a word has more than one meaning but have the same dominance  “cast” • Meaning frequency is not the only factor that determines the accessibility of the meaning of a word o Context can play a role Understanding sentences • Two properties of sentence: “the cat wont eat” o Sematics- meaning of words and sentences “the cat wont bake” o Syntax- specifies the rules for combining words into sentences “the cat wont eating” Chapter 11- language • Broca’s aphasia – slow labored, ungrammatical speech caused by damage to brocas area o Also have difficulty understanding some types of sentences o Difficulty processing connecting words such as was and by o Damage to brocas area in the frontal love causes problems in syntax • Wenicke’s aphasia – prodicong meaningless speech and are unable to understand speech and writing o Damage in temporal lobe causes problems in semantics • Parsing- grouping of words into phrases • Garden path sentence: sentences that begin appearing to mean one thing but then end up meaning something else o Garden path sentences illustrate temporary ambiguity because the initial words of the sentence are ambiguous – they can lead to more than one meaning- but they meaning is made clear by the end of the sentence • Syntax-first approach to parsing- people read a sentence, their grouping of words into phrases is governed by number of rules that are based on sytax o One principle called late closure – states that when a person encounters new word
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