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PSY 480.24: Psycholinguistics

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PSY 480.24: Psycholinguistics. Introductions & crash course in Traditional Psycholinguistics. What is “psycholinguistics”?. What is “psycholinguistics”?. Psycho. Linguistics. The study of language. from a psychological perspective. What is “psycholinguistics”?. Mental Processes - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Text of PSY 480.24: Psycholinguistics

PSY 369: Psycholinguistics

PSY 480.24: PsycholinguisticsIntroductions & crash course inTraditional Psycholinguistics

1What is psycholinguistics?

2What is psycholinguistics?PsychoLinguisticsThe study of languagefrom a psychological perspective.3What is psycholinguistics?Mental ProcessesShort Term MemoryLong Term MemoryEncodingRetrievalMental RepresentationsLinguistic Theory Phonology Morphology Syntax Semantics- RulesPsychoLinguistics4Psycholinguistics : A brief history1900102050607080902000Pre-psycholinguistics:The ancient Greeks: Noticed that brain damage could cause aphasia Aristotle: objects of the world exist independent of language and that definite words are subsequently allied to these objects

5Plato tooPsycholinguistics : A brief history1900102050607080902000Pre-psycholinguistics:Paul Broca (1861): described a patient who could say only one word..."tan." damage to part of the left frontal cortex ("Broca's Area)

6Psycholinguistics : A brief history1900102050607080902000Pre-psycholinguistics: Karl Wernicke (1876): Found that damage to posterior part of the temporal lobe caused a different kind of language problems. Wernicke's Area

7Psycholinguistics : A brief history1900102050607080902000Pre-psycholinguistics (1800s):Philosophers of Language: Wittgenstein: underlying logic of language Russell: reference and language universals Frege: sense and reference (meaning)

8Psycholinguistics : A brief history1900102050607080902000Pre-psycholinguistics:Merringer & Meyer (1895): Speech errors reveal properties of linguistic systempsycINFO16Pre 19209Psycholinguistics : A brief history1900102050607080902000Pre-psycholinguistics:Wilhelm Wundt: Physiologist Established the first psychological laboratory Wrote about language Early theory of language production

psycINFO16Pre 192010Wundt suggesteed that the fundamental unit of language is the sentence -- not the word or the sound. He identified the sentence not just with a sequence of words and sounds, but as a special mental state. Sounds, words, the rules of grammer, etc., all have their meaning only in relation to that underlying mental sentence.

Wundt actually invented the tree diagram of syntax we are all familiar with in linguistics texts! Language starts with S (the sentence) at the top, and selective attention separates the subject (the focus or figure) from the predicate (the ground), and so on, in contrast to the popular bottom-up, associationistic conception the behaviorists proposed. Wundt's ideas are now the standard -- yet no one remembers they were his in the first place!

language processes = mental processesPsycholinguistics : A brief history1900102050607080902000Pre-psycholinguistics:Ferdinand de Saussure: Linguist Separation of historical linguistics and descriptive linguisticspsycINFO16Pre 1920

11Historical linguistics - comparing languages (primarily IndoEuropean languages) and discovering the principles guiding the changes undergone by the languages had been the dominant Descriptive linguistics - describing a language as a whole at a particular point in time

Psycholinguistics : A brief history1900102050607080902000Pre-psycholinguistics: From the 1920s to the mid 1950s Psychology was dominated by behaviorism John B. Watson (1920): Is thinking merely the action of language mechanisms? Leonard Bloomfield (1935): LanguagepsycINFO39901920-50

12Viewed language as systems of stimulus-response patterns (kind of verbal habits), built up through conditioningFocus of the behaviorist tradition is to only make theories about observable behaviors (basic argument: mental processes arent directly observable, so they arent testable, so they dont belong in theories)Psycholinguistics : A brief history1900102050607080902000Dawn of psycholinguistics (50s):Lashley (1951): Neuropsychologist Argued that the structure of a sentences must be more than just associations between adjacent words

psycINFO29111951-6013Psycholinguistics : A brief history1900102050607080902000Dawn of psycholinguistics (50s):1951: Social Science Research Council Conference which invited many of the most prominent psychologists and linguists Often identified as the birth of psycholinguistics

psycINFO29111951-6014Psycholinguistics : A brief history1900102050607080902000Dawn of psycholinguistics (50s):1953: Another conference Included psychologists, linguists, anthropologists, and communication engineers First time the term psycholinguistics is used Birth of Cognitive Science

psycINFO29111951-6015Cognitive Science - a multi-disciplinary field to investigate the mind/brainPsycholinguistics : A brief history1900102050607080902000Dawn of psycholinguistics (50s):Defense department funds projects: Machine translators Machine speech processors The beginnings of the field of artificial intelligence researchpsycINFO29111951-60

16Psycholinguistics : A brief history1900102050607080902000Dawn of psycholinguistics (50s):B. F. Skinner (1957): Behavioral psychologist Published Verbal Behavior In-depth analysis of language within the behavioral framework

psycINFO29111951-6017Psycholinguistics : A brief history1900102050607080902000Dawn of psycholinguistics (50s):Noam Chomsky : Linguist (1957) published Syntactic Structures (1959) book review of Verbal Behavior

psycINFO29111951-6018Among the arguments, perhaps the most famous is his example:colorless green ideas sleep furiouslyEven though the associations between these words are virtually absent, the sentence is recognized as syntactically correct.In contrastfuriously sleep ideas green colorless is recognized as ungrammatical.Chomskyan revolutionMajor proposals/innovations Develop a grammar that can generate an infinite number of grammatical sentencesTransformational-generative grammarLanguage acquisition - innate universal grammarLimited explicit instruction for language learnersArguments against behaviorist accounts of languageOften credited with the downfall of behaviorism

19Psycholinguistics : A brief history1900102050607080902000Psycholinguistics (60s):George Miller Cognitive psychologist Collaborated with Chomsky Beginnings of the search for the psychological reality of linguistic rules

psycINFO42211961-7020Psycholinguistics : A brief history1900102050607080902000Psycholinguistics (60s):The search for psychological reality of syntactic transformations begins e.g., studies by Bever, Fodor, and GarrettpsycINFO42211961-70

21Psycholinguistics : A brief history1900102050607080902000Artificial intelligence (60s & 70s):Computer theory began to have an impact: Newell & Simon: computers are symbol manipulators, information processing approach Collins & Quillian: natural language processing requires an explicit representation of conceptual knowledge Networks of proposition & spreading activationpsycINFO81371971-80

22Psycholinguistics : A brief history1900102050607080902000Psycholinguistics (70s):Psycholinguistic research begins to drift away from linguistics: Mounting evidence against psychological reality of transformation New competing linguistic theories (e.g., generative semantics) and rapid change to existing theoriespsycINFO81371971-8023Psycholinguistics : A brief history1900102050607080902000Psycholinguistics (mid70s):Psycholinguistics without linguistics: Began to shift focus away from syntax Higher levels of comprehension (e.g., meaning and discourse) Lower levels: word recognition and sub-lexical perceptionpsycINFO81371971-8024Psycholinguistics : A brief history1900102050607080902000Psycholinguistics (80s):Psycholinguistics further splits: More drifting away from linguistic, focusing on cognitive psychology (i.e. incorporation of more information processing ideas) Splits within psycholinguistics: experimental psycholinguistics and developmental psycholinguisticspsycINFO16,8381981-9025Psycholinguistics : A brief history1900102050607080902000Psycholinguistics (mid to late 80s):Rise of connectionism: Neural network models are (re-?)introduced to psychological theory, including models of language Attracts a lot of excitement and debate psycINFO16,8381981-9026Psycholinguistics : A brief history1900102050607080902000Psycholinguistics (90s & today):Cognitive Science starts to re-unify linguistics and psycholinguistics(& neuropsychology, philosophy, anthropology, computer science) Linguists begin paying attention to psycholinguistic findings Psycholinguists start using linguistic theory again psycINFO36,7581990-now27By mid 90s there are over 200 Cognitive Science programs around the worldBrought together, within the same departments, linguists, psychologists, neurobiologists, philosophers, etc.This has led to more collaborative work within psycholinguisticsPsycholinguisticsA multidisciplinary fieldPsychologyLinguisticsComputer scienceNeuropsychologyPhilosophyAnthropologyAnd more28Psycholinguistics is influenced by research in linguistics,sociolinguistics, philosophy, anthropology and ethology,neuroscience, computer science and speech technology, speech pathology, and communication studies.

Linguistics: linguists and psycholinguists are interested in common issues such as how do we parse sentence?, how do we recognize words?

Philosophy: interested in the philosophy of language such as the nature of meaning and reference, rational thinking, learning, reasoning, logic etc.

Computer science and speech technology: includes several disciplines that use computers, computer technology andcomputer software to discover what language is and does.

Neuroscience: is multidisciplinary science of the nervous system including medicine, psychology, psychiatry, biology, and brain imaging. It studies neurological aspects of language including language/spee