Psycholinguistics Complete

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  • 8/12/2019 Psycholinguistics Complete


    Yun-Pi Yuan 1


    I . Definition II. Four Rules III. Growth of Grammar to Meet the

    Four Rules IV.UOP (Universal Operation

    Principles) V. Comprehension// Production

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    I . DefinitionPsycholinguistics: the study of the mental processes oflistening, speaking, and acquisition of language bychildren (Nash 10)

    Purpose:To figure out what people have to know about lang. in order touse it; how that knowledge is used to process lang.

    Issues:How do you form an utterance in your mind and utter it?How do you take in lang. you hear & figure out what it is?How do babies learn lang.?How do you learn a L2?

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    II. Four Rules1. Be clear : one form one meaning (one-to-one mapping)

    e.g., Russian (one form more than one meaning)

    2. Be processible : Grammatical markers (e.g., relative pronouns)

    help.e.g., The editor who the authors who the newspaper hired liked laughed.

    3. Be quick and easy : time pressure in speaking ( the use ofcontractions and run-ons, & reduction of grammatical markers) .

    e.g., Contraction (Id, Im, cant, wont) 4. Be expressive : Semantic expressiveness & rhetorical expressiveness* Conclusion: Four rules are competing with each other. (Nash 14)

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    Be Clear (1)

    Examples (Russian) dom house masculine, inanimate subject ulic a street feminine, subject uvstv o sensation neuter, subject

    Whats the ending if the word is used asobject?

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    Be Clear (2)

    Sentence examples: Tanya killed Marsha. (Both are feminine nouns). Ma u ubila Tanja. Tanja ubila Ma u. Tanja Ma u ubila. Ma u Tanja ubila. Ubila Ma u Tanja. Ubila Tanja Ma u.

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    Be Processible

    Which of the following sentences is easier foryou to understand?

    The student whom the teacher hit cried?

    The student the teacher hit cried?What makes the difference?

    grammatical markers

    memory factor paying attention to the ends of words

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    Be Quick and Easy

    Time pressure & principle of lease effort ( messagesmust be communicated before other things get in the way)

    the class ends; other messages

    boredom; memory factorForms:

    reduction of grammatical markers contractions

    run-onsCompeting with Be Clear & Be Processible

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    Be Expressive (1)

    Ways to express the image:



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    Conclusion on Four Rules

    Language must be able to communicatemeaningful things (semantically expressive), must have many ways to present the sameinfo. (rhetorically expressive) , must be fastand fairly easily produced and comprehended(quick & easy; processible) , and must be

    clear in meaning and form (clear) .

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    III. Growth of Grammar to Meetthe Four Rules (1)

    Pidgin a simplified contact language

    mix languages, marginal language developed for practical purposes no native speakers limited vocabulary and reduced grammatical structure mostly based on European langs. colonialism

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    III. Growth of Grammar to Meetthe Four Rules (2)

    Creole a pidgin developed into a native lang. has NS and not restricted in its uses more complex sentence structures andvocabulary. classified according to the lang. from which mostof their vocabulary comes from

    Eng.-based: Jamaican Creole, Hawaiian Creole French-based: Haitian Creole

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    III. Growth of Language toMeet the Four Rules (3)

    Pidgin Creole, under the pressure of BeExpressive

    Another pressure: Be Processible Tok Pisin (with relative clauses) Hawaiian Creole (with progressive)

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    Hawaiian CreoleStandard EnglishI am eating

    Hawaiian PidginMe kaukau

    Me eat I kaukau

    I eat

    Hawaiian Creole(+progressive)

    I stay kaukau

    I stay eat

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    IV. Universal Operation Principles UOP)

    Universal learning strategies childrenautomatically used by children; based on the waythe human mind works and closely related to thefour rules.Theyre childrens initial expectations about howlanguage works. The child brings certainoperating principles (methods of attack) to bearon the task of learning lang., regardless of thelang. hes exposed to.

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    Universal Operating Principle A

    UOP A: Pay attention to the ends of words.Suffixes: plural, possessive, present/past tense, participle, comparative, superlativePostposition: markers of location concept of relation of location/spatialrelations placed after the noun of location

    English preposition Hungarian postpositionspoon in the pot haj boat spoon outside the pot haj ban in the boatspoon next to the pot haj bol moving out from

    inside the boat haj tol moving away from

    next to the boat

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    UOP A: Pay attention to theends of words.

    Turkish postpositions (faked):pot stove onspoon pot in


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    Universal Operating Principle B

    UOP B : There are elements of language (i.e.,grammatical markers) which show the relations

    between other elements of language (or words).

    Grammatical markers:Relative pronouns : The girl who danced with me was lovely.The book that is on the table is yours.

    Pronouns : Rachel gave me her book.When the man fell down, he hurt his leg.

    Be : The man is handsome.

    S-V agreement : The woman come s here every day.

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    Universal Operating Principle CUOP C : Avoid exceptions.Children prefer consistent and regular systems.

    5 stages: (Nash 16) No markingAppropriate marking in limited casesOvergeneralization of markingRedundant markingFull adult marking system

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    Universal Operating Principle E

    UOP E : The use of grammatical markers shouldmake semantic sense.Examples:

    Process verbs (progressive aspect) vs. state verbs (states /conditions )

    Counter examples:Irregular plurals in English:

    mice, geese, feet, teeth mouses, gooses, foots/feets, tooths

    Irregular past tenses:went, saw, ran goed, seed, runned

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    Summary of 4 Rules and UOPPressures on language:

    Psychological pressures language must conformto the ways in which the MIND works.

    Communicative pressures language must meetall the needs of communication1. informativeness2. clarity

    3. efficiency4. effectiveness5. reasonably quick (on-going time)

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    Comprehension (1)

    How do you get from the acoustic signal(physical sound) to an interpretation of themessage?

    Filter demonstrationShadowing demonstrationFurther examples:

    Telephone doesnt transmit all sounds (e.g., f, s, m, n) In class: selective listening

    Rough model #1

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    Comprehension (2)

    Constituents: sentence parts e.g.: The old man went to the store.subject predicate

    Meaning units = propositions (basic ideas)

    Coding units = phonology, morphology, syntax, vocabulary,intonation

    Propositions: refer to states or events; indicate factsor attitudes; say sth. About states or events; qualify

    parts of other propositions.e.g., Mary was born in 1964. You must never arrive lateagain.

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    Comprehension (3)

    Rough Model #1:1. Take in sounds, put in short-term memory, organize

    according to sound system.

    2. Immediate organize into sentence parts(constituents) and determine content and function ofteach part.3. Use constituents analysis to construct propositions.

    4. Keep propositions in memory, discard sound image.5. Figure out speakers intent.

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    Comprehension (4)

    Syntactic strategies : used in identifyingconstituents (i.e., knowledge of syntax)

    Semantic strategies : knowledge of theworld/situation & reasoning power

    The policeman held up his hand and stopped the car.Superman held up his hand and stopped the car.

    Tea example (Nash 20)Dentist (Nash 20)Soup (N