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What is Psycholinguistics

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Whatispsycholinguistics? Thethreeprimaryprocessesinvestigatedin psycholinguistics LanguageComprehension LanguageProduction LanguageAcquisition Psycholinguisticsisabranchofcognitivescience

Whatwillbecoveredinthisclass?

Howdoweproduceandrecognize speech? Howdoweperceivewords,letters,and sentences? Howdowelearnandrecallinformation fromtexts? Howcanweimprovetextstomakethem easiertounderstand? Howdoesthebrainfunctiontoprocess language? Whatarethecausesandeffectsof readingdisabilities? Istherelanguageinotherspecies?

Centralthemesinpsycholinguistics1)Whatknowledgeoflanguageisneededforustouse language? Tacit(implicit)knowledgevs.Explicitknowledge tacit:knowledgeofhowtoperform something,butnotawareoffullrules

explicit:knowledgeoftheprocessesof mechanismsinperformingthatthing 2)Whatcognitiveprocessesareinvolvedinthe ordinaryuseoflanguage? Howdoweunderstandalecture,readabook,holda conversation? Cognitiveprocesses:perception,memory,thinking, learning

Somedefinitionsofbasiccomponentsof language:Semantics:Themeaningofwordsandsentences Syntax:Thegrammaticalarrangementofwordsina sentenceorphrase Phonology:Thesoundpatternoflanguage Pragmatics:Howlanguageisusedinasocialcontext

Examplesfrompsycholinguistics

Parsinggardenpathsentences Thenoviceacceptedthedealbeforehehadachancetocheck hisfinances,whichputhiminastateofconflictwhenhe realizedhehadastraightflush. 1)Thedefendantexaminedbythelawyerturnedouttobe unreliable

2)Theevidenceexaminedbythelawyerturnedouttobe unreliable Theprocessofparsingistheprocessofmaking decisions Theeffectofpriorknowledgeoncomprehension

Theprocedureisactuallyquitesimple.Firstyouarrange thingsintodifferentgroups.Ofcourse,onepilemaybe sufficientdependingonhowmuchthereistodo.Ifyou havetogosomewhereelseduetolackoffacilities,that isthenextstep;otherwiseyouareprettywellset.Itis importantnottooverdothings.Thatis,itisbettertodo toofewthingsatoncethantoomany.Intheshortrun thismaynotseemimportant,butcomplicationscan easilyarise.Amistakecanbeexpensiveaswell.Atfirst thewholeprocedurewillseemcomplicated.Soon, however,itwillbecomejustanotherfacetoflife.Itis difficulttoforeseeanyendtothenecessityforthistask intheimmediatefuture,butthenonenevercantell. Aftertheprocedureiscompleted,onearrangesthe

materialsintodifferentgroupsagain.Thentheycanbe putintotheirappropriateplaces.Eventuallytheywillbe usedoncemore,andthewholecyclewillthenhaveto berepeated.However,thatispartoflife.

Bransford&Johnson,1973 Recall: Nocontext:2.8ideaunitsoutofamaximumof18 Contextafterwards:2.7ideaunits Contextbefore:5.8ideaunits Childlanguagedevelopment Howmanywordsdoyouknow? Hint:Dictionaryhasabout:450,000entries

Testhighschoolgraduates:Howmanywordsdothey know? About45,000englishwords About60,000includingnamesandforeignwords Theaveragesixyearoldknowsabout13,000words. Learningabout10wordsperdaysinceage1.(One every90minutes) Howmuchdowehavetoteachchildrentolearn language? Doyouhavetoteachachildtowalk? Isitthesamewayoflearningalanguage? Myteacherholdedthebabyrabbitsandwepattedthem Ieatedmydinner

Abriefhistoryofpsycholinguistics WilhemWundt(early1900s) Interestinmentalprocessesoflanguageproduction Sentenceastheprimaryunitoflanguage Speechproductionisthetransformation ofcompletethoughtprocessesinto sequentiallyorganizedspeechsegments. Behaviorism(1920s1950s) Rejectedthefocusonmentalprocesses Measurementbasedonobjective behavior(primarilyinlabanimals) Howdoesexperience(rewardand punishment)shapebehavior? B.F.Skinner: Childrenlearnlanguagethroughshaping (correctionofspeecherrors) Associativechaintheory:

Asentenceconsistsofachainofassociations betweenindividualwordsinthesentence Whatswrongwiththebehavioristapproach? NoamChomsky(1950spresent) 1)Colorlessgreenideassleepfuriously 2)Furiouslysleepideasgreencolorless. 3)Georgepickedupthebaby 4)Georgepickedthebabyup. Almosteverysentenceutteredisanewcombinationof words ThePovertyofstimulusargument: Thereisnotenoughinformationinthelanguage samplesgiventochildrentoaccountfortherichnesand complexityofchildrenslanguage Thepatternofdevelopmentisnotbasedonparental speechbutoninnatelanguageknowledge

LinguisticDiversityvs.Linguistic UniversalsLinguisticdiversity Thereappearstobealotofdiversityamonglanguages Evenwithinlanguagesthereisdiversity Whenaretwolanguagesdifferent? Wespeakthesamelanguageifwecan understandeachother Exceptions:NorwegianandSwedish CantoneseandMandarin Dialectswithinlanguages:Themythofpurelanguage

How/whydolanguageschange? Whydoesthereseemtobea"correct"English? Membersofthedominant(mostpowerful)subculture tendtospeakonedialectandmaypunishthosewhodo not LinguisticChauvinism Beliefthatonesownlanguage/dialectisthebestofall possiblelanguages BlackEnglishVernacular(BEV) StudybyWilliamLabov InterviewedAfricanAmericanstreetyouth

Youknow,likesomepeoplesayifyouregoodansh*t,your spiritgointheaven...nifyoubad,yourspiritgointo hell.Well,bullsh*t!Yourspiritgointohellanyway,goodor bad. [Why?] Why?Illtellyouwhy.Cause,yousee,doesnnobodyreally knowthatitsaGod,yknow,causeImeanIhaveseenblack gods,whitegods,allcolorgods,anddontnobodyknowits reallyaGod.Anwhentheybesayinifyougood,yougoin theaven,thasbullsh*t,causeyouaintgointonoheaven, causeitaintnoheavenforyoutogoto. Placeholders:"There"vs."It"inthe copula Copula:"Is","Was"optional Negatives:"Youaintgointonoheaven" BEVjustaslinguisticallycomplexasStandardAmerican English

Wedontsee/understandthecomplexityinother languages Moral:Alllanguagesseemtopermitaswiderangeof expressionsasothers

LinguisticUniversalsWhatisincommonwithalllanguages? Sentencesarebuiltfromwordsbasedonthesame physiologicalprocesses Alllanguageshavewords Allhumanshavewaysofmaking sounds. Languagestendtouseasmallsetof phonemicsounds Phoneme:Theminimalunitofsound thatcontributestomeaning Howmanyphonemesinalanguage? English:40phonemes

Range:Polynesian11to Khoisan141 Discreteness Messagesinhumanlanguage(e.g.speech sounds)aremadeupofunitsofwhichthereis adiscrete(limited)number Arbitrariness Therelationshipbetweenmeaningfulelements inlanguageandtheirdenotationis independentofanyphysicalresemblance betweenthetwo. Wordsdonothavetolookorsoundlikewhat theydescribe Openness Newlinguisticmessagesarecreated freelyandeasily

Languagesarenotconstrainedinaway sothattherearealimitednumberof messagesthatcanbecreated. LinguisticProductivity:Theabilityto understandandcreateanunlimited numberofsentences Thequestionstudiedbypsycholinguistsis "howtocharacterizeandaccountforthe creativitytoconstructandcreateaninfinite numberofsentencesgiventhelimited capabilitiesofthehumanbrain" DualityofPatterning Languageinvolvesrelatingtwodifferentkindsof patternsorformsofrepresentation Aphonologicalsystem Asemanticsystem

Thesetwosystemsuseverydifferenttypesofcodes, althoughthereisaphonologicalrepresentationforeach iteminthesemanticsystem

PhrasestructureInformationonhowasentenceisgroupedintophrases. Thequietboyatetheredapple AsetofPhraseStructurerules: PS1S(sentence)>NP+VP PS2NP(nounphrase)>det+(adj)+N PS3VP(verbphrase)>V+NP PS4N(noun)>boy,dog,man,book PS5V(verb)>ate,broke,kissed PS6adj(adjective>quiet,red,happy,wormy PS7det(determiner)>a,the Weuse"lexicalinsertionrules"toputwordsintothe structure.

Phrasestructurerulesprovideagoodaccountof phrasestructureambiguity. Theyarebroilinghens

Morphology Morphologyisthecomponentofgrammarthatbuilds wordsoutofunitsofmeaning(morphemes)

Amorphemeisthesmallestmeaningfulunitof language Howmanymorphemes? bird firetruck undereducated unmicrowaveability

InsightsfromAmericanSignLanguage(ASL) Unlikespeech,signsareexpressedinvisualorspatial form Doalotofthesamegrammaticalconceptshold? Arbitrariness ASLpossessesiconicity

signscanrepresentobjectsoractionstowhichthey refer. However,thedegreeoficonicityhasdeclinedoverthe years DualityofPatterning signsarecomposedofsmallerelementsthatare meaningless Example:3parameters 19valuesofhandconfiguration 12valuesofplaceofarticulation 24valuesofmovements Meaninglesspatternscanbecombinedinvariousways tofromASLsigns.

Whatabout"openness"and"discreteness"withinASL? TransformationalGrammar(Chomsky1950s) Language:aninfinitesetofwellformedsentences Grammar:Afinitesetofrulesthatgeneratessentences inthelanguage Howdoweknowthatagrammarisagoodtheoryof language? Threecriteria: ObservationalAdequacy: Agrammarisobservationallyadequateifit generatesallacceptablesequencesandno unacceptablesequences. Descriptiveadequacy:

Agrammarmustalsoexplainhowasentence relatestoothersentencesthataresimilar& oppositeinmeaning. TheballwascaughtbyJohn Johncaughttheball TheballwasnotcaughtbyJohn Explanatoryadequacy Itispossibleformultiplegrammarstoattain observationalanddescriptiveadequacy. Whichisthecorrect/bestone? Childrenlearninglanguagearepresentedwith manysamplesoflanguageandmustdetermine thegrammarfromthesesamples. Theremustbesomeinnatelanguage constraintsthathelpchildrendeterminethe correctgrammar.

ThereexistLinguisticUniversalsthatare commontoalllanguages Thefactthattherearesimilaritiesinlanguages isbasedonthefactthatlanguagesare determinedbythenatureofthemental structuresandprocesseswhichcharacterize humanbeings AGrammarmustexplaintheroleoflinguistic universalsinlanguageacquisition

DeepandSurfacestructureDeepstructure:Thestructureofthesentencethat conveysthemeaningofthesentence. SurfaceStructure:Thesuperficialarrangementof constituents

Deepstructureambiguity:Asinglesurfacestructure thatisbasedontwodifferentdeepstructures Flyingplanescanbedangerous Phrasestructureruleswouldnotbeableto accountforthedifferencesinmeaning Sentencescanhavesimilarphrasestructure,although theirunderlyingstructureisdifferent: Johniseasytoplease Johniseagertoplease Sentencescandifferentsurfacestructure,butsimilar deepstructure Arleneplayedthetuba The

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