Presentation on theme: "Language and Psychology. The comprehension of sounds The comprehension of words The comprehension of sentences."— Presentation transcript:
Language and Psychology
The comprehension of sounds The comprehension of words The comprehension of sentences
It was found that the _eel was on the axle. It was found that the _eel was on the shoe. It was found that the _eel was on the orange. It was found that the _eel was on the table.
It was found that the wheel was on the axle. It was found that the heel was on the shoe. It was found that the peel was on the orange. It was found that the meel was on the table.
Listeners do not accurately record what they hear. They report what they expected to hear from the context.
Comprehension is not the passive recording of what is heard or seen. We do not necessarily hear all words spoken to us. Comprehension is strongly susceptible to the slightest of change in discourse which the listener is attending to. Comprehension is not processed in a linear sequence. We process chunks of information, not individual words and not meaning in isolation.
Who are you referring to? Penny Benny
Voice onset timing (VOT) – The brief burst of air which precedes the articulation of all stop consonants. – Provides phonetic information listeners use to distinguish between sounds like [p] and [b] [p] is 50 millisecond (1/20 second) later than [b].
We are born with the ability to perceive subtle phonetic differences. Categorical perception – We perceive the phonetic differences in binary either-or fashion.
If you hear sounds with a VOT of about 25 milliseconds (about halfway between [b] and [b]), which would it be? [p]?[b]?
Q2: Is the ability to categorically perceive phonetic differences influenced by the linguistic environment? Thai Voiced [bai] ‘leaf’ Voiceless [pai] ‘go’ aspirated voiceless [p h ai] ‘paddle’ English Voiced [dai] ‘die’ [laid] ‘lied’ Voiceless [tai] ‘tie’ [lait] ‘light’ Aspirated voiceless [t h ai] ‘tie’
THE COMPREHENSION OF WORDS
The psychological mechanisms that affect lexical processing: Parallel Distributed Processing (PDP) the representation of information is distributed (not local) memory and knowledge are stored in the connections between units. learning can occur with gradual changes in connection strength by experience. 12memory2_outline.html
represents a word in the mental lexicon. specifies the word’s linguistic features (semantic, phonological, etc) A logogen The logogen is activated by sensory (auditory and visual) input and by contextual information. Activation Each logogen has a threshold. When the lexical information reaches the threshold, the logogen ‘fires’. That is, the word represented by the logogen is accessed. Each time a word is encountered, the threshold for the word is lowered. In other words, less information is required to access the word. Process of lexical access
The logogen model (Morton, 1969, 1970)
The high frequency words have low threshold of activation. The low frequency words have high threshold of activation.
The Tip-of-the-Tongue Phenomenon The bathtub effect Spreading activation network
We try to retrieve a word we think we know, but we just cannot recall the word at that moment.
We tend to remember the beginning and the end of a word better than the middle part.
concepts are connected via nodes and the strength of the connection is represented by the distance between the nodes
Activation begins at a single node and then spread in parallel form throughout the network. The force of activation is reduced over distance, thus ensuring that closely related concepts are more likely to be activated than distant concept.
THE COMPREHENSION OF SENTENCES
Transformational complexity – Derivational Theory of Complexity (DTC) Ambiguity
Deep structure A sentence produced by PS rules alone. (competence) Transformation The necessary changes applied to the deep structure in order to produce a surface structure Surface structure A sentence that has run through one or more transformations (performance)
Derivational Theory of Complexity Difficulty in comprehension was derived from the number of transformations that were added on to the original phrase structure of the sentence. Affirmative You are in love with coffee. negation You are NOT in love with coffee. interrogation Are you in love with coffee? Interrogatio n Negation Aren’t you in love with coffee?
Unexplainable exceptions Passive sentence takes less time to recall than negative sentences. – John was hit > Tom did not hit John.
It takes less time for semantically plausible sentences. – The struggling swimmer was rescued by the lifeguard. – The struggling swimmer rescued the lifeguard.
Negation is grammatically simple, but semantically difficult to comprehend. – The struggling swimmer was rescued by the lifeguard. – The struggling swimmer was not rescued by the lifeguard.
The phoneme monitoring task – Subjects listen to paired sentences and are asked to react as soon as they hear a target phoneme. – Sentences containing more complex information in the clause before the target phoneme will create a greater lag in reaction time.
Sentences containing more complex information in the clause before the target phoneme will create a greater lag in reaction time. The men started to drill before they were ordered to do so. The men stared to march before they were ordered to do so.
The linear left-to-right unfolding of sentence structure helps the listener/reader anticipate the next word or words which will follow. – Without her contributions failed to appear. – Since she always jogs a mile seems a short distance.