Cognitive Processes PSY 334 Chapter 11 – Language Structure.
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Cognitive Processes PSY 334 Chapter 11 – Language Structure
Linguistics Linguistics – studies the structure of natural language. Psycholinguistics – studies the way people process natural language. Linguistics focuses on: Productivity – an infinite number of utterances are possible in any language. Regularity – utterances are systematic in many ways.
Grammar Words can be combined into trillions of novel sentences, but not randomly. From runners physicians prescribing a states joy rests what thought most. Grammar is a set of rules that generates acceptable sentences and rejects unacceptable ones.
Three Kinds of Grammar Syntax – word order and inflection (where emphasis is placed). Did hit the girl the boys? Semantics – meaning of sentences. Colorless green ideas sleep furiously. Sincerity frightened the cat. Phonology – sound structure of sentences (pronunciation).
Prescriptive vs Descriptive Linguistic intuition – speakers can make judgments about utterances without knowing the explicit rules. Ambiguities: They are cooking apples – structural. I am going to the bank – lexical. Everyday speech (performance) does not conform to linguistic theory (competence).
Phrase Structure Important to both linguistics and psychology of language processing. Phrase structure – the hierarchical division of the sentence into phrases. Verb phrase Noun phrase Rewrite rules – rules for generating sentences out of the parts.
Pauses When people produce sentences, they generate a phrase at a time. Pauses occur at the boundaries of phrases. Pauses are longer at boundaries of major phrases compared to minor ones. Pauses occur at the smallest level above the word that bundles coherent semantic information (meaning).
Speech Errors Errors show the reality of phrase structure. When people repeat themselves they tend to repeat or correct a whole phrase. Anticipation – an early phoneme is changed to a later phoneme (toin coss) Occurs within a phrase – 13% across phrases Word errors can occur across phrases – 83%
Transformations Some constructions seem to violate phrase hierarchy: Whom is the dog chasing down the street? The dog is chasing whom down the street? A transformational grammar has been proposed which hypothesizes a deep structure that guides such violations. This idea about grammar is controversial.