Introduction to Language
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1. Introduction to Language & Language Comprehension The Nature of Language
Phrase structure grammars
Factors affecting comprehension
Characteristics of speech perception
Theories of speech perception
2. Introduction to Language & Language Comprehension Basic Reading Processes
Perceptual processes in reading
Discovering the meaning of an unfamiliar word
Reading and working memory
Theories about the role of sound in word recognition
Forming a coherent representation of the text
In depth: Inferences in reading
Artificial intelligence and reading
3. Language 75,000 - 100,000 words
Productive or generative nature of language
4. Nature of Language Phoneme
5. Phrase Structure Grammars Sentence decomposed into constituents by rewrite rules
“The young woman carried the heavy painting.”
Phrase structure rules
Why is this important?
6. Constituent Structures
7. Phrase Structure Rewrite Rules
8. Transformational Grammar Chomsky
Surface Structure vs. Deep Structure
Rules / Grammar that converts Deep Structure to Surface Structure
Deep Structure = more abstract meaning (structure) of sentence
9. Different surface structures but same deep structure: Sue corrected the homework.
The homework was corrected by Sue.
The boy kissed the girl.
The girl was kissed by the boy.
Was the girl kissed by the boy?
10. Same surface structure but different deep structures: Visiting relatives can be a nuisance.
The shooting of the hunters was terrible.
11. Factors Affecting Comprehension Negatives – e.g., Clark & Chase (1972)
Passive vs. Active Voice
12. Clark & Chase (1972) ‘Star’ is above ‘plus’. Y/N ?
‘Plus’ isn’t above ‘star’. Y/N ?
Positive vs. Negative
-fewer errors -more errors
13. Passive vs. Active Chomsky
Active sentences 7 times more frequent
Implications for writing:
“The study was run by three researchers”
“Three researchers ran the study”
14. Ambiguous Language Examples
15. Even a single word in a normal sentence can be ambiguous: “The bank was washed away by the flood.”
“The bank was washed every morning before it opened.”
“Pat took the money to the bank before it closed at 5:00.’
16. Neurolinguistics Brain & Language
Recent Neuroscience Research
17. Hemisphere Specialization Language localized in Left Hemisphere?
Yes / No
Left-Handers (50%) -------> process in RH or
Right-Handers (5%) both hemispheres
complex words – morphemic analysis
RH participates in language production
Interprets emotional tone
Subtle word meanings
18. Brain diagram for Broca’s & Wernicke’s Aphasias
19. Broca’s Aphasia
“Yes . . . Monday . . . Dad and Dick . . . Wednesday nine o’clock . . .ten o’clock doctors . . . and . . .teeth.” (Geschwind, 1980)
“Mother is away here working her work to get her better, but when she’s looking the two boys looking in the other part. She’s working another time.” (Geschwind, 1980) Examples of Broca’s & Wernicke’s Patients Speech
20. Example of a comprehesion task that trips up Broca’s Aphasics
21. PET Scan Subtractive Methodology
22. Tasks 1st Level - subject looks at ‘+’
Visual Task - subject looks at a word (e.g., ‘hammer’)
Auditory Task - subject hears a word (e.g., ‘hammer’)
3rd Level - subject speaks / says the word (e.g., ‘hammer’)
4th Level - subject provides / says a word (verb) that describes / corresponds to function
23. PET Scan Subtractive Methodology
24. Speech Perception 15 – 25 sounds/sec
Characteristics of Speech
Context allows fill in
Visual cues - McGurk Effect
Theories of Speech Perception
Speech is special - phonetic module
General Mechanism Approach
25. Warren and Warren (1970) 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.
28. McGurk & McDonald (1976)
29. What’s going on ?
31. Perceptual Processes in Reading Saccades
Moving window technique
4 letters to left
15 letters to right
32. Saccadic Eye Movements Predictable Patterns No fixations on blank spaces
Jumps over short words, function words (e.g., ‘the’ and ‘of’) and predictable words
Misspelled or unusual words
larger jumps / fewer regressions
35. “At dawn the blen arose on the horizon and shone brightly.”
36. Context Clues – Sternberg & Powell Temporal cues indicate how often X (unknown word) occurs or how long it lasts
Spatial cues identify X’s location
Value cues suggest the emotion that X arouses
Functional descriptive cues describe the possible actions X can perform
Stative descriptive cues concern the physical properties of X (that is its physical state)
37. Theories About Word Recognition Direct - Access Hypothesis
Phonologically Mediated Hypothesis
Dual Route Hypothesis
38. Direct Access Hypothesis Evidence Homonyms
read - reed
sea - see
Bradshaw & Nettleton (1974)
mown - down
horse - worse
quart - part
39. Evidence for Phonological-Mediation Sounding out difficult material
Children vs. Adults?
Van Orden (1987) - categorizing homonyms
Luo (1998) Lion-Bare vs Lion-Bean (related or unrelated? > errors
41. Dual-Route Hypothesis Evidence Flexibility
Difficulty of words
Unfamiliar vs. familiar
42. Implications for Teaching Reading Whole-word approach
Phonics vs. phonemic awareness