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Cognitive Psychology Chapter 9 Language, Part I. 8/27/2014. Language What is language? Hocket’s defining features Five levels of analysis Whorf’s hypothesis Speech perception Acoustic Phonetics Articulatory Phonetics Top-down processes. Study Questions.

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Cognitive Psychology Chapter 9 Language, Part I


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    1. Cognitive Psychology Chapter 9 Language, Part I

    2. 8/27/2014 • Language • What is language? • Hocket’s defining features • Five levels of analysis • Whorf’s hypothesis • Speech perception • Acoustic Phonetics • Articulatory Phonetics • Top-down processes Study Questions. • Compare and contrast animal communication with human language. Use Hockett’s defining features to underscore the distinction. • Compare and contrast acoustic and articulatory phonetics

    3. Language • Language vs. communication • Continuity theory (Aitchison, 1983) • Human language is a sophisticated calling system not fundamentally different from animal cries and calls • Mating and other ritualized displays

    4. Language • Language vs. communication • Continuity theory (Aitchison, 1983) • Bee hive communication

    5. Language • Language vs. communication • Continuity theory (Aitchison, 1983) • Ververt monkeys • “chutter” -> cobra; “rraup” -> eagle; “chirp” -> lion

    6. Language • Language vs. communication • Continuity theory (Aitchison, 1983) • Parrots

    7. Language • Language vs. communication • Problems with continuity theory • Apparent specifity • Ververt Monkeys • “chirps” for eagles as well as lions • • Intensity of threat or symbollic representation • Intentionality • • Often difficult to infer the intentions of animal communication • • E.g., Whale songs

    8. Language • Some definitions • Language • A shared symbolic system for communication. • Linguistics • Concerned with the characteristics, functions and structure of language. • Psycholinguistics • Concerned with language as it is learned and used by people.

    9. Language • Hockett’s linguistic universals • (Defining) features or characteristics that are common to all known languages. • Less essential design features • Vocal-auditory channel • Written language developed later than spoken • ASL much later again • Essential to the evolution of language • Broadcast transmission / directional reception • Transmission is public • Source can be localized by receiver

    10. Language • Hockett’s linguistic universals • Less essential design features • Transitoriness • The message fades rapidly • • Must be received when transmitted • • Stored by receiver • Interchangeability • We are “trans-receivers” • • Both receivers and transmitters • • Cf. Mating rituals in birds

    11. Language • Hockett’s linguistic universals • Less essential design features • Total feedback • Speaker receives information the same time as the receiver • Allows for moment to moment adjustment • Specialization • Language sounds are specialized to convey meaning • Nonlinguistic sounds may communicate meaning... • E.g., A growling dog but language was designed to convey linguistic meaning.

    12. Language • Hockett’s linguistic universals • Essential design features • Semanticity • Linguistic utterances convey meaning by use of the symbols used to form the utterance • Arbitrariness • The connection between the symbol and the concept is arbitrary • We have few ‘true’ onomatopoeia. • English: bow wow bang ribbet • Arabic: haw haw bom ------ • Mandarin: wang wang peng gua gua • Korean: meong meong ----- gaegol • Spanish: guau guau pum croac

    13. Language • Hockett’s linguistic universals • Essential design features • Discreteness • Small separable set of basic sounds (phonemes) combine to form language • Duality of Patterning • Process of building an infinite set of meaningful words from a small set of phonemic building blocks

    14. Language Francois Truffaut’s Wild Child (1970) • Hockett’s linguistic universals • Essential design features • Displacement • “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away” • We take about things are not in the here and now • Displacement and bee hive communication • Productivity • If we were bees, we would make up a new word • “palimony”, “blindsight”,“mindsight”, “Twonies” • Traditional transmission • Most elements of language are passed from generation to generation • “feral” children

    15. Language • Five levels of analysis • Grammar:The complete set of rules that produce acceptable sentences and not produce unacceptable sentences • Three levels • Phonology • Sounds of language • Semantic or lexical • Meaning • Syntax • Word order and grammaticity • Semantics vs. syntax • The gorpy wug was miggled by the mimsy gibber.

    16. Language George Miller • Five levels of analysis • Two other levels (Miller, 1973) • Conceptual • Analysis with reference to preexisting knowledge • Belief • One’s own belief of the speaker • “Mary and John saw the mountains while they were flying to Vancouver”

    17. Language Noam Chomsky • A critical distinction • Competence: Internalized knowledge of language that fully fluent speakers have • Performance: The actual language behaviour that a speaker generates • Our speaking performance is not always a good indicator of language competency • Disfluencies:irregularities/ errors in speech • Lapses in memory (er….ummm…..er) • Distractions • Linguistic intuitions • Which sounds better? • I need a long, hot bath • I need a hot, long bath

    18. Language • Whorf’s hypothesis • Linguistic Relativity hypothesis: You language shapes you thoughts • Language controls thought and perception • The Hopi as a timeless people • Heider (1971, 1972) • Focal colours • Dani Language (New Guinea) • Two words for colours: Mola (bright) & Mili (dark, cool) • Recognition memory influenced by focality • Weak vs. Strong L-R

    19. Language • Whorf’s hypothesis • “Eskimo words for snow” (100, 200, or is it 400?!?)

    20. Language • Whorf’s hypothesis • “Eskimo words for snow” (100, 200, or is it 400?!?) • Martin (1986) • Franz Boas (1911; discussing independent vs. derived forms) • 4 ‘Eskimo’ words for snow • Aput - snow on the ground; Qana - falling snow; piqsirpoq - drifting snow; qimuqsuq - snowdrift. • English words for water • Liquid, lake, river, pond, sea, ocean, dew, brook, etc. • > these could have been formed from the ‘root’ water • > ‘Eskimos’ formed all snow related words from 4 ‘roots’

    21. Language • Whorf’s hypothesis • “Eskimo words for snow” (100, 200, or is it 400?!?) • Whorf (1940s) • “We have the same word for falling snow, snow on the ground, snow packed hard like ice, slushy snow, wind-driven flying snow- whatever the situation may be. To an Eskimo, this all-inclusive word would be almost unthinkable; he would say that falling snow, slushy snow, and so on, are sensuously and operationally different, different things to contend with; he uses different wards for them and for other kinds of snow.” (Whorf 1940) • 7 words for snow (what about sleet, slush, hail, blizzard, etc.?)

    22. Language • Whorf’s hypothesis • “Eskimo words for snow” (100, 200, or is it 400?!?) • Brown (1958): Three words for snow • Only looked at the figures in Whorf’s paper! • Eastman's (1975) Aspects of Language and Culture • Cites Brown: "Eskimo languages have many words for snow” • (Mentions six lines later that the number was 3) • Lanford Wilson's 1978 play “The Fifth of July” • 50 words for snow • New York Times editorial (1984) :100+ words for snow • The Science Times (1988) • "The Eskimos have about four dozen words to describe snow and ice” • Cleveland weather forecast: 200 words for snow

    23. 8/27/2014

    24. Language • Phonology: The rules underlying production and comprehension of speech. • Phonetics: The nature of linguistic sounds. • Articulatory phonetics: Placement of the mouth, tongue, lips, etc. used to produce particular sounds. • Acoustic phonetics: Physical characteristics of speech sounds. • The Speech Spectrograph

    25. Language High Compression Low • Some Basics • Qualitative and quantitive elements of sensory stimuli

    26. Language • The Speech spectrograph

    27. Language /b/ /i/ /g/ /b/+/I/+/t/ = “bit” /p/+/i/+/t/ = “peat” /b/+/I/+/g/ = “pig” • Acoustic Phonetics • Phoneme: The smallest unit of speech that if changed would change the meaning of a word. E.g., “Pit” ----> /p/ + /I/ + /t/

    28. Language Consonants Vowels p p ull s sip i heed I b b ull z zip hid m m an r rip e bait ' w w ill s head should f f ill z pleasure æ bad v v et c chop u boot th igh j gyro put U q V o th y y but yip k t t ie kale o boat g d d ie gale bought c a n h n ear hail hot sofa l l ear sing h e i many

    29. Language • Articulatory Phonetics • Three ways in which consonants differ. • Place of articulation • Bilabial --> /p/ • Labiodental --> /f/ • Dental --> /Q/ • Alveolar --> /z/ • Palatal --> /ˆz/ • Velar --> /k/ • Glottal --> /h/

    30. Language • Articulatory Phonetics • Three ways in which consonants differ. 2. Manner of articulation • Stops --> /b/ • Fricatives --> /s/ • Africatives --> /j/ • Nasals --> /m/ • Lateral --> /L/ • Semivowels --> /r/ 3. Voicing • Vibration of vocal chords

    31. Language • Articulatory Phonetics • Voicing

    32. Language • Articulatory Phonetics • Is speech special? • Specialized neural mechanisms for perceiving speech. • Categorical perception • Voice onset-time and distinguishing /d/ from /t/

    33. Language • Articulatory Phonetics • Vowels • Positioning and part of tongue • Height • High (/i/ beet) • Med (/e/ bait) • Low (/a/ pot) • Part • Front (/I/ bit) • Central (but) • Back (/o/ boat)

    34. Language • The search for invariants • Distinctive features • Chomsky & Halle (1968) • The Sound Pattern of English • 5 groups of features • Miller & Nicely • Articulatory features • Problems with a simple bottom-up approach • There are no periods of silence between phonemes

    35. Language • The search for invariants • Phonemic information is presented in parallel • Coarticulation • E.g. Cf. /M/ in “Tim” vs. “/M/ in “mad” • We perceive them as the same, but they are different • We perceive the same sound differently according to the context • E.g.: Writer vs. Rider • E.g.: Insert a silence between /s/ and /i/ --> “ski” Insert a silence between /s/ and /u/ --> “spew”

    36. Language • Top down processes • Phonemic restoration effect (Warren, 1970) • Their respective legi*latures • Found a *eel on the axle • Found a *eel on the shoe

    37. Language • Perceiving conversational speech • Two main problems: • There are no physical boundaries between words • Anna Mary candy lights since imp pulp lay thing • Speech is sloppy • -> Misheard Lyrics • -> This was the best buy vs. She is a bad girl

    38. Language • Perceiving conversational speech • Two main problems:

    39. Language What are you doing ?

    40. Language Whad’ya doin’?

    41. Language • Top-down processes and speech perception • Phonemic perception • The McGurk Effect

    42. Language • Top-down processes and speech perception • Sentence comprenension • Miller & Isard (1963) • Participants shadow sentences: • Grammatic: Bears steal honey from the hive. • Semantically incorrect: Bears shoot honey on the highways. • Ungrammatic: Across bears eyes honey the bill.

    43. Language • Top-down processes and speech perception • Miller & Isard (1963) • Miller & Isard (1963) • Participants shadow sentences: • Grammatic: Bears steal honey from the hive. • Semantically incorrect: Bears shoot honey on the highways. • Ungrammatic: Across bears eyes honey the bill. • Results Gram. Nonsem. Nongram. No noise 89% 79% 56% Mod. Noise 63% 22% 3%