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  1. 1. 9 CHAPTER II DISCUSSION 1. The Definition and Scope of Psycholinguistics Psycholinguistics is the study of the mental faculties involved in the perception, production, and acquisition of language. The term itself was coined in 1951 thought had been going on even in the nineteenth century in the form of the study of language development. Agreeably, Cognitive Psychologists consider language to be one of the most extraordinary and complex aspects of cognition. From the study of Language, the field of psycholinguistics was born. Psycholinguistics by definition is: “ The field of study that combines psychology and linguistics” (Boey, 1975). “An interdisciplinary field that examines how people use language to communicate ideas” (Matlin, 2005). “ The study of normal and abnormal use of language and speech to gain a better understanding of how human mind function” (Scovel, 1998) Within the real of Psycholinguistics there is much interesting jargon which refers to sounds, words, sentences, and more. This jargon includes such terms as phonemes, morphemes, semantics, syntax, and pragmatics which in turn refer to such aspects of language as word sounds, word meanings, grammatical rules, and also the social rules which underline our usage of language. One of the first proponents of a psychological view of language was Noam Chomsky. Chomsky proposed that human language is innate and also that language is modular or that it is uniquely different from other cognitive processes. Another major principle created and influenced by Chomsky is transformational grammar. Transformational grammar deals with converting underlying, deep structure – the abstract meaning of a sentence – with surface structure - the words that are actually spoken or written. Chomsky devised this form of grammar in order to explain why two sentences that consist of two different surface structures
  2. 2. 10 can have the same deep service, or vice versa – a.k.a. ambiguous sentences. From Chomsky’s research, current cognitive psychologists have formulated the cognitive functional approach to language which “emphasizes that the function of human language is to communicate meaning to other individuals” (Matlin, 2005). Psycholinguistics today is an evolving field with much untapped potential. One particular aspect of language still untapped is that of cross-language studies. The majority of today’s research is from an English language perspective. It would be very faitful and highly valuable for people with other native language structures, such as Korean or Chinese, to add their unbiased opinions to the study of Psycholinguistics Psycholinguistics or psychology of language is the study of the psychological and neurobiological factors that enable humans to acquire, use, and understand language. Psycholinguistics covers the cognitive processes that make it possible to generate a grammatical and meaningful sentence out of vocabulary and grammatical structures, as well as the processes that make it possible to understand utterances, words, text, etc. Developmental psycholinguistics studies infants' and children's ability to learn language, usually with experimental or at least quantitative methods (as opposed to naturalistic observations such as those made by Jean Piaget in his research on the development of children). Psycholinguistics is interdisciplinary in nature and is studied by people in a variety of fields, such as psychology, cognitive science, and linguistics. There are several subdivisions within psycholinguistics that are based on the components that make up human language. Study of the mental processes involved in the comprehension, production, and acquisition of language. Much psycholinguistic work has been devoted to the learning of language by children and on speech processing and comprehension by both children and adults. As we know that language is not a simple process , it is a highly dynamic, active and complex process in which several agents and components are involved. The agents involved in process of
  3. 3. 9 language are the speaker as the producing agents and listener as the receiving agents. In this site psycholinguistics has some role: That is psycholinguistics studies language as a process, where it observe the speaker and listener construct the communication using question answered to make understanding about the material which communicated. On the other hand, psycholinguistics is based on the general principles of psychology as the science of the behavior of the human individuals as well as on the general principles of linguistics as the science of language. Consequently we may talk that psycholinguistics as an applied science as well as basic science since psycholinguistics also formulates its own basic principles of language as the most complex form of human behavior. Psycholinguistics studies language primarily as a vehicle for communication of information or intention. A co-ordinated work in this fields have been definitely yielding much valuable information with regards to the communicative structure of language, as well as it has paved way to more advanced communication system have several such practical and technological advantages. 2. Language as Verbal Behavior Behaviorism is different from most other approaches because they view people (and animals) as controlled by their environment and specifically that we are the result of what we have learned from our environment. Behaviorism is concerned with how environmental factors (called stimuli) affect observable behavior (called the response). The behaviorist approach proposes two main processes where by people learn from their environment: namely classical conditioning and operant conditioning. Classical conditioning involves learning by association, and operant conditioning involves learning from the consequences of behavior. Behaviorism also believes in scientific methodology (e.g. controlled experiments), and that only observable behavior should be studies because this can be objectively measured. Behaviorism rejects the idea that people have free
  4. 4. 10 will, and believes that the environment determines all behavior. Behaviorism is the scientific study of observable behavior working on the basis that behavior can be reduced to learned S-R (Stimulus-Response) units. The essential components of verbal behavior i.e. the language behavior view of man are verbal stimulates and verbal response. The entire behavior al patterns of a community rests on these two components. The verbal behavior has more teleological, nature than any other from behavior. Verbal behavior has structural and functional dimension. It’s man behavior, a pattern of action, proceeding from and entered around his personality. At the same time structurally it is language: a behavior pattern, consisting of language. 3. Language as Biological Growth A controversial point in regard to the essential nature development is the biological features of language or the intellectual , creative features of predominate in the process. We can see the relation between linguistics and biology and biolinguistics we shall see the role of biological features like the function of the nervous system in language. The biological formulations from the basic of both language acquisition and production. In several ways language acquisition described as biological growth. As a seed sprouts and grows into a tree of its own species and not of another or as the embryo of a certain animal grows only into an animal of the same species, the human offspring is endowed with of a set innate biological and psychological features and specificities which from the directive principles in the growth and the development of a child. The child is endowed with a set of biological organs of speech of birth. Thought the intra- human animals do share in several of this biological organs and are used for meeting the primary biological needs such as eating and birthing, man do use the organs for linguistics purposes as a secondary function. Lower animals too communicate themselves somehow through variety of sounds by means and of these organs. Among the organs of speech the most neglected and the least studies is the auditory organ, the ears. The primary function of it is certainly the reception of
  5. 5. 9 sounds. Sounds of the other hand it means primarily for communication of some sort of all level of existence. Therefore one may ascertain that the organs of audition are perhaps the most unique of speech- organs. A part from all these biological organs of speech which are the natural endowments of the child to develop a language, there are other aspect which make language growth a biological function. A part from the presence of the organs of speech which are the exterior causes for the production and reception of speech, man processes a brain and the nervous system which are the real biological substratum for language. The physical growth of the nervous system including the brain and the organs of speech and auditions, is basic to the biological growth of language. The biological approach believes that most behavior is inherited and has an adaptive (or evolutionary) function. For example, in the weeks immediately after the birth of a child. This has an evolutionary function. Biological psychologists explain behaviors in neurological terms, i.e. the physiology and structure of the brain and how this influences behavior. Many biological psychologists have concentrated on abnormal behavior and have tried to explain it. For example biological psychologists believe that schizophrenia is affected by levels of dopamine (a neurotransmitter). These findings have helped psychiatry take off and help relieve the symptoms of the mental illness through drugs. However Freud and other disciplines would argue that this just treats the symptoms and not the cause. This is where health psychologists take the finding that biological psychologists produce and look at the environmental factors that are involved to get a better picture. 4. Language as a Set of Habits Language is speechless than speaking. It is the wholes set of linguistic habits which allow an individual to understand and to be understood. But this definition still leaves the language outside its social context; it makes language something artificial since it includes only the individual part of reality; for the realization of language, a community of speakers [masse parlante] is necessary.
  6. 6. 10 Controversies one carried to the extreme as or to whether language learning and production process consist nearly of habit formation and habitual process, or it is an intellectual activity with habit formulation only as the under sell. In other words the question is asked if language is set of habits or it is a rule -governed behavior. The role of habit in the production language to be patterns of behavior which are so much established in the neuromuscular system that they can be involuntarily or semi consciously carried out. To understand the nature of habits fully is good to compare two basic sets of human activities reflex behavior and learned behavior . Reflex behavior are automatics behavior patterns in animals, controlled by neuro- muscular activities, when there is a dust pantile in the age at once our hands shots up to help the age dispel the pantile; or man shifts the sleeping positions at night. In all such behavior the governing factor is not the conscious attention of man, but it is the result of neuro-muscular organization, a feature peculiar to animals and to some extend to plants. It is process of biological adjustment as safeguard to life. The basic of learned activities is repetition and practice such as a man learn for swimming. So we can called habit as a learned activity acquires enough practice and crossed the level of conscious manipulation. Reflexes are rudimentary habits because they requires no conscious manipulation. Sometimes language is a learned habit. Even though man, by nature and in virtue of his biological structure , is dispersed to learning language , he is not so in so far as any particular language is concerned. 5. Language as Creative Behaviour Although every human have language but the rank of their own ability is different, because the conscious every man is different too. This is major difference between a beginner and well- versed speaker of language; especially when it is use as a foreign language. All language learners are involved with a complex cognitive process over which students and teachers only have partial control. A language student has to work in a most unique way with all the input he/she is given to construct
  7. 7. 9 ‘meaning’, and this involves a remarkable interactive process which combines innate cognitive abilities and an individual method for relating to the world, which for young children results in language being learnt in an incredibly short time period. But language is not merely a set of habits, and language development is not a mere process of habits-formation. Language crosses the boundary of habits and enters the unfathomable horizon of creative experience. The role of creativity in language resistances the status and dignity of man, as language is an experience uniquely proper to man. Language is a creative phenomenon , and language acquisition is a creative experience. It will be poor performance and an injustice done to the blooming , energetic millions of L1 learners of language learning is described as a trial and error process, imitation, conditioning or any form of stimulus response connections. Instead, language creativity alone will do justice to the extremely creative way the child acquires his native language. For the example of study acquisition language is when the child get a lot of source language begin from primary surrounding like family, school with the high language and need a concentration, until the social surrounding. The child will hear many kind of language. But they didn’t confuse because they choose what is needed and reject if the child isn’t need. This is the essences linguistics creativity , which we cannot find the form it in speaking and writing. The child exercise on intellectual assimilation of a given situation and which conscious awareness of the situation he is able to produce the utterance in his language. This is very essence of the child’s linguistics creativity. An energetic ,enthusiastic child comment in with several surprise in course of the day manifesting his creative use of language. This is reorganization of the verbal- context relationship a factor that doubtlessly points out to the creative use of language. Several such language behavioral features of the child are held precious by parents because the whole things is a rewarding experience for the parents who anxiously watch the language growth of the child especially at its early phases.
  8. 8. 10 6. Language as Communication One of the foremost preoccupations of psycholinguistics is the communicative nature. Self -expression is a feature that is almost the definition of human personality. For psycholinguistics, the functional aim of language is communication. There is a system of rules (known as grammar) which govern the communication between members of a particular speech community. Grammar is influenced by both sound and meaning, and includes morphology (the formation and composition of words), syntax (the formation and composition of phrases and sentences from these words), and phonology (sound systems). Through corpus linguistics, large chunks of text can be analysed for possible occurrences of certain linguistic features, and for stylistic patterns within a written or spoken discourse. One major debate in linguistics concerns how language should be defined and understood. Some linguists use the term "language" primarily to refer to a hypothesis, innate module in the human brain that allows people to undertake linguistic behavior, which is part of the formalist approach. This "universal grammar" is considered to guide children when they learn languages and to constrain what sentences are considered grammatical in any language. Another group of linguists, by contrast, use the term "language" to refer to a communication system that developed to support cooperative activity and extend cooperative networks. Such functional theories of grammar view language as a tool that emerged and is adapted to the communicative needs of its users, and the role of cultural evolutionary processes are often emphasis over that of biological evolution. Language is a symbolic behavioral system . As such information is fed into language. The process of conforming a given information with a set of linguistics material or a symbolic system is known as encoding. Encoding is involves on the part of the speakers several choice. The process of recognizing or extracting the given information from the symbolic system or code is known as decoding. This is fundamental structure of communication . The reader should be to identify information later with the semantic and conceptual contents.
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