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Psycholinguistics
By: Samira Farahani
What is psycholinguistics?
Psyche mind
Linguistics study of language
Psycholinguistic: the study of language in the mind.
“The study of how the mind equips human beings to
handle language” Simpson,J
Introduction
psycholinguistics is a relatively new area of study. Though interest in
the mind-language relationship has a long history. Many
psycholinguists tend to consider their history as beginning with the
Chomskyan ‘cognitive revolution‘ of the late 1950s/1960s.
Today, psycholinguistics is a multi-disciplinary field, drawing upon
cognitive psychology , theoretical linguistics, speech science,
neurolinguistics and pragmatics, … .
The present study focuses on the three main areas in
psycholinguistics: language storage and retrieval, language use and
language acquisition.
Language storage and retrieval
 Memory and the nature of knowledge
The early model and the multi store model of memory (also known as the modal
model) was proposed by Atkinson and Shiffrin (1968).They proposed that
memory consisted of three stores: a sensory register, short-term memory (STM)
and long-term memory (LTM). Information passes from store to store in a linear
way, and has been described as an information processing model (like a
computer) with an input, process and output.
Information is detected by the sense organs and enters the sensory memory. If
attended to this information enters the short term memory. Information from the
short-term memory is transferred to the long-term memory only if that information
is rehearsed (i.e. repeated). If maintenance rehearsal (repetition) does not occur,
then information is forgotten, and lost from short term memory through the
processes of displacement or decay.
Current models refer to the short-term store as working memory (WM) and durable
one as long-term memory(LM).The working memory holds words of current
utterance and linguistic information retrieved temporarily from LTM for the
purpose of assembling and analyzing them. The Baddeley model(1990), a central
executive(supervisory system) directs operations. It determine the level of
attention within WM that a language user needs to accord.
The main characteristics of working memory is its limited capacity .
Language users overcome this restriction by developing form-meaning
connections which are automatic. Also the working memory has an
articulatory/phonological loop which enable a language user to
rehearse a piece of language so that it can be hold in mind for longer
without decaying. Psycholinguistics explore that the nature of
linguistic knowledge in LTM which enable language user to command
phonology, to retrieve lexical items and to produce utterance that are
grammatically correct. This automatic processes take place and the
user unaware. A recent shift in thinking has led many commentators
to favor an exemplar view of how linguistic knowledge is stored. If one
hears an [a:] that diverges markedly from one own value or a dialectal
variant of a syntactic pattern, one does not compare it to a standard
version or internalized rule but to a familiar form heard in the past.
Phonology
The exemplar view has particular relevance when considering
phonological representation. The smallest unit of analysis for
the listener or speaker is syllable rather than phoneme forms
and we are able to separating words into phonemes because
literacy and rhyming games have taught us how to. In
contrast, the exemplar position rejects the long-standing
assumption that there are phonological representations in
the mind against which variants can be matched. Instead
assuming that language user store different versions of
phoneme, one explains the way that listeners adjust
gradually to unfamiliar variety through different encounters
with speakers of that variety.
lexis
Lexical representation forms a major area of psycholinguistic enquiry
( Aitchison 2003).
A language user possess a vocabulary store in the mind: a mental
lexicon that it contains content words in the form of lexical entries
which contain of sufficient information about a word to enable its use
in speech or writing.
Levelt (1989) suggested that lexical entries contain two types of
information that allows individuals to recognize and understand
words. This information includes content about the form and meaning
of lexical items. The form component of lexical entries refers to
phonological and morphological information, while in contrast, the
meaning component refers to the syntax and semantic information of
lexical entries.
Producing and receiving language make different demand upon the
lexicon. The point of departure for a speaker or writer is a meaning
which he needs to map on the most appropriate form; while that of a
listener or reader consists of a form(auditory or visual) that has to be
mapped on to a meaning. In terms of reception, competition models
Rastle( 2007) proposed that a listener or reader balances cues at many
levels in order to achieve word recognition: a reader might consider
letters, letter order, syllable and word forms. Lexical retrieval in both
production and reception is assisted by the way in which entries are
stored in the mind. A model of complex network of interconnections
for example word CHAIR has links to others in lexical set of furniture
but for listener links to words such as CHAIN that similar to that
phonologically. listeners and readers are assisted by a process of
spreading activation, for example a word such as doctor , they
automatically activate closely linked words such as nurse or patient.
Grammar
Psycholinguistic account (Wray 2002) holds that our capacity to
produce speech rapidly is dependent upon frequently occurring
groups of words being stored in the mind as pre-assembled chunks.
Thus one does not have to assemble a new sequence such as I wish I
knew….. Each time one utters it. One can recognize it as a fixed
formulaic utterance when it occurs in connected speech without
having to parse it parts.
Language use
in this part, the focus is on the processes which are employed when
language user engages in speaking, writing, reading and listening.
Psycholinguistic models of these skills are influenced by an
information processing approach. For example, a listener receives
form of message: proceeding from acoustic input to phonological
representation and then from phonemes to syllables and on to words,
to clauses and to an idea unit. So in producing and analyzing language,
human mind operates in parallel at different levels.
Speaking
The planning of speech take place under pressure of time. While speaker
articulating a speech, a degree of thinking ahead occurs but may be there are
some brief pauses that they are for planning the form of the next utterance.
Juncture pauses occur at syntactic boundaries, hesitation pauses can occur
anywhere within an utterance and even within words. A number of
researchers have proposed models that represent the stages through which a
speaker proceeds when assembling an utterance. Levelt(1999) model features
six stages:
1. Conceptualization: generating idea for expression and planning how to
express them
2. Grammatical encoding: constructing syntactic frame for the next utterance
3. Phonological encoding: converting the abstract plan into words in
phonological form
4. Phonetic encoding: adjusting the phonological sequence to make articulation
easier
5. Articulation: producing utterance
6. Self-monitoring: focusing attention on the message just before or while it is
uttered in order to check for accuracy, clarity and appropriateness.
Writing
Accounts of writing(e.g. Kellogg1996) tended to follow Levelt’s model
of speaking quiet closely. Main differences are for planning, self-
monitoring and substitution of orthography for phonology. An
influential model by Hayes and Flower(1980) defines the environment
within which the writer operates and takes account of rhetorical
considerations relating to the writer’s own goals as well as to target
readership, topic and genre. The other research are on the field of slip
of pen or keyboard.
Listening
Matters are complicated in listening by the fact that pauses between
words in connected speech are irregular and infrequent. the other
matter is the highly variable nature of the signal and speakers differ in
terms of voice pitch, speech rate, hesitancy and accent.
Reading
Readers regress from time to time; with skilled readers this tends be to
check understanding; with less skilled readers it is often to check the
accuracy of word identification. an important consideration is that a
major component of reading skill is the ability to adjust ones reading
style length of saccade and length of fixation to the type of text being
read and to the readers own goals. as with listening ’it is necessary for
readers to hold decoded words in their minds until the end of a clause
or sentence is reached and a syntactic pattern can be imposed on them.
There is evidence that the word are stored in some kind of
phonological form Perfetti (1985) –hence the fact that readers
sometimes report a ‘voice in the head’. This may be a relic of how
reading is acquired ‘but it seems more likely that it serves to separate
recall of the earlier part of a sentence from the visual processing of the
current word. Goodman(1967) claim that good readers employ context
and co-text to predict what is to come, in order to avoid to decode
every word they encounter. This lead to a whole language approach in
which early readers were encouraged to read for pleasure, guessing
the meaning of the text that they could not coded.
Meaning construction
The output of decoding in both listening and reading is said to be an
abstract and decontextualised ‘idea unit’. Two phases of processing are
necessary, in first, listener evokes world knowledge in order to achieve
a semantically enriched interpretation of the raw proposition. in the
second phase, a listener/reader has to make decisions concerning the
information derived from the input. If it is trivial, it can be allowed to
decay, if not, it is added to the mental representation of the discourse
so far. Finally, in constructing a wider discourse representation,
macro-information has to be distinguished from micro-information
and a hierarchical model has to be built of the overall line of argument.
Language acquisition
Nativist theory
 Chomsky’s assertions: language is an innately acquired faculty.
 The short period of time while a child achieves grammatical
competence.
 The lack of correction or explicit teaching by adults.
 The poverty of the stimulus available to the child
All normally developing children acquire full competence.
Universal Grammar(UG):
 Principles: they enable the infant to recognize features that are
common to most or all of the world’s languages.
 Parameters: they can be set to accord with the language to which the
language to which the child is exposed
Critical Period theory:
 The two hemispheres might be plastic at birth
 The left hemisphere gradually becoming the dominant one for
language during the 5 first years of life
 It was not corroborated by recent studies and commentators extended
the cut-off point to adolescence.
Alternative theories
 Many alternatives to the Nativist view emphasize the role of the
linguistic environment to which the child is exposed.
 Jean Piaget (Piatelli-Palmerini1980)
language acquisition is driven by cognitive development as the child
succeeds in making sense of the world around it.
 Other cognitive accounts, human mind structure permits to trace
patterns in real-world phenomena, including speech, without special
language-related device.
 Deacon(1997), it is possible that language took advantage of cognitive
operations that served other purposes and that the brain then
gradually evolved to accommodate it.
 Simulation of language acquisition based on computer modeling-A so-
called return to empiricism(even behaviorism)-A connectionist
computer program capable of acquiring accurate past tense links.
However , this kind of program achieve its goal or not is open to
challenge.
child language development
 Many studies have investigated syntax, morphology, lexis and
phonology
 Syntax: verb used and its valencies
 Morphology: whether inflections are acquired by a child in a fixed
order.
 Lexis: the way in which infants succeed in associating meaning with
words
 Phonology: child face important challenges of establishing articulatory
setting and of coordinating the movement of the articulators from one
to another.
Child directed speech
The way in which adults address children appears to be informed by an
instinct for how much the child comprehends rather than attempting
to emulate the child’s own speech and is finely attuned to the child’s
development. Child directed speech (once referred to as motheres or
baby talk) has been found to be largely correct grammatically and to
contain a number of features. For example, stress, intonation patterns
which assist the acquisition process. Adults employ features such as
tag questions that draw the child into communication
Thanks for your listening

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Psycholinguistics

  • 2. What is psycholinguistics? Psyche mind Linguistics study of language Psycholinguistic: the study of language in the mind. “The study of how the mind equips human beings to handle language” Simpson,J
  • 3. Introduction psycholinguistics is a relatively new area of study. Though interest in the mind-language relationship has a long history. Many psycholinguists tend to consider their history as beginning with the Chomskyan ‘cognitive revolution‘ of the late 1950s/1960s. Today, psycholinguistics is a multi-disciplinary field, drawing upon cognitive psychology , theoretical linguistics, speech science, neurolinguistics and pragmatics, … . The present study focuses on the three main areas in psycholinguistics: language storage and retrieval, language use and language acquisition.
  • 4. Language storage and retrieval  Memory and the nature of knowledge The early model and the multi store model of memory (also known as the modal model) was proposed by Atkinson and Shiffrin (1968).They proposed that memory consisted of three stores: a sensory register, short-term memory (STM) and long-term memory (LTM). Information passes from store to store in a linear way, and has been described as an information processing model (like a computer) with an input, process and output. Information is detected by the sense organs and enters the sensory memory. If attended to this information enters the short term memory. Information from the short-term memory is transferred to the long-term memory only if that information is rehearsed (i.e. repeated). If maintenance rehearsal (repetition) does not occur, then information is forgotten, and lost from short term memory through the processes of displacement or decay.
  • 5. Current models refer to the short-term store as working memory (WM) and durable one as long-term memory(LM).The working memory holds words of current utterance and linguistic information retrieved temporarily from LTM for the purpose of assembling and analyzing them. The Baddeley model(1990), a central executive(supervisory system) directs operations. It determine the level of attention within WM that a language user needs to accord.
  • 6. The main characteristics of working memory is its limited capacity . Language users overcome this restriction by developing form-meaning connections which are automatic. Also the working memory has an articulatory/phonological loop which enable a language user to rehearse a piece of language so that it can be hold in mind for longer without decaying. Psycholinguistics explore that the nature of linguistic knowledge in LTM which enable language user to command phonology, to retrieve lexical items and to produce utterance that are grammatically correct. This automatic processes take place and the user unaware. A recent shift in thinking has led many commentators to favor an exemplar view of how linguistic knowledge is stored. If one hears an [a:] that diverges markedly from one own value or a dialectal variant of a syntactic pattern, one does not compare it to a standard version or internalized rule but to a familiar form heard in the past.
  • 7. Phonology The exemplar view has particular relevance when considering phonological representation. The smallest unit of analysis for the listener or speaker is syllable rather than phoneme forms and we are able to separating words into phonemes because literacy and rhyming games have taught us how to. In contrast, the exemplar position rejects the long-standing assumption that there are phonological representations in the mind against which variants can be matched. Instead assuming that language user store different versions of phoneme, one explains the way that listeners adjust gradually to unfamiliar variety through different encounters with speakers of that variety.
  • 8. lexis Lexical representation forms a major area of psycholinguistic enquiry ( Aitchison 2003). A language user possess a vocabulary store in the mind: a mental lexicon that it contains content words in the form of lexical entries which contain of sufficient information about a word to enable its use in speech or writing.
  • 9. Levelt (1989) suggested that lexical entries contain two types of information that allows individuals to recognize and understand words. This information includes content about the form and meaning of lexical items. The form component of lexical entries refers to phonological and morphological information, while in contrast, the meaning component refers to the syntax and semantic information of lexical entries.
  • 10. Producing and receiving language make different demand upon the lexicon. The point of departure for a speaker or writer is a meaning which he needs to map on the most appropriate form; while that of a listener or reader consists of a form(auditory or visual) that has to be mapped on to a meaning. In terms of reception, competition models Rastle( 2007) proposed that a listener or reader balances cues at many levels in order to achieve word recognition: a reader might consider letters, letter order, syllable and word forms. Lexical retrieval in both production and reception is assisted by the way in which entries are stored in the mind. A model of complex network of interconnections for example word CHAIR has links to others in lexical set of furniture but for listener links to words such as CHAIN that similar to that phonologically. listeners and readers are assisted by a process of spreading activation, for example a word such as doctor , they automatically activate closely linked words such as nurse or patient.
  • 11. Grammar Psycholinguistic account (Wray 2002) holds that our capacity to produce speech rapidly is dependent upon frequently occurring groups of words being stored in the mind as pre-assembled chunks. Thus one does not have to assemble a new sequence such as I wish I knew….. Each time one utters it. One can recognize it as a fixed formulaic utterance when it occurs in connected speech without having to parse it parts. Language use in this part, the focus is on the processes which are employed when language user engages in speaking, writing, reading and listening. Psycholinguistic models of these skills are influenced by an information processing approach. For example, a listener receives form of message: proceeding from acoustic input to phonological representation and then from phonemes to syllables and on to words, to clauses and to an idea unit. So in producing and analyzing language, human mind operates in parallel at different levels.
  • 12. Speaking The planning of speech take place under pressure of time. While speaker articulating a speech, a degree of thinking ahead occurs but may be there are some brief pauses that they are for planning the form of the next utterance. Juncture pauses occur at syntactic boundaries, hesitation pauses can occur anywhere within an utterance and even within words. A number of researchers have proposed models that represent the stages through which a speaker proceeds when assembling an utterance. Levelt(1999) model features six stages: 1. Conceptualization: generating idea for expression and planning how to express them 2. Grammatical encoding: constructing syntactic frame for the next utterance 3. Phonological encoding: converting the abstract plan into words in phonological form 4. Phonetic encoding: adjusting the phonological sequence to make articulation easier 5. Articulation: producing utterance 6. Self-monitoring: focusing attention on the message just before or while it is uttered in order to check for accuracy, clarity and appropriateness.
  • 13. Writing Accounts of writing(e.g. Kellogg1996) tended to follow Levelt’s model of speaking quiet closely. Main differences are for planning, self- monitoring and substitution of orthography for phonology. An influential model by Hayes and Flower(1980) defines the environment within which the writer operates and takes account of rhetorical considerations relating to the writer’s own goals as well as to target readership, topic and genre. The other research are on the field of slip of pen or keyboard. Listening Matters are complicated in listening by the fact that pauses between words in connected speech are irregular and infrequent. the other matter is the highly variable nature of the signal and speakers differ in terms of voice pitch, speech rate, hesitancy and accent.
  • 14. Reading Readers regress from time to time; with skilled readers this tends be to check understanding; with less skilled readers it is often to check the accuracy of word identification. an important consideration is that a major component of reading skill is the ability to adjust ones reading style length of saccade and length of fixation to the type of text being read and to the readers own goals. as with listening ’it is necessary for readers to hold decoded words in their minds until the end of a clause or sentence is reached and a syntactic pattern can be imposed on them. There is evidence that the word are stored in some kind of phonological form Perfetti (1985) –hence the fact that readers sometimes report a ‘voice in the head’. This may be a relic of how reading is acquired ‘but it seems more likely that it serves to separate recall of the earlier part of a sentence from the visual processing of the current word. Goodman(1967) claim that good readers employ context and co-text to predict what is to come, in order to avoid to decode every word they encounter. This lead to a whole language approach in which early readers were encouraged to read for pleasure, guessing the meaning of the text that they could not coded.
  • 15. Meaning construction The output of decoding in both listening and reading is said to be an abstract and decontextualised ‘idea unit’. Two phases of processing are necessary, in first, listener evokes world knowledge in order to achieve a semantically enriched interpretation of the raw proposition. in the second phase, a listener/reader has to make decisions concerning the information derived from the input. If it is trivial, it can be allowed to decay, if not, it is added to the mental representation of the discourse so far. Finally, in constructing a wider discourse representation, macro-information has to be distinguished from micro-information and a hierarchical model has to be built of the overall line of argument. Language acquisition Nativist theory
  • 16.  Chomsky’s assertions: language is an innately acquired faculty.  The short period of time while a child achieves grammatical competence.  The lack of correction or explicit teaching by adults.  The poverty of the stimulus available to the child All normally developing children acquire full competence. Universal Grammar(UG):  Principles: they enable the infant to recognize features that are common to most or all of the world’s languages.  Parameters: they can be set to accord with the language to which the language to which the child is exposed Critical Period theory:  The two hemispheres might be plastic at birth  The left hemisphere gradually becoming the dominant one for language during the 5 first years of life
  • 17.  It was not corroborated by recent studies and commentators extended the cut-off point to adolescence. Alternative theories  Many alternatives to the Nativist view emphasize the role of the linguistic environment to which the child is exposed.  Jean Piaget (Piatelli-Palmerini1980) language acquisition is driven by cognitive development as the child succeeds in making sense of the world around it.  Other cognitive accounts, human mind structure permits to trace patterns in real-world phenomena, including speech, without special language-related device.  Deacon(1997), it is possible that language took advantage of cognitive operations that served other purposes and that the brain then gradually evolved to accommodate it.
  • 18.  Simulation of language acquisition based on computer modeling-A so- called return to empiricism(even behaviorism)-A connectionist computer program capable of acquiring accurate past tense links. However , this kind of program achieve its goal or not is open to challenge. child language development  Many studies have investigated syntax, morphology, lexis and phonology  Syntax: verb used and its valencies  Morphology: whether inflections are acquired by a child in a fixed order.  Lexis: the way in which infants succeed in associating meaning with words  Phonology: child face important challenges of establishing articulatory setting and of coordinating the movement of the articulators from one to another.
  • 19. Child directed speech The way in which adults address children appears to be informed by an instinct for how much the child comprehends rather than attempting to emulate the child’s own speech and is finely attuned to the child’s development. Child directed speech (once referred to as motheres or baby talk) has been found to be largely correct grammatically and to contain a number of features. For example, stress, intonation patterns which assist the acquisition process. Adults employ features such as tag questions that draw the child into communication
  • 20. Thanks for your listening