Summary Class notes - Language (Felix)

- Language (Felix)
- Marthe Otten
- 2020 - 2021
- Universiteit van Amsterdam
- Psychologie
247 Flashcards & Notes
1 Students
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Summary - Class notes - Language (Felix)

  • 1578178800 Lecture 1 - Introduction

  • What is semanticity?
    Language has meaning
    Specific utterances refer to specific concepts
  • What is Arbitrariness?
    Mapping of language to meaning is arbitrary
  • What is Discreteness?
    Language is build of small, dinstict, recombinable components

  • What is Generativity?
    - Elements of language form a limited set (Phonemes, words)
    - Larger number of high-level utterances can be formed

    Phonemes --> Word
    Words --> Message
  • What is Displacement?
    Language can communicate about things & events that are not here and now
  • Do meerkats have semanticity?
    Yes, different sound for different predator --> Different behavior
  • What componentsof language can we find in chest-nut crowned babblers?
    - Discreteness: Flight & Nestle call build by same components 
    - Semanticity: Different behavior for different calls
  • What component of language do bees show?
    Displacement --> Talking about things not here & now

    Generativity --> Can form alot of different messages

    Don't show arbitrariness --> Dance is refering to the real world
  • What is continuity when talking about language in animals & humans?
    Human language is quantitatively different.
    But qualitatively the same. 
  • What is discontinuity when talking about language in animals & humans?
    Human language has specific features.
    These are not present in any form of animal cognition
  • What did Chimsky show (Nim)?
    Some communication of sign language
  • What is the difference between Nim & Kanzi how they learned 'language'?
    Nim: Operant conditioning
    Kanzi: Immersion learning
  • What are some doubts we can raise about animal sign language learning?
    Clever Hans effects.
    Observer effects.
  • What is definitely a difference between animal & human language (in research):
    - Animals some copying of grammar, but no strict incorporation

    Social Aspects of language:- Animals no turn-taking
    - Signing when observer unable to seen them
    - But: Natural communication --> Some turn-taking
  • What is Modularity when talking about language in animals & humans?
    Language consists of independent modules that are either present or absent in different species.
    - Some animals only have 1 or 2 modules
    - We have them all
  • What trait are necessary to learn language? (Comparing humans & animals)
    - Vocal mimicry: Ability to imitate sounds
  • Why can vocal mimicry be a byproduct of dancing (or vice versa?)
    Recognition & aniticipation of rhythm crucial for vocal mimicry
  • Are people, who are bad at language, bad at rhythm? So it this relevant for language development?
    Yes, Bad language --> tapping accuracy much worse. (Coriveau & Goswami)

    Rhythmic ability is related to grammar abilities in normal developing children (Gordon et al)
  • Is our ability to dance a byproduct of vocal mimicry?
    Only vocal mimics can dance ?
  • 1578265200 Lecture 2: Language & Cognition

  • Is language cognition according to behaviorism?
    Yes, only. 
    Behavior is the only cognition -->
    Thinking is sub-vocal physical speech

    (Extreme version of language = cognition hypothesis)
  • What is the 'less extreme version' of the hypothesis that language = cognition?
    Language: Your inner monologue
    - Dependent on having a working language system
  • What is the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis?
    Specifics of language change the content of thought.
  • What is linguistic determinism?
    Language determines how we think.
    - People who speak another language see the world differently.
    (Depending on concepts & structures present in their language)
  • What is linguistic relativism?
    Language can influence how we think
  • What are the strong & weak version of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis?
    Strong version: Linguistic Determinism
    Weak version: Linguistic Relativism
  • How can you test the strong version of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis?
    - Some languages have no words for some concepts
    - Can they still process these concepts?

    Absolute difference: (Linguistic determinism)- Language determines thought     
    - So, if something is not present in language, it's not present in thought
  • What is the difference in testing the strong and the weak version of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis? (Expectations)
    Strong version --> Determinism --> Absolute differences

    Weak version --> Relativism --> Relative changes
  • What word-types do we mostly use for language testing cultures?
    Numbers & Colors
  • A language has 2 terms for colors, what colors?
    Black & White (Dark & Light)
  • A language has 3 tearms for colors, what colors?
    Black, white & red
  • A language has >3 terms for colors, what colors?
    - Standard: Black, White, Red
    - First: Yellow, green blue (ezel: zon, gras, water)
    - Then Brown (kak)
    - Then purple, orange & gray (mix & onnatuurlijk)
  • What does the order in which color-terms are 'added' to a language suggest?
    - Color terms vary --> variation is not random.

    Suggests: Universal psychophysical basis for color terms.
    --> Perception shapes language, not the other way around
  • Dani people have how many color terms?
  • What are the findings on color research comparing the Dani people & western subjects?
    - Dani subjects: No problem to distinguish colors they cannot name.
    - Better at focal colors, than non-focal colors (just like western subjects)
  • 1. Dani subjects can perceive & remember colors, which they cant name.  2. Language for color terms has a constant underlying hierarchyDoes this support the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis.
    No. No linguistic determinism, nor relativism
  • The Berinmo have how many color terms?
  • What are the findings in language research of the Berinmo people? (color). What hypothesis does this support?
    - Study: Match chip test board (40) to target chip (1)

    Results: - Able to perceive colors for which they have no word
    - Worse performance than english subjects. (Decline depending on language)    

    Relative difference --> Suppors weak version of Sapir-Wharf Hypothesis
  • What is the difference between Russian in English in color terms?
    Russian has 2 blue color terms (light & dark blue)
  • What were the findings of the language experiment involving english & russian subjects? (color)
    - English did the task faster
    - Russian subjects: faster performance when choosing stimuli from different blue categories (compared to within the same blue) 

    Conclusion: Benefit of color categories more pronounced when 2 stimuli are very similar.
    - Language influences perception & action
  • What were the conclusions when comparing greeks speaking & english subjects? (color). What hypothesis does this support?
    Green deviants show same Mismatch negativity for greek & english subjects.

    Blue deviants show a much larger mismatch negativity for greek speakers, compared to english subjects.

    (Because greek speakers have 2 words for blue)

    Evidence for weak version of Sapir-Whorf hypothesis (Relative Changes)
  • What words do the piraha people of the amazon have for numbers?
    One, Two, Many , Much
  • What were the findings for the Piraha people when talking about language & numbers?
    Decreased performance on math & counting tasks when numbers get larger.

    (One, two, many, much)
  • What were the findings of comparing the warlpiri, Anindilyakwa & english speakers? (Numbers)
    Children who grow up with fewer numerals are just as good at manipulating numbers as english australian children.
  • There has been research on numbers & language (Comparing 3 tribes with english speakers). What are the conclusions when taking all this research into account?
    Culture might play a bigger role than language.

    Piraha people can't cope with larger numbers (Gordon), but australian children who grow up with few numerals  are just as good at manipulating as english australian children (Butterworth)

    (Contradicting evidence for language --> Different cause? --> Culture?)
  • How do english speakers talk about time?
    Use front/back methaphors.
    Organizing events in time as if they are in a horizontal spatial relationship.
    - Good times are ahead  
    - Hardship is behind us
    - Move meeting forward
    - Push deadline back
  • How do mandarin speakers talk about time?
    - Front/back metaphors (same as english)
    - BUT: also above/below methaphors
    - Organizing events in  time s if they are in a vertical spatial relationship

    - Weeks/months in the past: sha'ng (up)
    -Weeks/months in future: xia' (down)
  • How can you research in what way 'time' is organized in language? What were the results?
    -Horizontal & vertical primes (ball above, worm in front)
    - Time related questions (March earlier than april?) 
    - Measure RT   

    -  English speaker: Time is triggered by horizontal (faster RT)
    - Mandarin speaker: time triggered by vertical (faster RT)
    - Biling (english learned later): Stronger vertical than horizontal priming (still show 'mandarin' RT)
  • What is unique about Sign language? What hypothesis came out of this?
    It's visuo-spatial. 
    It uses a combination of hands & face.

    Uses face --> Does speaking sign language change face perception or spatial cognition?

  • What did Bettger et al. Show when researching sign language & face perception?
    Researched 3 groups:
    - Deaf participant, deaf parents
    - Deaf participants, hearing parents
    - Hearing participants, hearing parents

    Deaf-Deaf much better at face recognition (no different in Deaf-hearing & hearing-hearing)
  • What are the findings of spatial cognition in sign language 'speakers'?
    Emory et al: Mental rotation task:  response board rotated in same orientation as stimulus sequence (hearing vs ASL speakers)
    Results: More accurate location & orientation in mental rotation

    Nicaraguan Sign Language (NSL; Pyers et al): Simple NSL & complex NSL. 
    Complex NSL 'speakers' better performance on spatial orientation than simple NSL
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What is the differences between older classic models of language in the brain and recent model?
- Broca = Production
- Wernicke = Perception

- Larger area's of left hemisphere
- More general processes are used in language (Memory, Unification, Cognitive control)
What is Hagoort's MUC model?
M: memory: Retrieval of semantic, syntactic & phonological information

U: Unification of Semantic, syntactic & phonological information
- Broca's area & surroundings ( BA44,45 &47)

C: Control (BA 46&9)
What is unification?
Integrating semantic, syntactic & phonological information.
- In a discourse consisting of sentences, which consist of morphemes, which consist of phonemes

So: cognitive control needed?
- What language & words will you use
- When you will say what
What are classical views on aphasia? And new vies?
Classic aphasia view: Lost syntactic/ semantic/phonetic production knowledge

New view: maybe mental processes that act on linguistic information are compromised
Damage to:
- Wernicke maybe impairs memory retrieval
- Broca maybe makes it difficult to maintain information in working memory
What are problems with the Wernicke-Lichtheim-Geschwind model?
Broca = production?
Wernicke = perception?

Broca aphasia patients have some problems with comprehension
- Syntax is complex & semantics provide no clues --> Parsing is problematic
What did the Wernicke-Lichtheim-Geschwind model state about language production & perception?
Production: Broca
Perception: Wernicke
What are the 3 nodes in the Wernicke-Lichtheim-Gewschwinds model?
C: Concept representations: widely distributed
M: Motor word images (Broca's area)
A: Auditory word images (Wernicke's area)
Sahin concluded the IFG has a potential with 3 different independent components. Which model does this support? (But what goes against these findings?)
Sahin: Sequential 
1. Lexical retrieval
2. Morphological processing
3. Phonological processing

Supports Levelt model!     
1. Lexical selection (Lemma)
2. Morphological encoding (Morpheme)
3. Phonological encoding (Phoneme)

But Lexical bias: Phonological slip-ups more likely when it becomes a real world.
- So it probably isn't just sequential --> Feedback loops)
How did Sahin et al. Use word production to study morphology in language production?
1. Yesterday they .. (to walk) --> Walked
2. Every day they ... (to walk) --> Walk
3. Repeat ... (to walk) --> Walk

1. Overt-inflect: Thinking about adding inflection & actually adding it
2. Null-inflect:  Thinking about adding inflection & not adding it
3. Read: Not thinking about inflection    

Overt inflect - Read: Morphological & phonological
Null-inflect - Read: Morphological
Overt-inflect - Null-inflect: phonological 

Results; IFG potential with 3 sequential, independent components sensitive to:- Component 1 (200ms): Lexical properties of the word (to be pronounced)     
- Component 2: (320ms): Morphological processing
- Component 3: (450ms): Phonological processing (also becomes more active when complex vs simple syllables)
What is Broca's aphasia? Where is the damage?
Damage to IFG (posterior 44&45 brodmann)

- Problems in language producion (telegram style & absence of function-words/morphemes)
- Word finding problems
- Very little trouble with perception