ENG2003 Psycholinguistics Language and the Brain: Fields of
ENG2003 Psycholinguistics Language and the Brain: Fields of Research Neurolinguistics The study of how language is realized in the brain clinical research: aphasias behavioural and neuroimaging techniques, cortical stimulation Psycholinguistics The study of how the mind processes language behavioural and (recently) neuroimaging techniques Biolinguistics The study of biological aspects of language
includes genetics, language universals, correlates of language across species 2 Psycholinguistics - the study of how the mind processes language - tied closely to language performance. Competence The mental capacity to use and understand language Performance The execution of competence in any real-world situation Performance includes speech errors, ambiguity resolution based on pragmatics,
word/vocabulary recall, etc. Language is not a stored array of fully formed sentences How does the mind (brain?) form utterances? How is vocabulary stored in the mind? What goes on in the mind when we try to process a garden path sentence? The horse raced past the barn fell The cotton clothing is made of comes mostly from India. 3 Garden Path Sentences
The horse raced past the barn fell 1st parse: The horse raced past the barn fell S V PP ??? 2nd parse The horse raced past the barn fell [S
RC ]V =The horse that was raced past the barn fell The old man the boat. 1st parse: The old man the boat. Det Adj N another noun??? 2nd parse The old man the boat.
S V O 4 Garden Path Sentences in Korean . . Processing time for first sentence is slower .
. Where is the dative argument attached? 5 Processing How is a sentence processed? as a whole? is it broken down? how? Top-down processing: Start with the meaning and syntactic structure, and break the sentence down into smaller, manageable pieces. Upon hearing, the tall the hearer expects a noun. Bottom-up processing: Start with the sounds, and piece them together into
meaningful units. It is believed both strategies are involved in real life processing Top-down full sentences heard in the presence of noise are easier to understand than individual wordsthus we get clues from the structure and not just the sounds. 6 Processing Speech Perception Sounds are processed incrementally, and then filled in. Vague signals can give rise to ambiguous interpretations by the mind. Is the following YANNY or LAUREL?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8EJkbADR3o Watch the next video and concentrate on the word BRAINSTORM https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1okD66RmktA Now watch the next one and concentrate on the phrase GREEN NEEDLE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1okD66RmktA 7 Lexical Access Word Recognition Lexical Decision Task very early psycholinguistic experiment ask the test subject to determine whether
something is a word or not. response time time it takes for a correct answertry the followingjust shout out yes or no dog house ftork explorer terse child cluff blick
dancer ballerina 8 Lexical Access Word Recognition More common words have a faster reaction time. Semantic Priming - A lexical item is primed by a previous semantically related word ballerina has a slightly longer reaction time If dancer is presented, this primes ballerina, which will then have a faster reaction time.
[More recent neurolinguistic research can break down lexical access into smaller stages semantic priming is more complex than these earlier experiments suggested.] 9 Lexical Access Word Recognition Reaction time is faster for phonotactically impossible words (ftork) slower for phonotactically possible words (cluff) Lexically ambiguous words also prime other meanings: The fortune teller read the mans palm.
palm primes hand and tree 10 leg calf 11 Lexical Access Semantic Priming Calf is ambiguous ( / )
Is there a priming effect with either leg or cow? To calculate priming effect: Present leg for 50-100 ms Present calf for 2000 ms Test subject gives response A Present cow for 50-100 ms Present calf for 2000 ms Test subject gives response B Difference in response time (response latency) is the difference in the priming effect of leg and cow to calf.
12 Syntactic Processing How does the brain put words into phrases and then into sentences? Parsing The warehouse fires were set by an arsonist. employees over sixty. Eye-tracking experiments reveal that people look back at those parts of the sentence where ambiguity arises.
13 Syntactic Processing minimal attachment attach a new phrase in such a way that minimizes structure late closure attach a new phrase to the phrase currently being worked on The horse raced past the barn It is easier to parse raced as a verb with the horse as its subject. John said that Mary was fired yesterday. It is easier to attach yesterday to the lower clause. . .
Where is the dative argument attached? 14 Experimental Psycholinguistics -investigate how language is processed in the mind Event Related Potential Electrophysiological response to a stimulus Many linguistic stimuli cause a negative spike in activity 400 ms after the stimulus called N400. We are eating a pizza no N400
We are drinking a pizza N400 spike 15 Experimental Psycholinguistics Event Related Potential The pizza was too hot to eat. The pizza was too hot to drink. The pizza was too hot to cry. 16
Experimental Psycholinguistics Experimental Pragmatics used to identify implicatures scalar implicatures absent in children quantifiers understood semantically without pragmatic implicature Some of the dogs are eating. okay if all of the dogs are eating. Only some of the dogs are eating. There must be at least one dog not eating. Some of the dogs are eating. (implicates) Only some of the dogs are eating. 17
True or false? The dog is eating. 18 True or false? All the dogs are eating. 19
True or false? Some of the dogs are eating. 20 True or false? Some of the dogs are eating. 21 Experimental Psycholinguistics
Experimental Pragmatics Adults tend to answer as though the scalar implicature were necesssarily true. Children tend to answer logically, ignoring the scalar implicature. 22
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