Psychology and Language

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 11 September 2016

Psychology and Language

Language is a form of communication that allows humans to express emotion, opinions, thoughts, and beliefs. Language is communicated through sounds, gestures, and symbols. It is a developed system for communicating in a society. Languages will vary from one culture to the next and will take on different forms. Languages do not have to be spoken but can be expressed through hand gestures and written symbols. The lexicon is the vocabulary contained within the language. It is the knowledge of the words contained in the language. It is a compilation of all words known, understood, and expressed by the individual.

The language is compiled and understood by others contained in the same culture and supports how the language is expressed. Key Features of Language The key features of language are semanticity, arbitrariness, displacement, and productivity. An expression of language occurs when an individual expresses a sound or makes a gesture. The information being sent will be received by the listener or observer. Language is used to gain the attention of another individual through speaking or using hand gestures. Key features of language are the mode of communication that will be used (Hyde, 1998).

How a language is expressed is the mode of communication such as speech and hand gestures. The next key feature is broadcasting the message and then rapid fading of the message. The message will fade and then cannot be heard. The next feature is interchangeability. This is the ability to both receive and send the message. Total feedback is occurs when the speaker can hear his own speech and can monitor the language performance as they go and specialization involves producing the speech through the specialized body parts adapted for this role (Hyde, 1998). Semanticity is another key feature of language.

It matches the communication with its specific meaning. It involves the primary similarities in all languages. For example all elements on the periodic table are universal but the way the mineral or metal will be expressed by language will differ. In one language water may be expressed as agua but will still have the same meaning in another language even if the word is expressed differently. Arbitrariness is when a sound is emitted with specific direction. The communication or noise it just expressed and no one to interpret the message or no meaning for the expression of the language.

If a monkey shrieks while sailing through the trees this is an arbitrary sound. It is a noise that has no destination or it is not focused towards someone else. Displacement is when a speaker expresses a language concerning something that is not present. It expresses things from the past, present or future or things that are physically separated from the communication. For example displacement is when an individual is talking about another country that is far away or a past experience that he recalls into the conversation. Productivity is the ability to express a language or communication that is understandable to others.

It is productive to be capable of learning, processing, and emitting a learned language. Traditional transmission is the ability of the human being to learn a language in order to communicate. Humans are born with the necessary physical and mental tools to express a language but that language must first be learned. Children are able to express needs with by communicating by crying but they will need to learn the language to express in words or gestures what they need. Dual of patterning is a feature of language that involves the ability to develop patterns of language and the creation of new forms of the language.

Four Levels of Language The four levels of language structure and processing include the sounds emitted or the phonetics and phonology, the meaning, syntax, and utterances. In general phonology is concerned with describing rules used to combine sounds into permissible sequences (Debajuoti, 2000). The sound is produced and then perceived. This is the basics fundaments of language. It is the ability to understand the language and perceive the differences. Changes in the sound that is emitted could change the communication or how the sound is perceived.

Different ranges in sound can be applied differently in different languages or cultures. For example yelling in one language could be considered an expression of anger whereas in other languages or cultures it could be an expression of joy. The meaning of the language or the lexicon studies the relationship to the language and the words. It involves the derivation and inflections involved in the language. It represents the multiple meaning behind the words and the ambiguity of the structuring of the language. Syntax involves the forming of sentences within a language.

It is how the language is pieced together in proper grammatical sequences. The utterance is when the language is expressed through sounds and in some cases through learned gestures. This expression of the language can involve nonverbal expressions, gestures, and facial expressions. The utterance is the text of the language and how the words are linked together and what is said. Language Processing in Cognitive Psychology The role of language processing in cognitive psychology involves perceiving the information, producing a response, reasoning, judging, conceptualizing, and imagining.

A language uses symbols, which are sounds, gestures, or written characters that represent objects, actions, events, and ideas (Debajuoti, 2000). These processes help the individual to plan, apply, and problem solve. Language develops from many cognitive processes such as memory and learning. Language helps to determine how people will think. It is influenced by thought. How we perceive or process information helps to determine the ability to form a language. Human thought processes are closely linked to language and the cognitive process.

Language is learned or input into the brain through the cognitive process. Humans commonly use mental representations such as concepts, prototypes, and cognitive schemas. Cultural differences and variations in language can change the perception or how the information in processed. How the information is acquired, stored, processed. The brain contains the human capacity to recognize and learn a language. Human learn through their environment, memory, modeling, and gaining knowledge. Cognition then stores, process, and interprets the information to form a language.


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  • University/College: University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 11 September 2016

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