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Flashcards in Language And The Brain Deck (25):
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Linguistics

The principled study of language as a system

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Phonology

The study of sound systems and sound change

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Phonetics

The description and classification of sounds more generally and the study of production and perception

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Morphology

Study of how words form

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Syntax

The structure of phrases, clauses, and sentences

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Semantics

The study of meaning - the relationship between linguistic signs and the things they represent

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Pragmatics

Attempts to explain how we manage to communicate with language

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Communal

Humans acquire language in speech communities - no one person can control or own language

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Creativity

There are an infinite number of utterances from a finite set of linguistic units

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Arbitrary

No natural relationship between a string of sounds and the concept behind it

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Grammar

The systematic rules governing how units are combined and recombined in language

Evidence of syntax

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Displacement

The ability to refer to things not physically present, removed in space or time, and the ability to talk about abstract concepts

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Aphasia

Partial or total inability to either covey ideas in language or to understand language, as a result from damage to the brain

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Broca's aphasia

Hard to speak in sentences, no command of tense and verb order

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Corpus callosum

Tissue that connects the brains left and right hemispheres and allows them to communicate

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Cerebral cortex

A layer of gray matter covering there cerebrum that contains fissures

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Frontal lobe

The front half of the brain distinct to Homo sapiens that is responsible for decision making and language/motor functions

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Sylvian fissure

Feature in both hemispheres but longer on left side that divides the lobes

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Wernicke's aphasia

Lack of comprehension, speak on long and meaningless sentences, add/drop/replace words, invert sounds in words

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Cerebellum

Large portion in back of brain controlling voluntary movements, balance, and posture

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8 design features of all human language

1. Arbitrary
2. Ambiguous
3. Communal
4. Creative
5. Discrete
6. Displacement
7. Grammar
8. Volume

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Volume

There is a high volume of units that can be combined and recombined into many more units, more than in the communication systems of other animals

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Discrete

Human language is made up of separate units that can be combined and recombined

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Ambiguity

Words can have multiple meanings and encompass a variety of different intentions

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Date of origin of language

150,000 to 200,000 years ago - we have had language for as long as we have been biologically human