Friday, 26 April 2013

Introduction to Psycholinguistics.

Assalamualaikum WBT,

Hi, we are here again. Well, I am so sorry for not writing here, I have a lot of works needed to be done, so, since I have got the time, now I can write. In my uni life, I had a few subjects that I love learning, one of those subjects is Psycholinguistics. Yes, I love learning it.

They say, Psycholinguistics is not an easy subject to be learned. I do not know that, as long as we are interested in something, obviously, nothing could stop us right? *drama much? Please. Well, before we go any further, it is better for me to tell you a bit what psycholinguistics in brief. 

Language in general is important not only because it distinguishes human beings from all other animals on the earth but because, directly or indirectly, it makes possible the elaborate organisation of civilised society... and language in general is interesting because, although everyone knows and uses a specific language, few people understand what they know. Becoming self0-consiciously aware of what is known unself-consiciously carries a special brand of excitement. - George A. Miller

There are few main points that need to be in our minds are, 

1. Psycholinguistics is the study of how individuals comprehend, produce, and acquire language.

2. The study of psycholinguistics is part of the field of cognitive science. Cognitive science reflects the insights of psychology, linguists, and to a lesser extent, fields such as artificial intelligence, neuroscience, and philosophy.

3. Psycholinguistics stresses the knowledge of language and the cognitive processes involved on ordinary language use.

4. Psycholinguistics are also interested in the social rules involved in language use and the brain mechanism associated with language. 

5. Contemporary interest in psycholinguistics began in the 1950s, although important precursors existed in the 20th century.

The psychological study of language is called psycholinguistics. The diversity of how we use language is daunting for psychologists who wish to study language. How can something so widespread and far-reaching as language be examined psychologically? An important consideration is that although language is intrinsically  a social phenomenon, psychology is principally the study of individuals. They psychology of language deals with the mental processes that are involved in language use. There are three sets of processes needs to be remembered which are, language comprehension (how we perceive and understand speech and written language), language production ( how we construct an utterance for idea to completed sentence), and language acquisition (how children acquire language).

The Scope of Psycholinguistics.

Psycholinguistics is part of the emerging field of study called cognitive science. Cognitive science is an interdisciplinary venture that draws upon the insights of psychologists, linguists, computer scientist, neuroscientists , and philosophers to study the mind and mental processes. As the name implies, psycholinguistics, is principally a integration of the fields pf psychology and linguistics. Linguistics is the branch of science that studies the origin, structure, and use of language. Like most interdisciplinary fields, however, psycholinguistics has a rich heritage that includes contributions from diverse intellectual traditions. 

Language Processes and Linguistic Knowledge

There are two questions that need to be answered in psycholinguistics, one would be What knowledge of language is needed for us to use language? and other one is What cognitive processes are involved in the ordinary use of language?

In a usual sense, we know how to use a language but we are fully aware of this knowledge. A distinction may be drawn between tacit knowledge and explicit knowledge. Tacit knowledge refers to the knowledge of how to perform various acts, whereas, explicit knowledge refers to the knowledge of the processes or mechanism used in these acts. We may distinguish between knowing how to speak and knowing what process are involved in producing speech. Generally speaking, much of our linguistic knowledge is tacit rather then explicit. I could simply say that tacit is the surface and explicit is the deep under the sea type of knowledge. Meaning, explicit knowledge is where we need to look deep down to actually get the knowledge, we need to learn as much as we can to gain the knowledge. For example, we know how to smile, but we do not know how many muscles are needed to make us smile right? If you know how many muscles needed to make us smile than you obtain the explicit knowledge. Easy right?

The same information as my entry in here, there are four broad areas of language knowledge, which are, Semantics, Syntax, Phonology and Pragmatics. Let me give you the brief definition on this areas. Semantics deals with the meanings of sentences and words. Syntax involves the grammatical arrangements of words within the sentences. Phonology concerns the system of sound in a language and last but not least, Pragmatics, it entails the social rules involved in language use. It is not ordinarily productive to ask people explicitly what they know about these aspects of language. 

Well, I personally think that is quite enough to digest and I will write more on this introduction to Psycholinguistics. Love it. There are a few more topics need to be written here so, I will analyse it first then, I will write it. Okay? Wait for it eyh? Thank you.

Ref : Psychology of Language by David W. Carroll.

Assalamualaikum WBT

p/s: Need time to rest. Really. Ugh.

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