This page is for words I’ve looked up lately:

phenomenology: is used to refer to subjective experiences or their study. The experiencing subject can be considered to be the person or self, for purposes of convenience.

autochthonal: originating where it is found; “the autochthonal fauna of Australia includes the kangaroo”

Anomie: in contemporary English language, is a sociological term that signifies in individuals an erosion, diminution, or absence of personal norms, standards, or values, and increased states of psychological normlessness.

Social constructionism and social constructivism are sociological theories of knowledge that consider how social phenomena develop in social contexts. Within constructionist thought, a social construction (social construct) is a concept or practice that is the creation (or artifact) of a particular group.

constructivism: Constructivism is a psychological theory of knowledge (epistemology) which argues that humans generate knowledge and meaning from their experiences. Constructivism is not a specific pedagogy, although it is often confused with Constructionism, an educational theory developed by Seymour Papert.

positivism: the form of empiricism that bases all knowledge on perceptual experience (not on intuition or revelation)

empiricism: (philosophy) the doctrine that knowledge derives from experience

rationalism: (philosophy) the doctrine that knowledge is acquired by reason without resort to experience

Egodystonic: a psychological term referring to thoughts and behaviors (e.g., dreams, impulses, compulsions, desires, etc.) that are in conflict, or dissonant, with the needs and goals of the ego, or further, in conflict with a person’s ideal self-image.

hypochondriasis: (or hypochondria, sometimes referred to as health phobia) refers to an excessive preoccupation or worry about having a serious illness.

paresthesia: Abnormal skin sensations (as tingling or tickling or itching or burning) usually associated with peripheral nerve damage

peripatetic: A person who wanders around.

alexithymia: An inability to talk about emotions.

differential diagnosis: A description of how to distingiush a diagnosis from other, similar, diagnoses.


Whorf hypothesis, or Sapir-Whorf hypothesis: The ideas of linguistic determinism and linguistic relativity combined: Language determines certain nonlinguistic congnitive processes, and the cognitive processes that are determined are different for different languages.

linguistic determinism: The idea that a langurage determines some nonlinguistic cognitive processes–that learning a language changes the way a person thinks.

linguistic relativity: The idea that cognitive processes that are determined by language are different for different languages. Thus, speakers of different languages are said to think in different ways.

differentiation: in psycholinguistics, the number of words in a given domain. Color words, for example.

codability: The length of a verbal expression. For example, whether a word is referred to by a single word or a phrase in a language.

basic color terms: Color words that consist of a single morpheme.

focal colors: The most representative example of various basic colors. The bluest blue, for example.

absolute terms: In psycholinguistics, terms that refer to the location of an object in space irrespective of the location of a  person–north, for example.

relative terms: In psycholinguistics, terms that refer to the location of an object in space compared to a person. Left, for example.

intrinsic terms: In psycholinguistics, terms that refer to the location of an object in space in relation to objects other than humans. Behind the house, for example.

counterfactual reasoning: The ability to reason about an event that is contrary to fact. English uses the subjunctive mood to do so. Chinese, apparently, does not.

animacy:  Whether or not the referent is alive. Yucatec includes this information in every noun phrase.

discreteness: In psycholinguistics, whether or not the referent in an object with distinct boundaries.  Yucatec includes this information in every noun phrase.


Broca’s Aphasia or expressive aphasia: A disorder in individuals who have had strokes or accidents, in which they can’t speak more than a word or two at a time, and only in nouns and verbs, not conjunctions, articles, or grammatical inflections.

occipital lobe: The back of the brain, where the visual centers are.

temporal lobes: The sides of the brain, where the auditory centers are.

parietal lobe: The middle region of the brain, where the motore and somatosensory centers are.

somatosensory region: The area of the parietal lobe that mediates the sense of touch.

Broca’s area: Part of the frontal lobe, next to the motor cortex, which is involved in thought, reasoning, judgment, and initiative.

Wernicke’s Aphasia or receptive aphasia: A disorder which is the result of damage to the left temporal lobe, in which individuals produce fluent speech that has little informational value. Phoneme perception and semantic priming is preserved.

paragrammatic speech: The speech produced by individuals with Wernicke’s aphasia, which is fluent but lacks informational value.

Wernicke’s area: The area of the left temporal lobe that seems to be part of sentence and/or discourse level processing.

referential gesture: A speech gesture that refers to some aspect of the content of the conversation. Wernicke’s aphasics tend to have trouble with this type.

interactive gesture: A speech gesture which doesn’t refer to the content of the conversation, such as putting up a hand to indicate one is not finished speaking. Broca’s aphasics tend to have impairments of this type.

conduction aphasia: The third major type of aphasia in which individuals have trouble repeating what they have heard.

pure word deafness: A rare form of aphasia in which individuals cannot comprehend auditory language but can comprehend visual language and produce auditory and visual language.

alexia: an aphasia which is the result of a disconnect between the visual regions from the language areas of the brain. This prevents the recognition of letters or matching of script and print.

agraphia: The inability to write.

angular gyrus: an area of the brain that connects different areas, expecially associating visual with linguistic symbols.

arcuate fasciculus: The primary pathway between Broca and Wernicke’s areas

contralateral: In the human nervous system, one side of the brain controls the other side of the body.

visual field task: A task in which each eye sees different stimuli.

dichotic listening task: A task in which each ear hears a different stimuli.

ipsilateral: The same side, as opposed to contralateral.

evoked potentials: The electrical activity of the brain immediately after the presentation of a stimulus.

holistic processing: Involves the activation of a single mental representation of a stimulus.

relational processing: Involves the activation of at least two distinct representations along with some relations between the two.

planum temporale: an area in the temporal lobe related to language functioning.

displacement: in psycholinguistics, the ability to refer to things not physically present. Something that human language does easily but other animals’ communication does not seem to do.

exaptation: When in evolution a structure that is designed for one thing is used for a new function.


necessary condition: in psycholinguistics, something that must be present in order for language to occur in a normal way.

sufficient condition: In psycholinguistics, something that, if present, ensures that language will develop normally.

feral children: Children who grew up in the wild, such as Victor, the Wild Boy of Aveyron.

isolated children: Children who grew up with extremely limited human contact.

critical period hypothesis: The idea that there is a critical period early in life after which, if language has not been acquired, it is impossible for normal language to be acquired.

motherese: also called infant-directed talk, the way most humans talk to babies, with exaggerated inflection and simplified usage.

operating principles: In psycholinguistics, children’st preferred ways of taking in or operating on information, such as A) Pay attention to the ends of words, B) The phological forms of words can be systematically modified, C) Pay attention to the order of words and morphemes. There are many.

cognitive constraint: In psycholinguistics, a bias that children aare assumed to use to infer the meanings of words.

whole-object bias: When children encounter a new label, they prefer to attach the label to the entire object rather than to part of the object.

taxonomic bias: When children assume that the object label is a taxonomic category rather than a name for an individual. For example, they will assume that dog labels dogs and not just the specific dog that was initially labeled.

mutual exclusivity bias: When children know the name of a particular object, they will then generally reject applying a second name to that object.

language bioprogram hypothesis: One idea about how innate processes operate in child language, in which children have an innate grammar, which is available to them biologically if their language input is insufficient. Like a linguistic backup system.

pidgin: an auxiliary language that arises when speakers of several mutually unintelligible languages are in close contact–usually when individuals with diverse backgrounds are enslaved, indentured, or otherwise brought together for cheap or free labor. It’s not a real language. It’s ‘impoverished’ in many ways.

creole: An actual new language that is created by children who acquire a pidgin as their native language, the existence of which is thought to be evidence for the language bioprogram hypothesis.

language bioprogram: A hypothesized innate grammar that is used by children whose environmental exposure to language is limited. The bioprogram is assumed to be suppressed ion children whose language environment is normal, ie contains a full-fledged language.

homesign: A sign language invented by deaf children, taken to be evidence for the language bioprogram hypothesis.

preemptions principle: In the language bioprogram hypthesis, a principle used by children: “If you hear people using a form different from the one you ar eusing, and do not hear anyone using your form, abandon yours and use theirs.”

nativism: An approach to language acquisition that emphasizes th innate organization of language.

task specificity: In the language bioprogram hypothesis, the idea that the cognitive processes associated with language use are not general-purpose problem-solving pprocesses, but are instead restricted to language.

parameter setting: In grammatical theory, the notions that children are born with grammatical parameters that are th preset to certain values. language acquisition is seen as a matter of restting these parameters to the values of one’s native language.

the head parameter: The head is the element of a phrase which is most important. In noun phrases, it is the noun. In verb phrases, it is the verb.

default value: In the idea of parameter setting, the default value is the initial setting–the unmodified parameter.

subset principle: The notion that languages may be considered as subsets of one another.

positive evidence: Evidence that a particular linguistic expression (a word or sentence) is appropriate or acceptable. positive evidence may be presented explicitly (when someone approves of another’s word of utterance) or implicitly (for example, when a person responds to another’s utterance without explicitly commenting on its appropriateness).

negative evidence:Evidence that a particular linguistic expression ( a word or sentence) is inappropriate or unacceptable. Neagtive evidence may be presented explicitly (No, that’s not a couw; that’s a dog) or implicitly (such as when adults repear child utterances with corrections).


semantic complexity or conceptual complexity: The complexity of ideas expressed in a sentence of phrase, as opposed to syntactic complexity.

syntactic complexity or formal complexity: The complexity of the grammatical operations required to express an idea in a given language, as opposed to semantic complexity.

overregularization: In psycholinguistics, a child’s use of a regular morpheme in a word that is irregular, such as the past-tense morpheme in breaked and goed.

passive sentence: A sentence in which the agent is the syntactic object: The cat was chased by the dog. Usually convey a single idea in a linguistically complex form.

complex sentence: A sentence that expresses more than one proposition.

coordination: In psycholinguistics, a complex sentence that is a construction in which two simple sentences are conjoined, as in “Sally loved rock and Jill loved jazz.”

complement: In psycholinguistics, a noun phrase that includes a verb. In “I want to go home,” for example, the object is ‘go home.’

relative clause: A ‘wh’ clause that modifies a noun:

object relative clause: A relative clause that modifies a sentence’s object: “I just did the thing what you just did.”

subject relative clause: A relative clause that modifies a sentence’s subject: “The boy who was lost was found unharmed.”

metalinguistic awareness: The ability to think of language as an object.

referential communication task: A task in which a speaker must formulate a message to refer to an object or picture, as opposed to communicating the speaker’s ideas, needs, or emotions.

decontextualized: In psycholinguistics, when there is no close relationship between the utterances of conversational participants and their immediate context. Classroom communication, for example

contextualized language: A characteristic of most language outside of formal education, where there is a close relationshyip between the utterances of conversational participants ad the immediate context.

initiation-reply-evaluation sequence: A form of discourse that allows teachers to assess student learning, in which a teacher poses a question to a studen, receives a reply, and then evaluates the student’s answer. This type of discourse is unlikely to occur outside of school.

simultaneous bilingualism: When children acquire two languages at the same time.

sequential bilingualism: When a person learns a second language after already acquiring a first. Also known as second language acquisition.

count nouns: Nouns that have distinct singular and plural forms, like candle and candles, and can be counted.

mass nouns: Nouns which cannot be directly counted and cannot take the plural morpheme, like air, water, mud.

grammatical gender: Whether a language identifies objects as masculine, feminine, or neuter.

interference: In psycholinguistics, the extent to which learning two languages simultaneously interfere with each other.

language transfer: The idea that a child’s first language influences the acquisition of their second language.


child-directed speech: Baby talk, or ‘motherese.’

assertion: An early prelinguistic gesture, also called declarative, which is using an object to get attention from an adult.

request: An early prelinguistic gesture, also called ‘imperative,’ which is using an adult to get an object.

communicative competence: knowing how to use gestures and words to show off objects, make assertions, make requests and the like.

fis phenomenon: When a child can perceive a phonetic distinction that they cannot produce: “What’s your name?” “Litha.” “Litha?” “No! Litha.” “Oh, Lisa?” “Yeah.”

reduplicated babbling: The first kind of infant babbling, in which they repeat a consonant-vowel sequence, such as babababa.

variegated babbling: By 11-12 months, infants are stringing different syllables together, like baduguba.

idiomorphs: Personalized words, invented by children to refer to objects or events.

reduction: A phonological process used by children in which consonant clusters are simplified: tore for store, baw for bottle, etc.

coalescence: A phonological process used by children in which phonemes from different syllables are combined into a single syllable. Paf for pacifier, for example.

assimilation: A phonological process used by children in which they change one sound to make it similar to another sound in the same word, such as saying nance for dance.

reduplication: A phonological process used by children in which one syllable of a multisyllabic word is repeated, as in dada for daddy.

fast mapping: The phenomenon of children learning new words very rapidly.

overextension: When children include too many objects in a category, like all four legged animals are doggy.

underextension: When children use a word in a more restrictive way than adults do–‘shoes’, for example, meaning a certain pair of shoes.

original word game: “What’s that?” “That’s a _____.”

holophrase: A single-word utterance that is used by a child to express more than the meaning usually attributed to that single word by adults. “Water” may mean “I want water,” or “give me water,” etc.

basic child grammar: According to Slobin, a universal construction of children learning their native language, meaning that all children have one innate syntax that may or may not coincide with the language of their parents. This is a widespread but controversial idea.

mean length utterances in morphemes (MLU): The best known and most used measure of syntactic development, calculated by recording 100 utterances by a child and counting the average number of meaningful units per utterance. This is considered a conservative index of a child’s ability to combine morphemes in a productive manner, and has been used to divide language development into five stages: I, mainly 1 to 2 words utterance, lasts until an MLU of 1.75, or about 2 years old. II through V corrospond to upper-limit MLUs of 2.25, 2.75, 3.5, and 4, where the measurement is considered to lose its value.

semantic bootstrapping: The process of using semantic relations to learn syntactic relations.

referential strategy: One of the two basic strategies of early language acquisition, in which children learn words, mostly nouns, some verbs, that refer to aspects of the immediate environment.

expressive strategy: One of the two basic strategies of early language acquisition, in which children develop a more diverse vocabulary, emphasizing social interaction: “Stop it.” “I want it.”

manual English: A sign language that is a form of English, as opposed to ASL, which is its own language.


joint action: The most fundamental rule of conversation is that it is a joint action; an action carried out by an ensemble of people acting in coordination with one another, like dancing or conversing.

turn-yielding signal: In psycholinguistics, the display of one more of six behavioral cues that appear to indicate a willingness to conclude one’s turn: 1) a drop of pitch: 2) a drawl on the final syllable or final stressed syllable of a final clause; 3) the termination of hand gesters; 4) the use of stereotyped expressions such as you know, or something, and but uh; 5) a drop in loudness; and 6) completion of a grammatical clause.

attempt suppressing signal: The use of hand gestures in conjunction with one or more of the turn yielding cues to indicate that indicate the speaker wishes to hold the floor.

conversation participants: In psycholinguistics, the individuals primarily engaged a conversation.

conversation side participants: In psycholinguistics, an individual who is taking part in a conversation but is not currently being addressed.

conversation overhearers: In psycholinguistics, individuals who are present for but not taking part in a conversation. Can be either bystanders or eavesdroppers.

conversation bystanders: In psycholinguistics, individuals who are openly present for a conversation but who are not participating–not a part of the conversation.

conversation eavesdroppers: In psycholinguistics, individuals who listen in on conversations without the participants’ awareness.

common ground: In psycholinguistics, the shared understanding of those involved in the conversation.

overlaps: In psycholinguistics, periods of simultaneous speech during the last word of the speaker’s projected closing. There is an incentive to be quick, because of Sack’s second rule of conversation, that the first person to speak doring a silence gains the floor.

interruptions: In psycholinguistics, periods of simultaneous speed more than one word before the speaker’s projected completion point–a violation of the speaker’s turn.

minimal responses: In psycholinguistics, remarks such and uh-huh and um-hmm. Not viewed as interruptions but rather as a listener’s display of interest in a speaker’s topic.

tag questions: In psycholinguistics, a linguistic expression more common in womens’ conversations, in which a statement is turned into a question: It’s cold in here, isn’t it? The frequency of these expressions seem to vary with the power dynamics of the speakers.

personal settings: In psycholinguistics, a conversational setting where a free exchange of turns takes place among the two or more participants.

institutional settings: In psycholinguistics, a conversational setting where particpants engage in speech exchanges that resemble ordinary conversation but are limited by institutional rules.


shifts: In psycholinguistics, a type of speech error in which one speech segment is moved from its appropriate location to somewhere else.

exchanges: In psycholinguistics, a type of speech error, essentially double shifts, where two linguistic units change places. Spoonerisms are a kind of exchange.

anticipations: In psycholinguistics, a type of speech error in which a later segment takes the place of an earlier one. They differ from shifts in that the segment that intrudes on another also remains in it’s correct location and thus is used twice.

perseverations: In psycholinguistics, a type of speech error in which an earlier segment replaces a later item.

additions: In psycholinguistics, a type of speech error in which linguistic material is added.

deletions: In psycholinguistics, a type of speech error in which linguistic material is left out.

blends: In psycholinguistics, a type of speech error in which more than one word is being considered and the two intended items fuse or blend into a single itme. “Slickery” for slick and slippery, for example.

accommodation:In psycholinguistics, a phonolgical process in which elements that are shifted or deleted are adapted to their error-induced environments. For example, adding a z sound instead of an s sound to ‘out’ in “It certainly run outs fast.”

phonological bias technique: A method of inducing speech errors by having a subject read a series of words with similar phonological patterns.

lexical bias effect: The fact that induced speech errors result in words more often than non-words, also the case with spontaneous speech errors. This effect goes away when all of the targets in the list are non-words.

phonemic similarity effect: Evidence supporting the parallel models of linguistic planning; the tendency for intruding phonemes to be phonemically similar in their distinctive feature composition to the target phonemes.

respiratory system: In psycholinguistics, viewed as one of the three systems of muscles responsible for fluent speech articulation.

Laryngeal system: In psycholinguistics, viewed as one of the three systems of muscles responsible for fluent speech articulation; consists of the vocal cords. Turns air moving from the respiratory system into acoustic energy.

supralaryngeal system: In psycholinguistics, viewed as one of the three systems of muscles responsible for fluent speech articulation; consists of structures that lie above the lariynx, including the tongue, the lips, the teeth, jaw and velum. These structures articulate speech by changing the size and shape of the oral and nasal cavities.

anticipatory coarticulation: When two speech sounds are made simultaneously, and the shape of the vocal tract for the first sound accomodates to the shape needed for the second.

persveratory coarticulation: When two speech sounds are made simultaneously, and the shape of the vocal tract for the second sound is affected by the shape needed for the second.

undershooting: In psycholinguistics, the result of coarticulation; when an articulator, in anticipation of an upcoming sound, aims for a given location, it does not actually acheive it.

self-repairs: In psycholinguistics, when we spontaneously interrupt ourselves and correct something we have said.

editing expressions: words or phrases that indicate we are editing ourselves. “uh” tends to mean we are looking for the correct word but still want to maintain the floor. “Oh” tends to mean we have just thought of the correct word.

instant reparis: In psycholinguistics, when a speaker retraces back to a single toublesom word and replaces it with the correct word.

anticipatory retracing: when a speaker retraces back to some point prior to an error to fix an error, as in “And left to the stop sign–to the yield sign.”

fresh starts: In psycholinguistics, when a speaker drps the original syntactic structure and just starts over.


discourse: A group of sentences combined in a meaningful manner.

local structure: (also microstructure) In psycholinguistics, the relationships between individual sentences in the discourse.

global structure: (also macrostructure) In psycholinguistics, the global coherence relationships in discourse. Our knowledge of the structure corresponding to the way certain kinds of stories unfold.

coherence: In psycholinguistics, the degree to which different parts (words, sentences, paragraphs) of a text are connected to one another.

cohesion: In psycholinguistics, local coherence relations between adjacent sentences in discourse.

reference cohesion: In psycholinguistics, one type of cohesion, distinct from reference as the links between words and objects or events in the world. A semantic relation whereby information needed for the interpretation of one item is found elsewhere in the text. Types of reference cohesion are pronomial, demonstrative, and comparative.

substitution cohesion: A type of cohesion where one lexical item is replaced with another as an alternative to repeating the first. For example, in “Have you seen the duck?” “Yes, I just saw one,” the word one is a substitution for duck.

ellipses cohesion: A type of cohesion in which a word in one sentence is substituted with nothing: “I wish I had more talent. My sister has a lot more than I do.” The lack of ‘talent’ in sentence 2 is ellipses cohesion. A special form of substitution cohesion.

conjunctive cohesion: Using a conjunction (so, and, but, etc.) to express a relationship between phrases or sentences. I got drunk, so I’m staggering.

lexical cohesion: A type of cohesion in which a tie is made between cer5tain words in the sentence. There are three types of lexical cohesion: reiteration (same word repeated), synonymy (using a synonym), and hyponymy (using a hyponym).

anaphoric reference: A form of reference cohesion in which one linguistic expression refers back to prior information in discourse.

cataphoric reference: A form of reference cohesion in which one linguistic expression refers to information yet to come in discourse.

antecedant: In anaphoric or cataphoric reference, the antecedant is the first element of the reference

given information: In psycholinguistics, information that an author or speaker assumes the reader or listener already knows, as opposed to new information.

new information:In psycholinguistics, information that the comprehender is assumed to not know.

given/new strategy: A comprehension strategy in which utterances are analysed ingo given and new components and the new information is stored in memory with previously received information.

direct matching: In psycholinguistics, a coherence strategy in which the given information in the target sentence directly matches an antecedent in the context sentence: We gotr some beer out of the trunk. The beer was warm.

bridging:In psycholinguistics, a coherence strategy used when we do not have a direct antecedent for the given information but can still tie the sentences together; a process in which the listener or reader draws inferences to build a “bridge” between the current utterance and preceding utterances.

reinstating old information:In psycholinguistics, a coherence strategy used if the antecedent is too far removed from the target–the antecedent is said to have moved from the foreground into the background.

foreground: In discourse processing, information that is currently being discussed or explained.

background: In discourse processing, information that was introduced or discussed earlier and is no longer the focus of discussion.

reinstatement: In psycholinguistics, the time-consuming process in which antecedents are retrieved from permanent memory into working memory to comprehend a current sentence.

reading span task: In psycholinguistics, a measure of working memory capacity during reading. Subjects read aloud a series of sentences and then try to recall the last word in each wswentence. The number of works recalled is the measure of the subject’s reading span.

surface representation: In psycholinguistics, one level of memory for discourse. Representation of the exact works that were presented.

propositional representation: In psycholinguistics, one level of memory for discourse. Memory for the meaning apart from the exact words used.

situational model: In psycholinguistics, one level of memory for discourse. A mental model of discourse, like a mental map of a room being described.

inferences: In psycholinguistics, propositions drawn by the listener or reader.

schema: A structure in semantic memory that specifies the general or expected arrangement of a body of information.

genre: In psycholinguistics, a category of discourse characterized by a particular form or content, such as the genre for fairy tales.

narrative discourse: A form of discourse in which settings, characters, and plot play a central role.

expository discourse: A type of discourse in which the writer’s goal is to convey information about the subject matter.

story grammar: The mental representation (schema) of an expected series of events in a story.

episode: In psycholinguistics, a component of story grammar. Setting, event, response, etc.

anomalous suspense: In narrative comprehension, the experience of suspense when the reader already knows how a story will turn out.

active processing: A collection of activities that includes relation new information to information we have in permanent memory, asking questions of the materieal, and writing summaries or outlines of the material.

self-reference effect: The tendency to remember information better when one relates it to oneself.


internal lexicon: In psycholinguistics, the representation of words in permanent memory.

lexical access: The process by which we activate the various meanings of words in our internal lexicons. Affected by phonological variables (such as stress and intonational features), syntactic category (the word-frequency effects only holds true for open-class words), morphological complexity (presence of a number of prefixes, suffixes, pseudoprefixes), semantic priming (the context of related words), lexical ambiguity (homonyms, garden paths)

phonological knowledge: One part of our word-knowledge (of four); knowledge about the sound and pronunciation of words.

tip of the tongue phenomenon: A psycholinguistic state where we cannot quite remember a word, but we can remember some phonological properties.

syntactic knowledge: One part (of four) of our word-knowledge; what syntactic category a word belongs to, basically what part of speech–if one word can be substituted for another in a sentence, they are in the same syntactic category. Traditionally organized into nouns, verbs, etc, but in psycholinguistics organized into two broad categories, open- and closed-class words, or content and function words.

agrammatism: A neurological condition in which people frequently omit closed-class words (determiners, pronouns, prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections) while leaving open-class words more intact.

morphological knowledge: How the morphemes in a language interact. For example, derivational morphemes are added to free morphemes first, then inflectional morphemes: Neighborhoods, not neighborshood.

inflectional morphemes: Bound morphemes that, when added to free morphemes, express grammatical contrasts in sentences. The -s in cats and the -ed in jumped, for example.

derivational morphemes: Bound morphemes that, when added to free morphemes, create new words. The –ness in goodness, for example, turns the adjective ‘good’ into the noun.

semantic knowledge: Knowledge of the meaning of words.

referent: The thing in the world that a word points to.

truth conditions: The conditions under which a sentence may be said to be true.

mental model: a cognitive structure that represents some aspect of out environment.

sense: In linguistics, a word’s place in a system of relationships which it contracts with other words in the vocabulary; synonymy, coordination, hypernymy, and meronymy.

synonymy: When two words or expressions mean the same thing.

coordination: When two workds exist at the same level in a hierarchy, such as cat and dog under animal.

hypernymy: When one word is higher than another in a hierarchy than another, like bird and sparrow, bird is the hypernym of sparrow.

hyponym: The opposite of hypernym; sparrow is a hyponym of bird.

meronymy: When a word refers to a part of another word’s referent. “Leg” is a meronym of ‘chair,’ for example.

word association test: Subjects give the first word that comes to mind after hearing another word. The idea is that that word and the stimulus word will be well connected neurally in their brain.

taxonomic relations: Relations among words that indicate the position of words in a taxonomy. For example, for the word dog, mammal is a superordinate term, cat is a coordinate term, and collie is a subordinate term. Taxonomic relations are those that deal with hyponymy, hypernymy, and coordination.

taxonomy: A classification of organisms into groups based on similarities of structure or origin etc.

attributive relations: Relations between words that indicate the attributes of a given word, such as round as an attribute for ball. These relations deal with what characteristics may be attributed to the items at various level in a hierarchical network model.

functional relations: Relations among words that indicate what can be done with the referent of a word. For example, words such as sitting, rest, and rocking indicate what can be done with a chair.

denotation: The objective, or dictionary meaning of a word.

connotation: the aspect of meaning suggested by a word but not strictly part of the word’s dictionary definition.

semantic network: A model of semantic memory in which words are represented as nodes and connected to other nodes by various semantic relationships.

hierarchical network model: In psycholinguistics, an early semantic network model. In this kind of model, words are represented as ordered by taxonomy, where, for example, you have to travel through ‘bird’ to get from ‘canary’ to ‘animal.’

cognitive economy: A characteristic of semantic memory in which information is only represented once within a semantic network.

semantic verification task: An experimental task in which subjects view sentences of the for An A is a B and rapidly decide whether the sentence is true of false.

intersection search: The process of retrieving information from a semantic network. In Collins and Quillian’s hierarchical semantic network model, when faced with a semantic verification task, the two nodes have to ‘search’ for each other through the nodes separating them.

category-size effect: An effect found by Collins and Quillian that seemed to support their hierarchical semantic network model; in a semantic verification task, the higher the location of B in the hierarchy in relation to A, the longer the reaction takes.

typicality effect: In a semantic verification task, items that are more typical of a given subordinate take less time to verify than atypical items in true statements; the opposite is true for false statements. Robin -> bird, for example, as opposed to ostrich -> bird. This effect is considered problematic for Collins and Quillian’s hierarchical semantic network model.

basic-level terms: In lexical hierarchies, most distinguishing features exist at a level near the middle of the hierarchy. These terms are called basic-level terms: ‘chair’ in relation to ‘furniture’ or ‘armchair,’ for example. A term that refers to a category in which there are broad similarities among exemplars.

spreading activation models: A more successful modification of the hierarchical semantic network model. Works with a process by which one node in a semantic network, when active, activates related nodes. I.e. all nodes may be directly connected, not just through the hierarchy; Privates can talk to generals and activation spreads in all directions from a node, regardless of its place in the hierarchy.

lemma: The second level in a modern spreading activation model, where syntactic information is stored. (The first level is conceptual.)

lexeme: The third level in a modern spreading activation model, capturing words’ phonological properties

search models: An early model of lexical access in which words are recognized by orthographic and phonetic systems in descending order of frequency. Modern models have a comparator for each system.

logogen model: A lexical access model in which each word is represented by a logogen, and is activated by sensory input or contextual information and those two routes are assumed to work in parallel.

logogen: Structure in the internal lexicon that specifies the various attributes (semantic, orthographic, and so on) of a word.

cohort model: In psycholinguistics, a model of auditory work recognition in which listeners are assumed to develop a croups of candidates, a ‘word initial cohort,’ and then determine which member of that cohort corresponds to the presented word. Considered by many to be the most successful lexical access model to date, using the best features of the search and logogen models.

recognition point: The point at which a word diverges from the other possible words, in the cohort model of lexical access.

word-initial cohort: The set of lexical candidates selected in the first stage of the Marlsen-Wilsen cohort model of lexical access, before one word is selected for further analysis.

word frequency: One variable that influences lexical access, as demonstrated by phoneme monitoring.

phoneme monitoring: A task in which participants listen for a particular phoneme while comprehending a passage and being timed for how long it takes them to monitor the phoneme. This task provided evidence for word-frequency effect by showing that phonemes were more rapidly recognized after a high frequency word.

lexical decision task: An experimental paradigm where subjects see a string of letters and must rapidly decide whether the string is a word.

lexical ambiguity: When a single word may have more than one meaning.

Prosodic factors: spoken language factors such as stress, intonation, and rate, that are not specific to the words themselves. These factors influence the meanings of an utterance.

Stress: A prosodic factor of speech; emphasis. Similar to loudness.

Intonation: the use of pitch to signify different meanings.

Intonational contour: The pitch pattern of a sentence.

Yes/no questions: Questions that are spoken with a rising pitch, expecting a yes or no.

Wh-questions: Questions that begin with a wh- word are spoken without the rising pitch at the end.

Rate: In psycholinguistics, the speed at which speech is articulated.

Rate normalization: The process of taking the rate of speech into consideration when using acoustic cues during speech perception.

Speaker normalization: The process of taking into account the pitch of the speaker when using acoustic cues during speech perception.

Homophones: different words that sound the same.

Suprasegmental: Another word for prosodic factors, kind of like meta-language.

Articulatory phonetics: The study of the pronunciation of speech.

Phonetics: The study of speech sounds.

Vowels: Sounds made while letting air flow unobstructed from the lungs.

Consonants: Sounds produced by impeding the airflow from the lungs in some way.

Bilabial: Consonants articulated with both lips, like [p] and [b]

Alveolar: Consonants formed by placing the tongue against the alveolar ridge, just behind the teeth, such as [t] and [d].

Velar: Consonants produced in the back of the mouth, against the velum, such as [g] and [k].

Stop: Consonants produced by completely stopping the airflow momentarily, such as [p] and [k].

Nasal: Consonants produced through the nose, such as [m] and [n]

Fricative: consonants produced by obstructing but not completely stopping the airflow, such as [f] and [s].

Affricate: A consonant produced by a stop-like closure followed by the slow release of a fricative, such as [j].

Voicing/voiceless: Whether or not a sound includes the vibration of the vocal cords; the difference between [p] and [b] is voicing.

Glottis: the opening between the vocal cords

Acoustic phonetics: The examination of the acoustic properties of speech sounds.

Sound spectrogram: A visual representation of sounds.

Sound spectrograph: The device that produces a sound spectrogram.

Formants: A stripe on a spectrogram representing a certain frequency, approximately 1 k apart in the mids.

Formant transition: large rises or drops in formant frequency that occur over a short duration of time.

Steady state: a section of a spectrogram that does not vary much—roughly speaking, these are the vowels.

Parallel transmission: The fact that different phonemes of the same syllable are encoded into the speech signal simultaneously—there are no sharp boundaries between spoken sounds.

Context-conditioned variation: The phenomenon that the exact spectrographic appearance of a given phone is related to or conditioned by the speech context; the [d] in du is different than the [d] in di, for example.

Manner or articulation: You cannot produce a pure consonant sound. Your mouth is always in a position to produce some vowel or other and that position influences the sound of the consonant.

Coarticulation: Producing more than one speech sound at a time.

Levels of speech processing: Speech processing is divided into three levels, auditory, phonetic, and phonological.

Auditory level: The level of speech processing at the level of pure sound—frequency, intensity, and temporal attributes.

Phonetic level: The level of speech processing in which individual phones are identified by a combination of acoustic cues such as formant transitions.

Phonological level: The level of speech processing in which phonetic segments are converted into phonemes, and phonological rules are applied to the sound sequence.

Modular speech: the cognitive system of speech perception is modular, meaning 1) it is domain specific, 2) it operates on a mandatory basis, 3) it is fast, and 4) it is unaffected by feedback.

Lack of invariance problem: The fact that there is no one-to-one correspondence between acoustic cues and perceptual events in speech.

Categorical perception: A phenomenon that supports the idea the speech is perceptually special—the inability to discriminate within a phonemic category.

Voice onset time: the amount of time between the consonant and the vowel.

Motor theory of speech perception: the idea that we perceive speech sounds by identifying the intended phonetic gestures that may produce the sounds

Phonemic restoration: The most dramatic demonstration of the role of top-down processing in speech signals—subjects will ‘hear’ a sound that has been removed, if the context makes it appropriate.

Mispronunciation detection: An experimental task in which subjects attempt to notice mispronounced sounds. Combined with a shadowing task, more fluent speakers made more restorations, that is, they accidentally said words correctly that had been mispronounced in the stimulus.

Shadowing: An experimental task in which subjects repeat out loud whatever they hear

TRACE model of speech perception: A connectionist model of speech perception that challenges the modularity view of language that there is no top-down interference of phonemic processing. The TRACE model assumes that several levels of processing occur simultaneously.

Orthography: The representation of sound by written or printed symbols.

Logography: An orthography in which spoken words are represented by visual symols.

Logograph/character: A visual symbol representing a word.

Radical: In a logography, a group of strokes related to meaning.

Syllabary: An orthography in which syllables are represented by visual symbols.

Kanji: Japanese logographic characters borrowed from Chinese.

Kana: Japanese syllabic symbols.

Alphabet: A writing system in which each letter is supposed to represent a phoneme.

Graphemes: A printed letter of the alphabet.

Feature level: A level of written language perception in which a visual stimulus is represented in terms of the physical features that comprise a letter of the alphabet, such as a vertical line, a curved line, and so on.

Letter level: The level of written language perception in which a visual stimulus is represented as a letter of the alphabet.

Word level: A level of written language perception in which a visual stimulus is represented as a familiar word.

Saccades: An eye movement during reading.

Regressions: In psycholinguistics, backward eye movements during reading.

Fixations: In psycholinguistics, times spent focused at a given location during reading; the time between eye movements.

Perceptual span: In psycholinguistics, the size of the area from which a reader picks up visual information.

Tachistoscope: A machine that presents visual information for very brief period of time.

Word-superiority effect: An experimental finding that it is easier to perceive a letter in a word context than in isolation.

Dual route model of reading: A model of reading that proposes that we have two different ways of converting print to speech, a rule system (for word-like strings and irregular words) and a memory system

Connectionist model of reading: This applied to reading: A model of cognitive/linguistic processes that assumes 1) a vast interconnected network of information nodes in which each node influences and is infuenced by a large number of adjacent nodes and 2) parallel processing of information. Also called parallel distributed processing.

Acquired dyslexia: A form of reading disability in a previously literate person who has sustained brain damage.

Phonological dyslexia: A form of reading disability in which a person’s ability to read words aloud is disrupted.

Surface dyslexia: A form of reading disability in which a person retains the ability to name nonwords but not words.

lexicon: Vocabulary.

null-subject parameter: Whether a language permits constructions that have no subject, such as the phrase “Want more apples,” which is grammatical in Italian but not in English.

parameter: In linguistics, a grammatical feature that can be set to any of several values.

psychologically realistic grammar: A grammar or theory of language that taks psychological or processing considerations into account–lexical-functional grammar, for example.

lexical-functional grammar: A grammar in which structural relationships are built into enriched lexical entries rather than with transformational rules.

derivational theory of complexity: The theory that states that the psychological complexity of a sentence is directly proportional to the length of its derivation. Holds that, for example, the sentence “The sun is not shining” should be more difficult to understand than “The sun is shining.”

auxialiary verb: A ‘helping verb.’ A verb such as is, do, or can used in conjunction with the main verb in a sentence, such as Kim is gardening this afternoon.

passive transformation: A transformation rule in linguistics that changes the deep structure of an active sentence into the passive voice: The simplified formula is NP1 + V + NP2 –> NP2 + be + V + -en + by + NP1.

structure dependence: The fact that linguistic rules apply to grammatical structures (or ‘constituents’) rather than to individual words.

partical-movement transformation: A transformational rule that accounts for the movement of particles such as up around noun phrases: “John phoned the woman up,” and “John phoned up the woman.”

transformational rules: AKA transformations. In linguistics, rules that transform one phrase structure into another by adding, deleting, or moving the grammatical constituents.

passive voice: The voice used to indicate that the grammatical subject of the verb is the recipient (not the source) of the action denoted by the verb.

active voice: The voice used to indicate that the grammatical subject of the verb is performing the action or causing the happening denoted by the verb.

deep-structure ambiguity: Ambiguity that cannot be explained by phrase-structure rules. For example, the ambiguity in the sentence “Flying planes can be dangerous.”

surface structure: In linguistics, the superficial arrangement of the constituents that reflects the order in which the words are pronounced.

deep structure: In linguistics, the underlying structure of a sentence that conveys the meaning of the sentence.

explanatory adequacy: One of the three criteria Noam Chomsky has set forth to evaluate grammars; he says that a good grammar must be able to explain the role of linguistic universals in language acquisition.

descriptive adequacy: One of the three criteria Noam Chomsky has set forth to evaluate grammars; he says that a good grammar must specify the relationships between various sequences in the language, be able, for example, to explain how two sentences could be similar in meaning but different in syntax.

observational adequacy: One of the three criteria Noam Chomsky has set forth to evaluate grammars; he says that a good grammar must specify what is and what is not an acceptable sequence in the language.

grammar: In linguistics, a formal device with a finite set of rules that generates the sentences in a language; a theory of language composed of more specific hypotheses about the structure or organization of some part of the language.

language: In linguistics, a set of well-formed sentences.

reciprocity: In linguistics, the distinction between whether the subject is the agent of the action and the object is the recipient (they pinched them) and whether there is mutual interchange between the subject and object (they pinched each other)

arbitrariness: In linguistics, the way spoken (as opposed to signed) words tend to not be related to their referents.

iconicity: One difference between signed and spoken language–signed language has a high degree of iconicity, intrinsic relationships between the sign and the referent.

recursive rule: A rule that applies to its own output, such as a rule for self-embedded sentences.

linguistic productivity: One of the four basic characteristics of human language: The ability to create and comprehend novel utterances; that there is an infinite number of grammatical sentences possible in any human language.

phrase-structure ambiguity: A form of ambiguity in which a sentence has multiple meanings that may be revealed by regrouping the sentence constituents. “They are eating apples,” for example.

derivation: In linguistics, the sequence of rules that produces a specific grammatical sentence.

lexical instertion rule: A rule that governs how lexical entries are inserted into a tree structure during the derivation of a sentence.

phrase structure rule: A rule that rewrites one constituent into one or more constituents. For example, a verb phrase may be rewritten as a verb and a noun phrase.

Phrase structure: In linguistics, one of the four basic characteristics of human language: The hierarchical organization of sentences into phrases.

bound morpheme: AKA grammatical morpheme: A morpheme that are not words in themselves.

free morpheme: A morpheme that may stand alone as a word. Truck, for example.

morpheme: The smallest meaningful unit in a language.

morphology: In linguistics, the system of rules that governs the way phonemes are combined into words.

distinctive feature: In linguistics, a characteristic of a speech sound whoes presence or absence distinguishes the sound form other sounds. The distinctive feature between /b/ and /p/, for example, is ‘voicing,’ or an activation of the vocal cords.

aspiration: The puff of air that distinguishes, for example, the ‘p’ in pill from the ‘p’ in spill–pill has an aspirated ‘p’ and spill does not.

phoneme: The minimal unit of sound that contributes to meaning.

phones: Speech sounds; the minimal unit of sound in speech.

duality of patterning: A basic element of human language where, at one level, there are a large number of meaningful elements, or words, but at another level, there is a relatively small number of meaningless elements that are combined to form the words.

empiricism: The doctrine that knowledge derives from experienc. In psychology, empiricists emphasize the role of experience as opposed to innate factors producing behavior.

rationalism: The doctrine that knowledge is acquired by reason without resort to experience. In psychology, rationalists emphasize the role of innate factors as opposed to experience.

poverty of stimulus argument: Noam Chomsky says that there is not enough information the language samples give nto children to fully accout for the richness and complexity of children’s language. This led to the belief that many linguistic rules are innate for humans.

discontinuous constituents: An element of Noam Chomsky’s argument against associative chain theory; A grammatical constituent in which some elements are separated, such as picked and up in George picked the baby up; evidence of which undermined the idea of simple left-to-right word association.

associative chain theory: A behaviorist idea that a sentence consists of a chain of associations between individual words in the sentence; each word serves as a stimulus for the next word.

semantic differential: A tool for measuring the associative meanings of words by asking people to rate words on dimensions such as good/bad and strong/weak.

tachistoscope: A machine that presents visual stimuli for very brief periods of time.

eye-voice span: The lag between eye position and voice when reading aloud, about six or seven words.

open-class words: AKA content words: Words (such as nouns, verbs, and adjectives) which play a primary role in the meaning of sentences.

closed-class words: Also called function words: Non-content words like prepositions and conjunctions.

neurolinguistics: The study of the relationship between the brain and language.

Wernicke’s aphasia: An aphasia that is characterized by fluent speech that is not informational and by disorders of comprehension. Also called receptive aphasia.

aphasia: A language or speech disorder caused by brain damage.

sociolinguistics: The study of the relationship between language and social behavior.

garden path sentence: A sentence with an ambiguity that tends to be misunderstood until the clarifying information is presented later. For example, “The novice accepted the deal before he had a chance to check his finances, which put him in a state of conflict when he realized he had a straight flush.”

pragmatics: [linguistics] The social rules underlying language use.

phonology: The sound system of a language, including the rules determining how different phonemes may be arranged in a word.

syntax: The domain of language that pertains to the grammatical arrangement of words in a sentence.

semantics: The domain of language that pertains to the meanings of words and sentences.

explicit knowledge: Stuff that you know you know and can describe.

tacit knowledge: Knowledge of ‘how’ as opposed to ‘what’; knowledge that is difficult to describe with language.

linguistics: The branch os science that studies the origin, structure, and use of language.

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