University of Phoenix
September 06, 2010
Language and cognitive psychology
Language, like the air we breathe, is often taken for granted and the complexity of language is often overlooked. Cognitive psychology has opened our minds to the fact that language is uniquely human, thereby provoking a better understanding of language (Willingham, 2007). Language must meet five criteria; communicative, arbitrary, structured, generative, and dynamic, and language must have definable structure in its phonemes, words, sentences, and texts (STIR, (n..d.)) (Pati, 2000) (Willingham, 2007). Cognitive psychology seeks to understand and explain how human beings acquire, comprehend, and produce language (STIR, (n.d.)).
Definition of Language and Lexicon
The best way to understand and study language is to first define what language is, thereby eliminating such information as animal communication. There are five main points that language must meet are: communicative, arbitrary, structured, generative, and dynamic (Pati, 2000) (STIR, (n.d.)) (Willingham, 2007). Communicative means that the language allows at least two individuals to express themselves and understand the expressions thus are able to communicate (Pati, 2000) (STIR, (n.d)). Arbitrary means that there is no logical reason that any particular element of the language has a particular meaning, nor is there any reason that the meaning of one symbol preclude that the symbol of an opposing symbol have any similarities in its elements (Pati, 2000) (STIR, (n.d.)). Structured means that there must be rules that structure the way the symbols are put together to express meaning, and if the structure is not followed the meaning would either not have meaning, or not express the correct meaning (Pati, 2000) (STIR, (n.d.)). Generative means that that the symbols of the language can be put together in unlimited ways to... [continues]
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