Language and Communication in Psychology

Topics: Psychology, Aphasia, Brain Pages: 9 (2795 words) Published: May 16, 2011
Through detailed consideration of one selected area of investigation evaluate the progress made by researchers in developing explanations of key aspects of the psychology of language and communication.

The study of language is frequently debated in different theories of human nature. The importance of language is relevant when it to comes to the work of philosophers, neuroscientist, humanist and psychologist. Language has been applicable to Aristotle, Plato, Hume, Locke, Freud and Skinner. This essay seeks in investigating the definition of language and communication. In doing so traditional language theories will be assessed, this will later be compared to modern progression by researchers in developing explanations of the psychology of language and communication. The development of language and language disorders will be evaluated in order to successfully investigate the modern approaches to language.

Firstly, the evaluation of language, its origins, process and the use have been investigated in areas such as computational theory, cognitive neuroscience, evolutional and cultural psychology in contemporary studies of language. Language is usually seen as systems for example English, French and Italian even seen as systems of language it can be used to describe other things because of its broad definition, In describing music for instance or art. These areas can have its own language that needs to be learnt to understand and interpret music for example. Language in general can be used in any form of communication. Since language is broad it is important to study specific areas of language, instead of its general definition (Bloom, .P, 2007) .This is so that direct questions can be answered. As a result the narrow questioned being investigated can be generalised to other systems of language. It is known that some form of language is used everyday, linguistics is dedicated field of the scientific study of everyday language and even though the broad term is difficult to define, linguists believe that ‘language is a formal system of agreed rules that have to be followed by a speaker. In this system there is the addition of morphology also known as the formation of words, syntax the formation of phrases and phonology, sound systems (Fromkin 2000).

Secondly, Charles Dawins works have been used as a platform in the belief that’ man has an instinctive tendency to speak, as we see in the babble of our young children; whilst no child has an instinctive tendency to brew, bake, or write’ Darwin (1871). This gives the idea that language comes natural, that humans have been biologically designed to speak. Neurological studies support the idea that language is part of the human nature through the investigations of dedicated parts of the brain for language. It is believed that this might explain why every human society has language. The idea has therefore raised questions as to whether language is innate or a cultural innovation. Language deficits and aphasia has been investigated in recent studies to prove what happens when these dedicated parts for language are damaged. The works of cognitive neuropsychologist is to use theoretical frameworks and methods to specific language impairments.

During the initial stages of Cognitive neuropsychological (in the second half of the nineteenth century) neurologists such as Lichtheim, Wernicke and Bastian began to make assumption about the design of the brain and its fixed language processing systems (Coltheart, 2006) this brought about the box-and-arrow diagrams in an attempt to demonstrate the brain’s architecture. In taking this thought further, how these components in the brain were localised was also studied. Even though at the time the cognitive function of language was not proved, by the failed attempt of localising the brain, it was relevant in influencing the work of other psychologist, an example is the later simplified version conducted by Coltheart. The work of...

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