MARLINCE FARIDA GELI
SEKOLH TINGGI ILMU BAHASA ASING
The Summary of Psycholinguistics
Name :Andrianto Stefanus Geli
Language is generally
considered as a primary tools of human communication plays important role in
human life, thus, it is used to communicate one another confortably and
perfectly in order that people can construct a better relationship with others.
In this writing, there are several points which going to be disscussed
corcerning the language we use. They are disscussed in the following :
1. The Definitions of Language
Generally, language can be defined into
several meanings :
1. The means of
human communication, consisting of the use of spoken or written words in a structured way.
2. The system of communication used by a
particular community or country.
3. A particular style of speaking or writing: legal language.
4. Computing a system of symbols and rules for writing programs.
In linguistic study, language is defined as
a system of spoken or written symbols those human beings as a means of
communication in the form of sound. In another words, language is a system
which means the language formed by the various components of the irregular and
fixed. The system of language is made up of sound
symbols which symbols represent a concept or meaning.
2. The Essence of Language
Language is a tool to convey
information, ideas, concepts or feeling that comes to the heart, in the sense
of the word as a means of conveying something. It is supported by Plato
who stated that language is essentially a statement of one’s mind by means onomata
(name objects or something) and rhemata (speech), which is a reflection of the
idea of someone in the mind. According to
Edward Sapir (1884–1939), in his book of Language: An Introduction to the
Study of Speech. 1921 stated that, language is primarily an auditory
system of symbols. Moreover he argued that language is a purely human and
noninstinctive method of communicating ideas, emotions, and desires by means of
a system of voluntarily produced symbols. These symbols are, in the first
instance, auditory and they are produced by the so-called “organs of speech.”
There is no discernible instinctive basis in human speech as such, however much
instinctive expressions and the natural environment may serve as a stimulus for
the development of certain elements of speech, therefore much instinctive
tendencies, motor and other, may give a predetermined range or mold to
3. The History of Language
We are forced to believe that
language is an immensely ancient heritage of the human race, whether or not all
forms of speech are the historical outgrowth of a single pristine form. All
social animals communicate with each other, from bees and ants to whales and
apes, but only humans have developed a language which is more than a set of
prearranged signals. Our speech even differs in a
physical way from the communication of other animals. It comes from a cortical
speech centre which does not respond instinctively, but organises sound and
meaning on a rational basis. This section of the brain is unique to humans. When
and how the special talent of language developed is impossible to say. But it
is generally assumed that its evolution must have been a long process. Our
ancestors were probably speaking a million years ago, but with a slower
delivery, a smaller vocabulary and above all a simpler grammar than we are
There are some experts
who are considered as the founders of Psycholinguistics :
According to Chomsky in his book, A
History of Psycholinguistics: The Pre-Chomskyan Era (Oxford University Press,
2012) stated that, Pim Levelt is a major player in psycholinguistics, and the
progress made of the psychology of language between its actual foundation
around 1800 and it’s widely and erroneously believed to have been founded
Wilhelm Wundt is known as the
“father of experimental psychology” and the founder of the first
experimental psycholinguistic laboratory in Leipzig, Germany in 1879. Wundt
claimed that there is a special field of study dealing with the link between
the mind and the body.
Ferdinand de Saussure, one of the
preeminent structuralist argued in his book Course in General Linguistics,
(which was composed by colleagues after he died, based on notes he composed),
he analyzes not the use of language but the underlying system of language.
Saussure claimed that linguistic signs were made up of two parts: the first is
the signifier, which is the action when somebody says or thinks of a word. The
second is the signified, which is the meaning or the concept of a word.
4. The Function of Language
defined six functions of language
(or communication functions), which an effective act of verbal communication can be described. Each of the
functions has an associated factor. For this work, Jakobson was influenced by Karl Bühler‘s
Organon-Model, to which he added the poetic, phatic and metalingual
functions.The six factors of an effective verbal communication. To each one
corresponds a communication function (not displayed in this picture).
The six functions of
language are :
to the factor of Context and describes a situation, object or mental state. The
descriptive statements of the referential function can consist of both definite
descriptions and deictic
words, e.g. “The autumn leaves have all fallen now.
“emotive” or “affective”) Function relates to the
Addresser (sender) and is best exemplified by interjections
and other sound changes that do not alter the denotative meaning
of an utterance but do add information about the Addresser’s (speaker’s)
internal state, e.g. “Wow, what a view!”
the Addressee (receiver) directly and is best illustrated by vocatives
and imperatives, e.g. “Tom! Come inside and
d. The Poetic Function focuses on
“the message for its own sake” (the code itself, and how it is used)
and is the operative function in poetry as well as slogans.
sake of interaction and is therefore associated with the Contact/Channel
factor. The Phatic Function can be observed in greetings and casual discussions
of the weather, particularly with strangers. It also provides the keys to open,
maintain, verify or close the communication channel: “Hello?”,
“Ok?”, “Hummm”, “Bye”…
f. The Metalingual (alternatively
called “metalinguistic” or “reflexive”) Function is the use
of language (what Jakobson calls “Code”) to discuss or describe
itself. (All this article is an example of metalinguistic Function).
definition of Psycholinguistics
is the study of mental aspects of language and speech, a branch of linguistics
and psychology. In other words, Psycholinguistics is also known as the
psychology of language. Etimologycally, the word psycholinguistics is derived
from the Greek which means “Mind” and Latin Which means “Tongue”.
There are some experts who define the concepts
of Psycholinguistics as follows :
Linguistics: An Introduction. Bedford/St.Martin’s,2001), stated that, Psycholinguistics
is study how word meaning, sentence meaning, and discourse meaning are computed and represented in the
mind. They study how complex words and sentences are composed in speech and how
they are broken down into their constituents in the acts of listening and reading.
In short, psycholinguists seek to understand how language is done.
In general, psycholinguistic studies have
revealed that many of the concepts employed in the analysis of sound structure,
word structure, and sentence structure also play a role in language processing.
However, an account of language processing also requires that we understand how
these linguistic concepts interact with other aspects of human processing to
enable language production and comprehension.
to (John Field, Psycholinguistics: A Resource Book for Students. Routledge,
2003) revealed that, Psycholinguistics draws on ideas and knowledge from a
number of associated areas, such as phonetics, semantics and pure linguistics.
There is a constant exchange of information between psycholinguists and those
working in neurolinguistics, who study how language is represented in the
brain. There are also close links with studies in artificial intelligence.
Indeed, much of the early interest in language processing derived from the AI
goals of designing computer programs that can turn speech into writing and
programs that can recognize the human voice.
to (Friedmann Pulvermüller, “Word Processing in the Brain as Revealed by
Neurophysiological Imaging. The Oxford Handbook of Psycholinguistics, ed. by M.
Gareth Gaskell. Oxford Univ. Press, 2009) explaned that Psycholinguistics has classically focused on button press
tasks and reaction time experiments from which cognitive processes are being
inferred. The advent of neuroimaging opened new research perspectives for the
psycholinguist as it became possible to look at the neuronal mass activity that
underlies language processing. Studies of brain correlates of psycholinguistic
processes can complement behavioral results, and in some cases can lead to
direct information about the basis of psycholinguistic processes.
Based on the
explanation above related to the definition of pshycholinguistics, it might be
concluted that, Psycholinguistics is concerned with the study of psychology and
language of human beings, which the components and the process of language production are
related to human utturences and behavior which represented in human brain. It
also studies how language is used to produce the understanding about language
process. Moreover, it shapes a comprehensive of the use language which spoken
The Relationship Between Language, Thinking And
There are some
notions dealing with the relationship between language, thinking and culture
which are defined by several experts as the following :
proposed that language influences thought. Whorf’s hypothesis has taken two
approaches to the matter that demonstrates that our concepts and ideas are
guided through the language used around us. The first version is called
‘strong’ determinism, i.e. that the language we speak determines the nature of
our thought’ (Lund 2003: 11). To demonstrate this, Whorf uses the example of
‘time’ in relation to the native American Hopi language. To users of English,
the concept of ‘time’ is related to the past, present or future. However, Whorf
found that the Hopi language does not apply the same principle (Lund 2003: 12).
Whorf claims there is no objectivity of the concept of ‘time’, ‘time’ simply
used to portray ‘getting later’ (Whorf 2011: 45). This suggests that Hopi
language thrives off cultural influences, the way they language reflecting
this. The second version is
‘weak determinism’, whereby ‘language influences thought’ (Lund 2003: 11),
appears more applicable when discussing language as it reinforces an influence,
rather than our mind being ‘taken over’. He thinks that, with this we can argue
that language has a more ‘subtle’ effect on our thought, our experiences and
surroundings in theory impacting the way we use language.
Nick Lund (2003:
23) explains how studies show that although language development in deaf
children can be impaired, their thought processes are typical. This is
justified because young children that are not detected as being ‘deaf’ straight
away are said to exhibit behaviours that are deemed ‘normal’. This suggests
that there is no connection between language and thought because their
behaviour through interactions and responses implies otherwise (Napoli &
Lee-Schoenfeld 2010: 51-52).
as the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis, or Whorfianism, the principle is often defined
to include two versions. The strong version says that language determines
thought, and that linguistic categories limit and determine cognitive
categories, whereas the weak version says only that linguistic categories and
usage influence thought and certain kinds of non-linguistic behaviour. The term
“Sapir–Whorf hypothesis” is a misnomer, because Edward Sapir and
Benjamin Lee Whorf never co-authored anything, and never stated their ideas in
terms of a hypothesis. The distinction between a weak and a strong version of
this hypothesis is also a later invention; Sapir and Whorf never set up such a
dichotomy, although often in their writings their views of this relativity
principle are phrased in stronger or weaker terms.
Humboldt, who saw language as the expression of the spirit of a nation.
Noam Chomsky (1968) Language and Mind
Anyone concerned with the study of human nature and
human capacities must somehow come to grips with the fact that all normal
humans acquire language, whereas acquisition of even its barest rudiments is
quite beyond the capacities of an otherwise intelligent ape – a fact that was
emphasised, quite correctly, in Cartesian philosophy.