Brain, Behaviour & Cognition: Language Production

  • Created by: RuthBoth
  • Created on: 25-02-19 17:32

1)    Facts about language 

·      Cameron-Faulkner et al (2003) 

o  Studied mother-infant interactions 

§ Middle class sample of American-English 

o  Babies hear an average of 5,000-7,000 utterances a day 

·     Average 3-months old baby approx. 900 waking hours or 54,000 minutes of auditory input 

·     By 21, a normal person has spoken an average of 50 million tokens 

·     Estimate vocabulary (lexicon) of a normal educated person = 50 – 100 thousand words

·     We are able to produce an average of 120-150 words per minute 

·     Error rate of language production is about 1 error per 1000 words produced 

2)    Components of language production 

·     We have mentally represented: 

o  Phonological/sound-part of words

o  Morphology (morphemes) 

o  Semantic or meaning of words

o  Syntactic category of the word

o  Syntactic rules 

3)    Prosody and prosodic cues


·     Prosody: Particular rhythm, tempo, cadence, melody and intonation pattern used when speaking a language 

·     We produce prosodic cues when we speak 

o  Includes rhythm, stress and intonation 

4)    Discourse markers 

·     Markers do not contribute to the content of what we are talking about 

·     They have different functions such as change of topic, politeness etc 

·     Gives us time to put our thoughts into spoken language 

·     We use different discourse markers in writing than in speaking

5)    Theories of speech production 

·     Conceptualisation: Planning the message we are going to communicate 

·     Formulation: Converting intended message into words

o  Includes lexical & morphological selection – putting words in the correct place in the sentence and retrieving the phonological part of the words 

·     Articulation: Words are produced 

6)    Speech planning

·     We use pauses and hesitations to give us some time to plan our speech 

·     More pauses between clauses than within a clause

·     Helps to maintain fluency of speech, we tend to produce phrases used before 

o  Altenberg (1990)– 70% of speech produced…


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