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Chapter 9: Psycholinguistics

I. Decide whether each of the following statements is True or False:

1. The linguistic ability of human beings depends primarily on the structure of the vocal cords.

2. Human beings are the only organisms in which one particular part of the left half of the brain is larger than the corresponding part of the right half.

3. The case of Phineas Gage suggests that if our language ability is located in the brain, it is clear that it is not situated right at the front.

4. In general, the right side of the brain controls voluntary movements of, and responds to signals from, the left side of the body, whereas the left side controls voluntary movements of, and responds to signals from, the right side of the body.

5. Language functions are believed to be lateralized primarily in the left hemisphere of the brain.

6. The language we speak determines the way we perceive the world and therefore the nature of thought.

7. Human beings can not think without language, just as they can not speak without thinking.

8. If a language lacks a word, its speakers will not be able to grasp its concept.

9. Generally speaking, left hemisphere is responsible for language and speech, analytic reasoning, associative thought, etc., while the right hemisphere is responsible for perception of nonlinguistic sounds, holistic reasoning, recognition of musical melodies, etc.

10. Language by no means determines the ways we perceive the objective world, but by its convenience, availability, and habitual use, does influence the perceptions of human being.

 

II. Fill in each of the blanks below with one word which begins with the letter given:

11. P_________ is the study of language in relation to the mind.

12. The most important part of the brain is the outside surface of the brain, called the cerebral c_________, which is the decision-making organ of the body.

13. The brain is divided into two roughly symmetrical halves, called h_________, one on the right and one on the left.

14. The localization of cognitive and perceptual functions in a particular side of the brain is called l__________.

15. Brain lateralization is g__________ programmed, but takes time to develop.

16. In addition to the m________ area which is responsible for physical articulation of utterances, three areas of the left hemisphere are vital to language, namely, Broca’s area, Wernicke’s area and the angular gyrus.

17. The relationship between the name and the meaning of a word is quite a______________.

18. When language and thought are identical or closely parallel to each other, we may regard thought as s________ speech and speech as o__________ thought.

19. Because languages differ in many ways, Whorf believed that speakers of different languages perceive and experience the world differently, relative to their linguistic background. This notion is called linguistic r__________.

20. The basic essentials of the first language are acquired in the short period from about age two to puberty, which is called the c____ period for first language acquisition.

21. The strong version of Sapir-Whorf hypothesis has two aspects: linguistic d_______ and linguistic relativism.

 

III. There are four choices following each statement. Mark the choice that can best complete the statement:

22. Human linguistic ability largely depends on the structure and dynamics of _________.

A. human brain                   B. human vocal cords

C. human memory               D. human

23. Psychologists, neurologists and linguists have concluded that, in addition to the motor area which is responsible for physical articulation of utterances, three areas of the left brain are vital to language, namely, _______.

A. Broca’s area, Wernicke’s area and the angular gyrus

B. Broca’s area, Wernicke’s area and cerebral cortex

C. Broca’s area, Wernicke’s area and neurons

D. Broca’s area, Wernicke’s area and Exner’s area

24. The ____ age for the acquisition of the first language coincides with the period of brain lateralization.

A. youngest                   B. flexible

C. optimum                    D. relevant

25. Linguistic ____ is the brain’s neurological specialization for lan-guage.

A. fossilization              B. performance

C. competence             D. lateralization

26. Our linguistic ability is a ________ gift of the species’ gene program.

A. chemical                 B. physical

C. scientific                 D. biological

27. ________shows that if our language ability is located in the brain, it is clear that it is not situated right at the front of the brain.

A. The case of Genie                 B. The case of Phineas Gage

C. The componential analysis     D. The contrastive analysis

28. The most important part of the brain is the outside surface of the brain, called _________.

A. the neurons                         B. nerve pathways

C. cerebral cortex                    D. sensory organs

29. According to lateralization theory, which of the following is not the primary function of the left hemisphere of the brain

A. analytic reasoning               B. temporal ordering

C. associative thought             D.visual and spatial skills

30. _______ is commonly held to be an evolutionary precondition of the development of superior intelligence as well as a precondition of language acquisition.

A. Lateralization                     B. Maturation

C. Brain separation                 D. Memory capacity

31. The dichotic listening research shows that the left hemisphere is not superior for processing all sounds, but only for those that are ________ in nature.

A. non-linguistic                   B. musical

C. linguistic                         D. natural

32. _______ is responsible for physical articulation of utterances.

A. The motor area              B. Broca’s area

C. Wernicke’s area             D. The angular gyrus

33. Language disorder resulting from a damage to _________ in the brain reveals word-finding difficulties and problems with syntax.

A. the motor area                  B. Broca’s area

C. Wernicke’s area               D. the angular gyrus

34. In 1874, the young German physician Carl Wernicke published his discovery in a paper which contributed to the hypothesis that __________.

A. there was only one language area in the left brain

B. there was no language area in the left brain

C. there was one language area in the right brain

D. there was more than one language area in the left brain.

35. __________ is the language center primarily responsible for converting a visual stimulus into an auditory form and vice versa.

A. The motor area                  B. Broca’s area

C. Wernicke’s area                 D. The angular gyrus

36. The neurobiologist Eric Lenneberg is a major proponent of the idea that ________.

A. there is a distinction between acquisition and learning

B. there is a critical period for language acquisition

C. language influences thinking

D. there is interrelationship between language and thinking

37. The case of Genie shows that ____________.

A. language can not be acquired at all after the critical period.

B. Cerebral plasticity after puberty is still high enough to for a successful mastery of a new language.

C. the language faculty of an average human degenerates after the critical period

D. the language learning should be done as early as possible.

IV Explain the following terms:

38. psycholinguistics          39. brain lateralization

40. dichotic listening           41. Broca’s area

42. angular gyms                43. cerebral plasticity

44. linguistic determinism    45. sub vocal speech

46. cerebral cortex             47. linguistic lateralization

48. right ear advantage        49. critical period hypothesis

50. Sapir-Whorf hypothesis 51. linguistic relativism

52. overt thought                53. intrapersonal communication

54. interpersonal communication

 

V. Answer the following questions:

55. What are the biological foundations of language?

56. What are the major mental functions under the control of each hemi-sphere ?

57. What can we do by means of dichotic listening tests?

58. What is the safe conclusion from Genie’s case?

59. How are language and thought related to each other?