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3 Language Production
The twelvth week

Key Points






Language Production
Language production refers to the process

involved in creating and expressing meaning through language.

According to Levelt (1989), language production contains four successive stages

(1) conceptualization

(2) formulation
(3) articulation

(4) self-monitoring (Scovel 1998:27)

Language production
First, we must conceptualize what we wish

to communicate; Second, we formulate this thought into a linguistic plan; Third, we execute the plan through the muscles in the speech system; Finally, we monitor ore speech, assessing whether it is what we intended to say and whether we said it the way we intended to.

The biological foundations of language

Evidently, our linguistic ability does not depend primarily on the structure of our vocal cords, for other mammals also have vocal cords. Human

linguistic ability largely depends, instead, on the structure and dynamics of the human brain. 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.

The case of Phineas Gage

Brain researchers were stimulated tolearn

why this language capacities remained intact. The point of this amazing case is that, if our language ability is located in the brain, it is clear that it is not situated right at the front.

The human brain

The most important part of the brain is the outside

furface of the brain, called the cerebral cortex. The brain is divided into two roughly symmetrical halves, called hemispheres. In general, the right hemisphere controls voluntary movements of, and responds to signals from, the left side of the body, whereas the left hemisphere controls voluntary movemetns of, and responds to signals from, the right side of the body.

Brain lateralization
The left hemisphere has primary

responsibility for language, while the right hemisphere controls visual and spatial skills as well as the perception of nonlinguistic sounds and musical melodies. The localization of cognitive and perceptual functions in a particular hemisphere of the brain is called lateralization.

Brain lateralization for major mental functions under the control of each hemisphere is given as follows
(1) Left hemisphere Right hemisphere Language and speech perception of nonlinguistic sound Analytic reasoning holistic reasoning Temporal ordering visual and spatial skills Reading and writing recognition of patterns Calculation recognition of musical melodies Associative thought

Linguistic lateralization
Linguistic lateralization is the brains

neurological specialization for language.

Linguistic lateralization
(1) Left hemispheric dominance for

language (2) Dichotic listening research (3) The language centers (4) Language perception, comprehension and production (5) The critical period for language acquisition

(3) The language centers

Three areas of the left hemisphere are vital

to language, namely, Brocas area, Wernickes area and the angular gyrus.

9.3.1 Conceptualization
Psycholinguists generally agree that some

form of mentalese exists--- a representation system which is different from language. The notion is that thoughts take form in mentalese and are then translated into linguistic form, but there is little agreement as to the properties of this prelinguistic mental representation.

9.3.2 Formulation
Formulation is much easier to describe than

conceptualization because analysis on eventual output of the process, such as speech errors, and the choice of words or sentence structures can be a great help for understanding speech production.

Speech errors
Speech errors are made by speakers

unintentionally. They are very common and occur in everyday speaking. In formulation speech, we are often influenced by the sound system of language. For example, big and fat--- pig fat; fill the pool---fool the pill.

slips of the tongue or tongue-slips,

The scientific study of speech errors,

commonly called slips of the tongue or tongue-slips, can provide useful clues to the processes of language production: they can tell us where a speaker stops to think.

Examples of the eight types of errors

____________________________________________________________ Type Example ____________________________________________________________ (1) Shift Thats so shell be ready incase she dicide to hits it. (decides to hit it). (2) Exchange Fancy getting your model resnosed. (getting your nose remodeled). (3) Anticipation Bake my bike. (take my bike). (4) Perseveration He pulled a pantrum. (tantrum). (5) Addition I didnt explain this clarefully enough. (carefully enough). (6) Deletion Ill just get up and mutter intelligibly. (unintelligibly). (7) Substitution At low speeds its too light. (heavy). (8) Blend That child is looking to be spaddled. (spanked\paddled). ____________________________________________________________

Explainations of errors
(1) in Shifts, one speech segment disappears from its appropriate place and appears somewhere else. (2) Exchanges are, in fact, double shifts, in which two linguistic units exchange places. (3) Anticipations occur when a later segment takes the place of an earlier one. They are different from shifts in that the segment that intrudes on another also remains in its correct place and thus is used twice. (4) Perseverations appear when a earlier segment replaces a later item. (5) Additions add linguistic material. (6) Deletions leave something out. (7) Substitutions occur when one segment is replaced by an intruder. These are different from the previously described slips in that the source of the intrusion may not be in the sentence. (8) Blends apparently occur when more than one word is being considered and the two intended items fuse or blend into a single item.

An outstanding hypothesis concerning the basis for such errors

An outstanding hypothesis concerning the

basis for such errors has been Freuds view that errors occur because we have more than a single plan for production and that one such plan competes with and dominates the other.

The most common interpretation

The most common interpretation is that we

produce speech through a series of separate stages, ech devoted to a single level of linguistic analysis. Errors typically occur at one level, but not others, during the production processes. This is the so-called spoonerisms, named after Dr. Spooner, who was known to have made a good many such errors.

9.3.3 Articulation
Articulation of speech sounds is the third and a very important stage of

production. Once we have organized our thoughts into a linguistic plan, this information must be sent from the brain to the muscles in the speech system so that they can then execute the required movements and produce the desired sounds. We depend on vocal organs to produce speech sounds so as to express ourselves. In the production of speech sounds, the lungs, larynx and lips may work at the same time and thus form co-articulation. The process of speech production is so complicated that it is still a mystery in psycholinguistics though psycholinguists have done some research with high-tech instruments and have known much about speech articulation.

9.3.4 Self-regulation
Self-regulation is the last stage o f speech

production. To err is human. No matter who he is, he would make mistakes in conversationor in writing. So each person would do some self-corection over and over again while conversing.

Deep understanding of the production process

Errors are committed only by non-native speakers, but not by native

speakers. Native seakrers often make mistakes and correct temselves immediately, which gives us deep understanding of the production process. Firstly, the production is not one-way transmission of messages. Speakers or writers self-regulate constantly so as to ensure each previous stage is accurate. Secondly, speakers or writers are sensitive to mistakes they make. So at the sight of mistakes they are capable of readjusting messages at the stages of conceptualization, formulation, or articulation quickly. Lastly, the fact that native speakers can monitor and correct mistakes immediately in production proves Chomskys idea that there are some idfferences between perfomance and competence. Competence monitors performance to ensure the productin is accurate.

Native speakers often use different ways to edit their linguistic peformance
Firstly, at the very beginning or the

conceptualization stage of the speech, when they find their speech inappropriate, they would start the utterance all over again. Secondly, at the formulation stage or articulation stage, speakers would not like to start afresh, but renew the sentence in part from the point.

Define the following terms briefly.

(1) language production

Consider the following slips of the tongue.

What does each reveal about the peocess of language production? (1) They laked across the swim. (2) The spy was gound and bagged. (3) I will zee you in the park.