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PSY 360 Wk 5_Individual_Assignment_Language Paper.

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Language Paper 1
Running head: LANGUAGE PAPER
Language Paper
Student’s Name
PSY360
Date __, 20__

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Language Paper 2
Language Paper
In this paper, the writer will examine language as it relates to cognition. The examination
will include defining language and lexicon along with evaluating the key features of language.
The writer will describe the four levels of language structure and processing. In addition, the
role of language processing in cognitive psychology will be analyzed.
Language
The Merriam Webster dictionary defines language as “the words, their pronunciation, and
the methods of combining them used and understood by a community” (para. 1). The first key
feature of language is communication. Languages make it possible for people to communicate.
The second key feature of language is that the relationship between the elements in the language
and their meaning is arbitrary. There is no special reason why one word has the meaning that it
does. Arbitrariness is a key characteristic of symbols. A sound may stand for a meaning, but
which sound stands for which meaning is arbitrary (Willingham, 2007).
The third key feature of language is structure, which means that the pattern of symbols is
balanced. There is quite a difference in saying, “The boy ran from the angry dog” or “The dog
ran from the angry boy.” The fourth key feature of language is that it is generative. Words can
be put together in an unlimited number of meanings. The fifth and last key feature of language is
that it is dynamic. Language is not motionless and is constantly changing as new words are
added, and as the rules of grammar change. Some languages die out whereas other languages are
being created (Willingham, 2007).

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