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ERIC Number: ED065173
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1971-Dec
Pages: 30
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Sentences as Biological Processes.
McNeil, David
A study of the speech process was conducted. The process is described as one closely linked to the one involved in the problem of the serial order in behavior. It is pointed out that in the speech of young children the grammatical relations that are properties of elementary underlying sentences appear in the grammatical meanings. Six examples of child speech patterns are given. By the end of the second year, children come to express grammatical relations through word combinations. A methodological assumption is made that the duration of speech can be taken to be a function of the duration of underlying schemata. The hypothesis is suggested that the basic encoding process in speech is one that produces underlying elementary sentences. It was found that there is clearly a difference in the amount of time allotted to actual word combinations and to successive holophrastic utterances. A counter hypothesis is also suggested, i.e., that successive holophrastic utterances show variation in order and cover a longer span of time because they are not included within a single intonation contour. A different form of evidence that underlying sentence structure plays a central role in regulating the duration of speech is taken from the temporal organization of imitation. It is speculated that the brain processes for constructing underlying sentences have evolved in such a manner as to produce new foci of attention at this natural rate. In this sense speech can be said to be the bridge between conscious awareness and largely unconscious cognitive operations, such as identification, classification, and storage. (CK)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
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Note: Paper presented at C.R.N.S. Conference on Psycholinguistics (Dec. 12-17, 1971)