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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences : Psychology

Undergraduate Course: Human Speech: Beyond Written Language (PSYL10180)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course examines how speech is produced and comprehended from a cognitive psychology and social communication perspective, focusing on aspects of speech not typically written down (e.g. intonation, loudness, disfluencies).
Course description This course will explore the production and comprehension of human speech from the perspectives of cognitive psychology and social communication. A particular focus of the course is those aspects of speech which are not conveyed in writing, such as the ways in which we speak (intonation, loudness etc.) the noises we make which are not conventionally written down (*um*, *uh*, and other disfluencies), and the gestures and movements we make while speaking.

The course has three parts. In the first, we will explore how words and sentences are produced, what humans do ¿beyond language¿ to support that production (managing rhythm, holding the floor), and what happens when the production system runs into difficulties. We will also investigate how aspects of speech which are not typically written down can be used to influence the meaning of what is said (for example, when attempting to deceive the listener).

In the second part, we will focus on the comprehension of human speech, looking at how words and sentences are deciphered and focusing particularly on the non-written aspects: Are listeners able to use signs of difficulty to help them understand speakers intentions? Are they sensitive to cues about floor-holding and turn-taking? Are they able to discern cues that the speaker doesn't literally mean what they are saying?

In the final part of the course, we will explore how written language is changing to become more speech-like, for example by including written disfluencies, and by adding emoji to convey emotions.

The course will be delivered as a series of 10 1-hour lectures and 10 1-hour seminars. The seminars will typically cover one or more relevant papers, and will include content on research design: How can we design experiments to evaluate the ways in which human speech is produced and understood?
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Psychology 2A (PSYL08011) AND Psychology 2B (PSYL08012)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should be studying Psychology as their degree major, and have completed at least 3 Psychology courses at grade B or above. We will only consider University/College level courses. Applicants should note that, as with other popular courses, meeting the minimum does NOT guarantee admission.

**Please note that upper level Psychology courses are high-demand, meaning that they have a very high number of students wishing to enrol in a very limited number of spaces.** These enrolments are managed strictly by the Visiting Student Office, in line with the quotas allocated by the department, and all enquiries to enrol in these courses must be made through the CAHSS Visiting Student Office. It is not appropriate for students to contact the department directly to request additional spaces.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 10, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 1. Essay - evaluate LLM answer: 30%
2. Essay - research design: 70%
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Identify and explain the different components of speech production, including those aspects that are not typically written down (e.g., intonation, disfluencies).
  2. Contribute to the debate as to whether speakers are intentionally producing an aspect of speech such as gesture or disfluency, or whether it is a by-product of the production system.
  3. Evaluate the evidence that listeners use non-written aspects of speech (e.g., gestures, intonation) to predict or understand a speaker's intended meaning.
  4. Evaluate the ways in which written language is evolving in the light of what we know about speech.
  5. Propose research designs to understand more about the production or comprehension of non-lexical aspects of spoken or written language.
Reading List
Clark, H., & Fox Tree, J. E. (2002). Using uh and um in spontaneous speaking. Cognition, 84(1), 73 111.

Deliens, G., Antoniou, K., Clin, E., Ostashchenko, E., & Kissine, M. (2018). Context, facial expression and prosody in irony processing. Journal of Memory and Language, 99, 35 48.

Loy, J. E., Rohde, H., & Corley, M. (2017). Effects of disfluency in online interpretation of deception. Cognitive Science, 41, 1434¿1456.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills In this course, students will read and interpret scientific material and research, which will enhance their analytical thinking. They will also critically evaluate information generated by AI in response so science prompts, which will allow them to develop their critical thinking and knowledge integration and application skills. Finally, interactions during seminars will allow them to develop their interpersonal and verbal communication skills.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Martin Corley
Tel: (0131 6)50 6682
Course secretaryMiss Georgiana Gherasim
Tel: (0131 6)50 3440
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