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Voice Quality

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Dissertation Information

Title: Consciousness in Linguistic Perception Add Dissertation
Author: Hamid Fathollahipour Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: University of Tehran, Department of Linguistics
Completed in: 2003
Linguistic Subfield(s): Psycholinguistics; Cognitive Science;
Director(s): Ali Aghda
Mahmoud Bijankhan

Abstract: The aim of thesis is to investigate the role played by frequency in conscious linguistic perception.

The research questions are as follows:

1. Whether the addressee's mental effort in order to perceive a linguistic unit depends on its frequency, and
2. If so, how?

The mental effort to perceive a stimulus is in direct relation to the amount of attention paid to it, i.e. the more mental effort for perception, the higher the level of the attention and consciousness.

On the other hand, it goes without saying that from the lexical point of view a feature like frequency has nothing to do with the linguistic units. So as to investigate the role of the frequency to make linguistic perception a conscious process, it should be studied in a contextual framework, which includes linguistic as well as extra-linguistic factors, in order to control all of factors affecting the said process.

Based on the above points, the research hypothesis was determined as follows:

- The addressee's mental effort to perceive a linguistic unit depends on its frequency in a certain context.

- This dependency is such that the increase of the frequency results in the reduction of the consciousness, and inversely, the decrease of the frequency leads to the growth of consciousness.

Consciousness is a mental state. Cognitive science, offering a clear definition of mind, provides the recognition of all effective factors in the best manner, which is an essential fact for controlling all of linguistic and extra-linguistic factors. This approach, providing the interaction of Psychology and Linguistics, allows the researcher to use the findings of both sciences for analyzing the subject.

The thesis includes five chapters:

1. Introduction;
2. Review of the literature and the history of the research;
3. Research plan;
4. Data analysis, and
5. Conclusion.

Based on the cognitive approach it has been attempted in these chapters to study the role of the frequency in the conscious linguistic perception at six levels: Phonology, Syntax, Semantics, Morphology, Pragmatics and Style. In this respect, several proper linguistic and statistical methods have been applied to measure the consciousness of the subjects having different sexes, ages, and educational backgrounds, by classifying them into two separate groups: auditory and visual. This concluded to confirm the hypothesis in some ways and refuse it in others. Furthermore, through a peripheral research it has been attempted to determine the time when the subjects' mental activities take place to perceive the above-stated linguistic structures.

The keywords of this study are: Frequency, Perception, Memory, Consciousness and Attention, Context, Cognition, Concept and Prototype.