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Psycholinguistics or psychology of language is the study of the interrelation between linguistic factors and psychological aspects. The discipline is mainly concerned with the mechanisms by which language is processed and represented in the mind and brain; that is, the
psychological Psychology is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and organizes knowledge in the form of Testability, testable explanations and predictions about the universe."... modern science is ...

psychological
and
neurobiological Neuroscience is the science, scientific study of the nervous system. It is a Multidisciplinary approach, multidisciplinary science that combines physiology, anatomy, molecular biology, developmental biology, cytology, computer science and Mathe ...
factors that enable
human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A speci ...

human
s to acquire, use, comprehend, and produce
language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the ...

language
. Psycholinguistics is concerned with the cognitive faculties and processes that are necessary to produce the grammatical constructions of language. It is also concerned with the perception of these constructions by a listener. Initial forays into psycholinguistics were in the philosophical and educational fields, due mainly to their location in departments other than applied sciences (e.g., cohesive data on how the
human brain The human brain is the central organ Organ may refer to: Biology * Organ (anatomy) An organ is a group of Tissue (biology), tissues with similar functions. Plant life and animal life rely on many organs that co-exist in organ systems. ...

human brain
functioned). Modern research makes use of
biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interactions, Physiology, physiological mechanisms, Development ...

biology
,
neuroscience Neuroscience is the scientific study of the nervous system In biology, the classical doctrine of the nervous system determines that it is a Complex system, highly complex part of an animal that coordinates its Behavior, actions and Sens ...

neuroscience
,
cognitive science Cognitive science is the interdisciplinary Interdisciplinarity or interdisciplinary studies involves the combination of two or more academic discipline An academic discipline or academic field is a subdivision of knowledge that is Educ ...

cognitive science
,
linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo ...

linguistics
, and
information science Information science (also known as information studies) is an academic field which is primarily concerned with analysis, collection, classification Classification is a process related to categorization Categorization is the human ability a ...
to study how the mind-brain processes language, and less so the known processes of
social sciences Social science is the branch The branches and leaves of a tree. A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biol ...

social sciences
,
human development Human development may refer to: * Development of the human body * Developmental psychology * Human development (economics) * Human Development Index, an index used to rank countries by level of human development * Human evolution, the prehistoric ...
, communication theories, and
infant development Child development involves the Human development (biology), biological, developmental psychology, psychological and emotional changes that occur in human beings between birth and the conclusion of adolescence. Childhood is divided into 3 stages o ...
, among others. There are several subdisciplines with non-invasive techniques for studying the neurological workings of the brain. For example:
neurolinguistics Neurolinguistics is the study of the Neuron, neural mechanisms in the human brain that control the comprehension, production, and acquisition of language. As an interdisciplinary field, neurolinguistics draws methods and theories from fields ...

neurolinguistics
has become a field in its own right; and
developmental psycholinguisticsDevelopmental linguistics is the study of the development of linguistic ability in an individual, particularly the Language acquisition, acquisition of language in childhood. It involves research into the different stages in language acquisition, lan ...
, as a branch of psycholinguistics, concerns itself with a child's ability to learn language.


Areas of study

Psycholinguistics is an interdisciplinary field that consists of researchers from a variety of different backgrounds, including
psychology Psychology is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is an occurrence in the real world. ...

psychology
,
cognitive science Cognitive science is the interdisciplinary Interdisciplinarity or interdisciplinary studies involves the combination of two or more academic discipline An academic discipline or academic field is a subdivision of knowledge that is Educ ...

cognitive science
,
linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo ...

linguistics
,
speech and language pathology Speech is human vocal communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around R ...
, and
discourse analysis Discourse analysis (DA), or discourse studies, is an approach to the analysis of written, vocal, or sign language use, or any significant semiotic Semiotics (also called semiotic studies) is the study of sign processes (semiosis Semiosis (, ...
. Psycholinguists study how people acquire and use language, according to the following main areas: #
language acquisition Language acquisition is the process by which humans acquire the capacity to perceive and comprehend language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language be ...
: how do children acquire language? #
language comprehension Sentence processing takes place whenever a reader or listener processes a language utterance, either in isolation or in the context (language use), context of a conversation or a text. Many studies of the human language comprehension process have ...
: how do people comprehend language? #
language production Language production is the production of spoken or written language. In psycholinguistics Psycholinguistics or psychology of language is the study of the interrelation between linguistic factors and psychological aspects. The discipline is mai ...
: how do people produce language? #
second language acquisition Second-language acquisition (SLA), sometimes called second-language learning — otherwise referred to as L2 (language 2) acquisition, is the process by which people learn a second language. Second-language acquisition is also the scientific dis ...
: how do people who already know one language acquire another one? A researcher interested in language comprehension may study
word In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most lang ...

word
recognition during
reading Reading is the process of taking in the sense or meaning of letters, symbols, ''etc.'', especially by sight or touch. For educators and researchers, reading is a multifaceted process involving such areas as word recognition, orthography An ...
, to examine the processes involved in the extraction of orthographic, morphological,
phonological Phonology is a branch of linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the I ...
, and
semantic Semantics (from grc, σημαντικός ''sēmantikós'', "significant") is the study of reference Reference is a relationship between objects in which one object designates, or acts as a means by which to connect to or link to, another ...
information from patterns in printed text. A researcher interested in language production might study how words are prepared to be spoken starting from the conceptual or semantic level (this concerns connotation, and possibly can be examined through the conceptual framework concerned with the
semantic differential Semantic differential (SD) is a type of a rating scale designed to measure the connotative meaning of objects, events, and concepts. The connotations are used to derive the attitude towards the given object, event or concept. Charles E. Osgood ...
).
Developmental psycholinguists Development of the human body is the process of growth to maturity. The process begins with Human fertilization, fertilization, where an egg released from the ovary of a female is penetrated by a spermatozoan, sperm cell from a male. The result ...
study infants' and children's ability to learn and process language. Psycholinguistics further divide their studies according to the different components that make up human
language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the ...

language
. Linguistics-related areas include: *
Phonetics Phonetics is a branch of linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of lang ...

Phonetics
and
phonology Phonology is a branch of linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of lan ...

phonology
are the study of speech sounds. Within psycholinguistics, research focuses on how the brain processes and understands these sounds. *
Morphology Morphology, from the Greek and meaning "study of shape", may refer to: Disciplines *Morphology (archaeology) In archaeology, morphology is the study of the shape of Artifact (archaeology), artefacts and ecofacts. Morphology is a major consid ...
is the study of word structures, especially between related words (such as ''dog'' and ''dogs'') and the formation of words based on rules (such as plural formation). *
Syntax In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the ...

Syntax
is the study of how words are combined to form sentences. *
Semantics Semantics (from grc, σημαντικός ''sēmantikós'', "significant") is the study of reference Reference is a relationship between objects in which one object designates, or acts as a means by which to connect to or link to, another ...
deals with the
meaning Meaning most commonly refers to: * Meaning (linguistics), meaning which is communicated through the use of language * Meaning (philosophy), definition, elements, and types of meaning discussed in philosophy * Meaning (non-linguistic), a general ter ...
of words and sentences. Where syntax is concerned with the formal structure of sentences, semantics deals with the actual meaning of sentences. *
Pragmatics In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the m ...
is concerned with the role of
context Context may refer to: * Context (language use) In semiotics, linguistics, sociology and anthropology, context refers to those objects or entities which surround a ''focal event'', in these disciplines typically a communication, communicative event ...
in the interpretation of meaning.


History

In seeking to understand the properties of language acquisition, psycholinguistics has roots in debates regarding innate versus acquired behaviors (both in biology and psychology). For some time, the concept of an innate trait was something that was not recognized in studying the psychology of the individual. However, with the redefinition of innateness as time progressed, behaviors considered innate could once again be analyzed as behaviors that interacted with the psychological aspect of an individual. After the diminished popularity of the
behaviorist Behaviorism is a systematic approach to understanding the behavior of humans and other animals. It assumes that behavior is either a reflex evoked by the pairing of certain antecedent (behavioral psychology), antecedent stimuli in the environme ...
model,
ethology Ethology is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and organizes knowledge in the form of Testability, testable explanations and predictions about the universe."... modern science is ...
reemerged as a leading train of thought within psychology, allowing the subject of language, an innate human behavior, to be examined once more within the scope of psychology.


Origin of "psycholinguistics"

The theoretical framework for psycholinguistics began to be developed before the end of the 19th century as the "Psychology of Language". The work of
Edward Thorndike Edward Lee Thorndike (August 31, 1874 – August 9, 1949) was an American eugenicist Eugenics ( ; from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Re ...
and
Frederic Bartlett Sir Frederic Charles Bartlett FRS FRS may also refer to: Government and politics * Facility Registry System, a centrally managed Environmental Protection Agency database that identifies places of environmental interest in the United States * ...
laid the foundations of what would come to be known as the science of psycholinguistics. In 1936 Jacob Kantor, a prominent psychologist at the time, used the term "psycholinguistic" as a description within his book ''An Objective Psychology of Grammar''. However, the term "psycholinguistics" only came into widespread usage in 1946 when Kantor's student Nicholas Pronko published an article entitled "Psycholinguistics: A Review". Pronko's desire was to unify myriad related theoretical approaches under a single name. Psycholinguistics was used for the first time to talk about an interdisciplinary science "that could be coherent", as well as being the title of ''Psycholinguistics: A Survey of Theory and Research Problems'', a 1954 book by Charles E. Osgood and
Thomas A. Sebeok Thomas Albert Sebeok ( hu, Sebők Tamás, ; 1920–2001) was a Hungarian-born American polymath A polymath ( el, πολυμαθής, , "having learned much"; la, homo universalis, "universal human") is an individual whose knowledge spans a ...
.


Theories


Language acquisition

Though there is still much debate, there are two primary theories on childhood language acquisition: * the
behaviorist Behaviorism is a systematic approach to understanding the behavior of humans and other animals. It assumes that behavior is either a reflex evoked by the pairing of certain antecedent (behavioral psychology), antecedent stimuli in the environme ...
perspective, whereby all language must be learned by the child; and * the innatist perspective, which believes that the abstract system of language cannot be learned, but that humans possess an innate language faculty or an access to what has been called "
universal grammar Universal grammar (UG), in modern linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging t ...
". The innatist perspective began in 1959 with
Noam Chomsky Avram Noam Chomsky (born December 7, 1928) is an American linguist Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gesture ...

Noam Chomsky
's highly critical review of
B.F. Skinner Burrhus Frederic Skinner (March 20, 1904 – August 18, 1990) was an American psychologist, behaviorist, author, inventor, and Social philosophy, social philosopher. He was a professor of psychology at Harvard University from 1958 until his retir ...

B.F. Skinner
's ''
Verbal Behavior ''Verbal Behavior'' is a 1957 book by psychologist B. F. Skinner, in which he describes what he calls verbal behavior, or what was traditionally called linguistics. Skinner's work describes the controlling elements of verbal behavior with termino ...
'' (1957). This review helped start what has been called the ''
cognitive revolution The cognitive revolution was an intellectual movement that began in the 1950s as an interdisciplinary study of the mind and its processes. It later became known collectively as cognitive science. The relevant areas of interchange were between the ...
'' in psychology. Chomsky posited that humans possess a special, innate ability for language, and that complex syntactic features, such as
recursion Recursion (adjective: ''recursive'') occurs when a thing is defined in terms of itself or of its type. Recursion is used in a variety of disciplines ranging from linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning tha ...

recursion
, are "hard-wired" in the brain. These abilities are thought to be beyond the grasp of even the most intelligent and social non-humans. When Chomsky asserted that children acquiring a language have a vast search space to explore among all possible human grammars, there was no evidence that children received sufficient input to learn all the rules of their language. Hence, there must be some other innate mechanism that endows humans with the ability to learn language. According to the "
innateness hypothesis The innateness hypothesis is an expression coined by Hilary Putnam Hilary Whitehall Putnam (; July 31, 1926 – March 13, 2016) was an American philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy. The term ''philosopher'' comes from ...
", such a language faculty is what defines human language and makes that faculty different from even the most sophisticated forms of animal communication. The field of linguistics and psycholinguistics has since been defined by pro-and-con reactions to Chomsky. The view in favor of Chomsky still holds that the human ability to use language (specifically the ability to use recursion) is qualitatively different from any sort of animal ability. This ability may have resulted from a favorable mutation or from an adaptation of skills that originally evolved for other purposes. The view that language must be learned was especially popular before 1960 and is well represented by the mentalistic theories of
Jean Piaget Jean Piaget (, , ; 9 August 1896 – 16 September 1980) was a Swiss Swiss may refer to: * the adjectival form of Switzerland *Swiss people Places *Swiss, Missouri *Swiss, North Carolina *Swiss, West Virginia *Swiss, Wisconsin Other uses *Swiss ...

Jean Piaget
and the empiricist
Rudolf Carnap Rudolf Carnap (; ; 18 May 1891 – 14 September 1970) was a German-language philosopher who was active in Europe before 1935 and in the United States thereafter. He was a major member of the Vienna Circle The Vienna Circle (german: Wiener Krei ...
. Likewise, the behaviorist school of psychology puts forth the point of view that language is a behavior shaped by conditioned response; hence it is learned. The view that language can be learned has had a recent resurgence inspired by
emergentism In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about Metaphysics, existence, reason, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, and Philosophy of language, langua ...
. This view challenges the "innate" view as scientifically
unfalsifiable Falsifiability is a standard of evaluation of scientific theories and hypotheses that was introduced by the philosopher of science Karl Popper in his book The Logic of Scientific Discovery, ''Logik der Forschung'' (1934). He proposed it as the ...
; that is to say, it cannot be tested. With the increase in computer technology since the 1980s, researchers have been able to simulate language acquisition using neural network models.


Language comprehension

The structures and uses of language are related to the formation of ontological insights. Some see this system as "structured cooperation between language-users" who use conceptual and semantic deference in order to exchange meaning and knowledge, as well as give meaning to language, thereby examining and describing "semantic processes bound by a 'stopping' constraint which are not cases of ordinary deferring." Deferring is normally done for a reason, and a rational person is always disposed to defer if there is good reason. The theory of the "semantic differential" supposes universal distinctions, such as: * Typicality: that included scales such as "regular–rare", "typical–exclusive"; * Reality: "imaginary–real", "evident–fantastic", "abstract–concrete"; * Complexity: "complex–simple", "unlimited–limited", "mysterious–usual"; * Improvement or Organization: "regular–spasmodic", "constant–changeable", "organized–disorganized", "precise–indefinite"; * Stimulation: "interesting–boring", "trivial–new".


Reading

One question in the realm of language comprehension is how people understand sentences as they read (i.e.,
sentence processing Sentence processing takes place whenever a reader or listener processes a language utterance, either in isolation or in the context (language use), context of a conversation or a text. Many studies of the human language comprehension process have ...
). Experimental research has spawned several theories about the architecture and mechanisms of sentence comprehension. These theories are typically concerned with the types of information, contained in the sentence, that the reader can use to build meaning, and at what point in reading does that information becomes available to the reader. Issues such as "
modular Broadly speaking, modularity is the degree to which a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its ...
" versus "interactive" processing have been theoretical divides in the field. A modular view of sentence processing assumes that the stages involved in reading a sentence function independently as separate modules. These modules have limited interaction with one another. For example, one influential theory of sentence processing, the " garden-path theory", states that syntactic analysis takes place first. Under this theory, as the reader is reading a sentence, he or she creates the simplest structure possible, to minimize effort and cognitive load. This is done without any input from semantic analysis or context-dependent information. Hence, in the sentence "The evidence examined by the lawyer turned out to be unreliable", by the time the reader gets to the word "examined" he or she has committed to a reading of the sentence in which the evidence is examining something because it is the simplest parsing. This commitment is made even though it results in an implausible situation: evidence cannot examine something. Under this "syntax first" theory, semantic information is processed at a later stage. It is only later that the reader will recognize that he or she needs to revise the initial parsing into one in which "the evidence" is being examined. In this example, readers typically recognize their mistake by the time they reach "by the lawyer" and must go back and reevaluate the sentence. This reanalysis is costly and contributes to slower reading times. In contrast to the modular view, an interactive theory of sentence processing, such as a constraint-based lexical approach assumes that all available information contained within a sentence can be processed at any time. Under an interactive view, the semantics of a sentence (such as plausibility) can come into play early on to help determine the structure of a sentence. Hence, in the sentence above, the reader would be able to make use of plausibility information in order to assume that "the evidence" is being examined instead of doing the examining. There are data to support both modular and interactive views; which view is correct is debatable. When reading,
saccade A saccade ( , French French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily located i ...
s can cause the mind to skip over words because it does not see them as important to the sentence, and the mind completely omits it from the sentence or supplies the wrong word in its stead. This can be seen in "Paris in thethe Spring". This is a common psychological test, where the mind will often skip the second "the", especially when there is a line break in between the two.


Language production

Language production refers to how people produce language, either in written or spoken form, in a way that conveys meanings comprehensible to others. One of the most effective ways to explain the way people represent meanings using rule-governed languages is by observing and analyzing instances of speech errors, which include speech disfluencies like false starts, repetition, reformulation and constant pauses in between words or sentences, as well as slips of the tongue, like-blendings, substitutions, exchanges (e.g.
Spoonerism A spoonerism is an error in speech in which corresponding consonants, vowels, or morphemes are switched (see Metathesis (linguistics), metathesis) between two words in a phrase. These are named after the Oxford don and ordained minister William A ...
), and various pronunciation errors. These speech errors have significant implications for understanding how language is produced, in that they reflect that: # Speech is planned in advance: speech errors such as substitution and exchanges show that one does not plan their entire sentence before they speak. Rather, their language faculty is constantly tapped during the speech production process. This is accounted for by the limitation of working memory. In particular, errors involving exchanges imply that one plans one's sentence ahead but only with regard to its significant ideas (e.g. the words that constitute the core meaning) and only to a certain extent. # Lexicon is organized semantically and phonologically: substitution and pronunciation errors show that lexicon is organized not only by its meaning, but also its form. # Morphologically complex words are assembled: errors involving blending within a word reflect that there seems to be a rule governing the construction of words in production (and also likely in mental lexicon). In other words, speakers generate the morphologically complex words by merging morphemes rather than retrieving them as chunks. It is useful to differentiate between three separate phases of language production: # conceptualization: "determining what to say"; # formulation: "translating the intention to say something into linguistic form"; # execution: "the detailed articulatory planning and articulation itself". Psycholinguistic research has largely concerned itself with the study of formulation because the conceptualization phase remains largely elusive and mysterious.


Methodologies


Behavioral tasks

Many of the experiments conducted in psycholinguistics, especially early on, are behavioral in nature. In these types of studies, subjects are presented with linguistic stimuli and asked to respond. For example, they may be asked to make a judgment about a word ( lexical decision), reproduce the stimulus, or say a visually presented word aloud. Reaction times to respond to the stimuli (usually on the order of milliseconds) and proportion of correct responses are the most often employed measures of performance in behavioral tasks. Such experiments often take advantage of priming effects, whereby a "priming" word or phrase appearing in the experiment can speed up the lexical decision for a related "target" word later. As an example of how behavioral methods can be used in psycholinguistics research, Fischler (1977) investigated word encoding, using a lexical-decision task. He asked participants to make decisions about whether two strings of letters were English words. Sometimes the strings would be actual English words requiring a "yes" response, and other times they would be non-words requiring a "no" response. A subset of the licit words were related semantically (e.g., cat–dog) while others were unrelated (e.g., bread–stem). Fischler found that related word pairs were responded to faster, compared to unrelated word pairs, which suggests that semantic relatedness can facilitate word encoding.


Eye-movements

Recently,
eye tracking Eye tracking is the process of measuring either the point of gaze In critical theory, sociology Sociology is a social science Social science is the branch The branches and leaves of a tree. A branch ( or , ) or tree bra ...
has been used to study online
language processing Language processing refers to the way humans use words to communicate ideas and feelings, and how such communications are processed and understood. Language processing is considered to be a uniquely human ability that is not produced with the sa ...
. Beginning with Rayner (1978), the importance of understanding eye-movements during reading was established. Later, Tanenhaus et al. (1995) used a visual-world paradigm to study the cognitive processes related to spoken language. Assuming that eye movements are closely linked to the current focus of attention, language processing can be studied by monitoring eye movements while a subject is listening to spoken language.


Language production errors

The
analysis Analysis is the process of breaking a complex topic or substance Substance may refer to: * Substance (Jainism), a term in Jain ontology to denote the base or owner of attributes * Chemical substance, a material with a definite chemical composit ...
of systematic errors in speech, as well as the writing and
typing Typing is the process of writing or inputting text by pressing keys on a typewriter A typewriter is a or machine for characters. Typically, a typewriter has an array of , and each one causes a different single character to be produced ...
of language, can provide evidence of the process that has generated it. Errors of speech, in particular, grant insight into how the mind produces language while a speaker is mid-utterance. Speech errors tend to occur in the lexical,
morpheme A morpheme is the smallest meaningful lexical itemIn lexicography, a lexical item (or lexical unit / LU, lexical entry) is a single word, a part of a word, or a chain of words ( catena) that forms the basic elements of a language's lexicon A ...
, and
phoneme In phonology and linguistics, a phoneme is a unit of sound that distinguishes one word from another in a particular language. For example, in most List of dialects of English, dialects of English, with the notable exception of the West Midlan ...
encoding steps of language production, as seen by the ways errors can manifest themselves.  The types of speech errors, with some examples, include: * Substitutions (phoneme and lexical) — replacing a sound with an unrelated sound, or a word with its antonym, saying such as "verbal outfit" instead of "verbal output", or "He rode his bike tomorrow" instead of "...yesterday", respectively; * Blends — mixing two synonyms and saying "my stummy hurts" in place of either "stomach" or "tummy"; * Exchanges (phoneme ka_spoonerisms.html"_;"title="spoonerism.html"_;"title="ka_spoonerism">ka_spoonerisms">spoonerism.html"_;"title="ka_spoonerism">ka_spoonerismsand_morpheme)_—_swapping_two_onset_sounds_or_two_root_words,_and_saying_"You hissed_my mystery_lectures"_instead_of_"You missed_my history_lectures",_or_"They're Turking talkish"_instead_of_"They're talking Turkish",_respectively; *_Morpheme_shifts_—_moving_a_function_morpheme_such_as_"-ly"_or_"-ed"_to_a_different_word_and_saying_"easy_enoughly"_instead_of_"easily enough", *_Perseveration_—_incorrectly_starting_a_word_with_a_sound_that_was_a_part_of_the_previous_utterance,_such_as_saying_"John gave_the goy_a_ball"_instead_of_"John_gave_the boy_a_ball"; *_Anticipation_—_replacing_a_sound_with_one_that_belongs_later_in_the_utterance,_such_as_saying_"She_drank_a_cot_cup_of_tea"_instead_of_"She_drank_a_hot_cup_of_tea". Speech_errors_will_usually_occur_in_the_stages_that_involve_lexical,_morpheme,_or_phoneme_encoding,_and_usually_not_in_the_first_step_of_Encoding_(memory)#Semantic_encoding.html" ;"title="spoonerism">ka_spoonerisms.html" ;"title="spoonerism.html" ;"title="ka spoonerism">ka spoonerisms">spoonerism.html" ;"title="ka spoonerism">ka spoonerismsand morpheme) — swapping two onset sounds or two root words, and saying "You hissed my mystery lectures" instead of "You missed my history lectures", or "They're Turking talkish" instead of "They're talking Turkish", respectively; * Morpheme shifts — moving a function morpheme such as "-ly" or "-ed" to a different word and saying "easy enoughly" instead of "easily enough", * Perseveration — incorrectly starting a word with a sound that was a part of the previous utterance, such as saying "John gave the goy a ball" instead of "John gave the boy a ball"; * Anticipation — replacing a sound with one that belongs later in the utterance, such as saying "She drank a cot cup of tea" instead of "She drank a hot cup of tea". Speech errors will usually occur in the stages that involve lexical, morpheme, or phoneme encoding, and usually not in the first step of Encoding (memory)#Semantic encoding">semantic encoding. This can be attributed to a speaker still conjuring the idea of what to say; and unless he changes his mind, can not be mistaken for what he wanted to say.


Neuroimaging

Until the recent advent of
non-invasive A medical procedure is defined as ''non-invasive'' when no break in the skin is created and there is no contact with the mucosa, or skin break, or internal body cavity beyond a natural or artificial body orifice. For example, deep palpation and pe ...
medical techniques, brain surgery was the preferred way for language researchers to discover how language affects the brain. For example, severing the corpus callosum (the bundle of nerves that connects the two hemispheres of the brain) was at one time a treatment for some forms of
epilepsy Epilepsy is a group of non-communicable neurological disorder A neurological disorder is any disorder of the nervous system In Biology, biology, the nervous system is a Complex system, highly complex part of an animal that coordinates i ...

epilepsy
. Researchers could then study the ways in which the comprehension and production of language were affected by such drastic surgery. Where an illness made brain surgery necessary, language researchers had an opportunity to pursue their research. Newer, non-invasive techniques now include brain imaging by
positron emission tomography Positron emission tomography (PET) is a functional imaging technique that uses radioactive substances known as radiotracers to visualize and measure changes in Metabolism, metabolic processes, and in other physiological activities including blo ...
(PET);
functional magnetic resonance imaging Functional magnetic resonance imaging or functional MRI (fMRI) measures brain activity by detecting changes associated with blood flow Hemodynamics American and British English spelling differences#ae and oe, or haemodynamics are the Fluid dynami ...

functional magnetic resonance imaging
(fMRI);
event-related potentials An event-related potential (ERP) is the measured brain A brain is an organ Organ may refer to: Biology * Organ (anatomy) An organ is a group of Tissue (biology), tissues with similar functions. Plant life and animal life rely on many o ...
(ERPs) in
electroencephalography Electroencephalography (EEG) is a method to record an electrogram of the electrical activity on the scalp that has been shown to represent the macroscopic activity of the surface layer of the brain underneath. It is typically non-invasive, with ...
(EEG) and
magnetoencephalography Magnetoencephalography (MEG) is a functional neuroimaging 240px, Functional magnetic resonance imaging data Functional neuroimaging is the use of neuroimaging Neuroimaging or brain imaging is the use of various techniques to either directly or ...

magnetoencephalography
(MEG); and
transcranial magnetic stimulation Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a noninvasive form of neurostimulation, brain stimulation in which a changing magnetic field is used to cause electric current at a specific area of the brain through electromagnetic induction. An electri ...

transcranial magnetic stimulation
(TMS). Brain imaging techniques vary in their spatial and temporal resolutions (fMRI has a resolution of a few thousand neurons per pixel, and ERP has millisecond accuracy). Each methodology has advantages and disadvantages for the study of psycholinguistics.


Computational modeling

Computational modelling, such as the DRC model of reading and word recognition proposed by
Max Coltheart Max Coltheart (born 16 April 1939) is an Australian cognitive scientist Cognitive science is the interdisciplinary, scientific Science (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Itali ...
and colleagues, is another methodology, which refers to the practice of setting up cognitive models in the form of executable computer programs. Such programs are useful because they require theorists to be explicit in their hypotheses and because they can be used to generate accurate predictions for theoretical models that are so complex that discursive analysis is unreliable. Other examples of computational modelling are
McClelland McClelland is a surname. Notable people with the surname include: * Alyssa McClelland, Australian actress * Charles A. McClelland (1917–2006), American political systems analyst * Charles P. McClelland (1854–1944), New York politician, and US fe ...
and Elman's
TRACE Trace may refer to: Arts and entertainment Music * ''Trace'' (Son Volt album), 1995 * Trace (Died Pretty album), ''Trace'' (Died Pretty album), 1993 * Trace (band), a Dutch progressive rock band * The Trace (album), ''The Trace'' (album) Other ...
model of
speech perception Speech perception is the process by which the sounds of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch ...
and Franklin Chang's Dual-Path model of sentence production.


Areas for further research

Psycholinguistics is concerned with the nature of the processes that the brain undergoes in order to comprehend and produce language. For example, the
cohort model The cohort model in psycholinguistics and neurolinguistics is a model of lexical retrieval first proposed by William Marslen-Wilson in the late 1970s. It attempts to describe how visual or auditory input (i.e., hearing or reading a word) is mapped ...
seeks to describe how words are retrieved from the when an individual hears or sees linguistic input. Using new
non-invasive A medical procedure is defined as ''non-invasive'' when no break in the skin is created and there is no contact with the mucosa, or skin break, or internal body cavity beyond a natural or artificial body orifice. For example, deep palpation and pe ...
imaging techniques, recent research seeks to shed light on the areas of the brain involved in language processing. Another unanswered question in psycholinguistics is whether the human ability to use syntax originates from innate mental structures or social interaction, and whether or not some animals can be taught the syntax of human language. Two other major subfields of psycholinguistics investigate first language acquisition, the process by which infants acquire language, and
second language acquisition Second-language acquisition (SLA), sometimes called second-language learning — otherwise referred to as L2 (language 2) acquisition, is the process by which people learn a second language. Second-language acquisition is also the scientific dis ...
. It is much more difficult for adults to acquire
second language A person's second language, or L2, is a language that is not the native language A first language, native tongue, native language, or mother/father/parent tongue (also known as arterial language or L1) is a language A language is a struc ...
s than it is for infants to learn their first language (infants are able to learn more than one native language easily). Thus, sensitive periods may exist during which language can be learned readily. A great deal of research in psycholinguistics focuses on how this ability develops and diminishes over time. It also seems to be the case that the more languages one knows, the easier it is to learn more. The field of
aphasiology Aphasiology is the study of language impairment usually resulting from brain damage, due to neurovascular accident—hemorrhage, stroke—or associated with a variety of neurodegenerative diseases, including different types of dementia. It is also ...
deals with language deficits that arise because of brain damage. Studies in aphasiology can offer both advances in therapy for individuals suffering from aphasia and further insight into how the brain processes language.


See also

*
Animal language Animal languages are forms of non-human animal communication Animal communication is the transfer of information from one or a group of animals (sender or senders) to one or more other animals (receiver or receivers) that affects the current or f ...
*
Communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power o ...

Communication
*
Determiner phrase In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic bra ...
*
Educational psychology Educational psychology is the branch of psychology concerned with the scientific study of human learning. The study of learning processes, from both cognitive and behavioral perspectives, allows researchers to understand individual differences in ...
*
Interpersonal communication Interpersonal communication is an exchange of information between two or more people. It is also an area of research that seeks to understand how humans Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species In biolog ...
*
Linguistic relativity The hypothesis of linguistic relativity, also known as the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis , the Whorf hypothesis, or Whorfianism, is a principle suggesting that the structure of a language A language is a structured system of communication ...
*
Psychological nativism In the field of psychology Psychology is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is an oc ...
*
Reconstructive memory Reconstructive memory is a theory of Recall (memory), memory recall, in which the act of remembering is influenced by various other cognitive processes including perception, imagination, semantic memory and beliefs, amongst others. People view the ...


References


Further reading

A short list of books that deal with psycholinguistics, written in language accessible to the non-expert, includes: * * * * * * * * * * *


External links

* {{Authority control + 1930s neologisms