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Psycholinguistics

Abeer Alharbi

What do these activities have in common?


What kind of process is involved in producing and
understanding language?

In this lecture will we answer


the following questions
What

is psycholinguistics?
What is the aim of psycholinguistics?
What are the main topics of
psycholinguistics?

Question 1:
What

is psycholinguistics?

What is psycholinguistics?
It is the study of the cognitive
processes that support the
acquisition and the use of
language.

What is psycholinguistics?
As the name suggests, it is a subject which
links psychology and linguistics.
Psycholinguistics

is interdisciplinary in
nature and is studied by people in a
variety of fields, such as psychology,
cognitive science, and linguistics. It is an
area of study which draws insights from
linguistics and psychology and focuses
upon the comprehension and production
of language.

Psycholinguistics answers the


following questions?
Please see p. 124

Question 2:
What

is the aim of psycholinguistics?

What is the aim of psycholinguistics?


The common aim of psycholinguists
is to find out the knowledge and
processes which underline a
humans ability to speak and
understand language.

What is the aim of psycholinguistics?


-

What knowledge of language is


needed for us to use language?

- What processes are involved in


the use of language?

The knowledge question


Four

broad areas of language knowledge:


Semantics deals with the meanings of sentences and
words.
Syntax involves the grammatical arrangement of words
within the sentence.
Phonology concerns the system of sounds in a language.
Pragmatics entails the social rules involved in language
use.

It

is not ordinarily productive to ask people explicitly what


they know about these aspects of language. We infer
linguistic knowledge from observable behavior.

The process question


What cognitive processes are involved in

the ordinary use of language?

-ordinary use of language: e.g. understanding a lecture,


reading a book, writing a letter, and holding a conversation,
etc.
cognitive processes: processes like perception, memory
and thinking.
Although we do few things as often or as easily as speaking
and listening, we will find that considerable cognitive
processing is going on during those activities.

Question 3:
What

are the main topics of


psycholinguistics?

General topics of psycholinguistics:


1- language acquisition (how human beings learn
language)
-L1 Acquisition
-L2 Acquisition (bilingual).

2- language production (how we create and


express meaning through language)
3- language comprehension (how we perceive
and understand speech and written language)
4- The relationship between language and thought

1- Language Acquisition
It refers to;
A- First Language Acquisition: Psycholinguistics is
interested in the acquisition of language: how
children acquire their mother tongue.
It is often called developmental psycholinguistics.
B- Second Language Acquisition: They are
interested in the acquisition of a second language:
how children acquire their second / third language.
It is often called Bilingualism.

Stages in language acquisition


The

prelinguistic stage

The

one-word stage

The

two-word stage

The

multiword stage

2. Language production
Language production refers to the cognitive processes that
convert nonverbal communication intentions into verbal
action.
According to Levelt (1989), language production contains
four stages:
1)conceptualizing
2)formulating
3)articulating
4)self-monitoring

2. Language production
Language production refers to the cognitive processes that
convert nonverbal communication intentions into verbal
action.
According to Levelt (1989), language production contains
four stages:
1)conceptualizing
2)formulating
3)articulating
4)self-monitoring

2. Language production
First,

we must conceptualize what we wish to


communicate;
Second, we formulate this thought into a
linguistic plan;
Third, we execute the plan through the muscles in
the speech system;
Finally, we monitor our speech, accessing
whether it is what we intended to say and
whether we said it the way we intended to.

3. Language Comprehension
Understanding

language, like producing it, is such


an automatic task that it seems to be a relatively
straightforward process.

The

research shows that in most situations, listeners


and readers use a great deal of information other
than the actual language being produced to
help them find the meaning of the linguistic
symbols they hear or see.

4. Language & Thought

The relationship between language and thought has


long been a subject of discussion. There are a wide
range of opinions about the general nature of the
relationship.

At the risk of oversimplification, we can still say that


there are mainly two groups: those who believe that
language determines thought and those who think
that thought determines language.

So the whole question we are concerned with here is


whether our thoughts are formed in advance of the
words that we utter or whether our ideas are formed in
terms of the words themselves.

Thank you!!!