An Introduction to Psycholinguistics

An Introduction to Psycholinguistics

An Introduction to Psycholinguistics

An Introduction to Psycholinguistics


How do we learn to speak and understand speech? Is language unique to humans?

Psycholinguistics is the study of language as it relates to the mind and brain. The first edition of An Introduction to Psycholinguistics has established itself as a popular text for this fascinating area of linguistic study. This new edition provides students with an up-to-date, focused and accessible introduction to the key issues and the latest research information.


A little more than a decade has passed since the first edition of this book appeared. Since then the field of psycholinguistics has grown so much that it is necessary to update the earlier materials.

This book is directed towards readers who wish to understand the psychology of language as it relates to learning, mind and brain as well as various aspects of society and culture. Although the topics that are presented are dealt with in depth and involve current issues and research, no specific knowledge of any topic is presupposed on the part of the reader; basic terms and concepts are generally presented and discussed before more complex or abstract matters are considered.

The knowledge presented in this volume is intended to bring the reader to the highest level of understanding of the topics considered in an engaging way. Students, lecturers and researchers from a variety of fields – psychology, linguistics, philosophy, second-language teaching, speech pathology – can all benefit from the wide range of important knowledge and theory that are considered.

The book is divided into three parts, each with a number of chapters: Part 1, First-language learning: Chapter 1, How children learn language; Chapter 2, The deaf and language: sign, oral, written; Chapter 3, Reading principles and teaching; Chapter 4, Wild and isolated children and the critical age issue for language learning; Chapter 5, Animals and language learning.

Part 2, Second-language learning: Chapter 6, Children vs. adults in second-language learning; Chapter 7, Second-language teaching methods; Chapter 8, Bilingualism, intelligence, transfer, and learning strategies.

Part 3, Language, mind and brain: Chapter 9, Language, thought and culture; Chapter 10, Where does language knowledge come from? Intelligence, innate language ideas, behaviour?; Chapter 11, Natural Grammar mind and speaker performance; Chapter 12, Language and the brain.

Of particular note in this book is the presentation of a radically new theory of grammar, Natural Grammar. Such a grammar conforms to the primary acquisition process of speech comprehension, where comprehension develops prior to production in normal children and it develops without production for mute-hearing children. Production is considered as a secondary process deriving from comprehension. Natural Grammar is the only current grammar that can account for the psycholinguistic processes of speech comprehension and speech production.

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