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9780130266095

Psychology of Language
Psychology of Language
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  • ISBN-13: 9780130266095
  • ISBN: 0130266094
  • Publication Date:
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall

AUTHOR

SUMMARY

It took me two years to write this book. The first year I spent writing the book 1 wanted to write, and the second year I spent writing the book my reviewers wanted to adopt. As anyone who has authored a text knows, writing is an arduous task, painful at times. A textbook cannot be written without some compromises, making decisions about what to include and what to omit. In this text I aimed to cover the classic paradigms and standard issues, but I also wanted to include more than these. I wanted to broaden the scope of psycholinguistics to include more research on the emotional and cultural aspects of language. I wanted to pay closer attention to the idiosyncratic nature of our personal linguistic practices. I wanted to recognize each of us situated in our unique speech communities with our own emotional attachments to words and their meanings. I wanted to pay homage to the foundational studies in psycholinguistics but at the same time invigorate a new generation of students of language with exciting and cutting-edge research. After the second round of revisions, I think I can offer you this text. I breathed a sigh of relief when it became clear from the final round of reviews that students would not find this book boring; in fact, they would probably engage many of the topics very enthusiastically. By the time I started working onThe Psychology of Language,I had spent twenty-five years studying emotional language, offensive language, taboo language, and cultural influences on speech. I have become quite familiar with the process of asking questions about little-studied areas of human communication. As I started outlining this textbook, it was clear that most of the emotional aspects of speech I studied had remained outside of the mainstream of psycholinguistic research. It always bothered me to open new textbooks on language acquisition and see no mention of the fact that children readily acquire and use taboo speech. All of us who have raised children know how disturbing, humorous, frustrating, and problematic this aspect of language development can be. It also bothers me to look in the index of important books like Gernsbacher'sHandbook of Psycholinguistics(1994) or Elman et al.'sRethinking Innateness(1996) and not find an entry for "emotion." Can this be right? Can we really construct a theory of language, develop a way of studying language, without addressing topics like emotion and culture? Can we really understand language acquisition by ignoring its cultural and emotional contexts? I don't think so, and that is one of the reasons why I wrote this book--to include emotion and culture in the outline of traditional language phenomena. In the end, the book aims to offer something familiar to language scholars and something new to both scholars and students. Part One is designed to parallel other texts in psycholinguistics with respect to scope and outline. The material is similar to that covered in other books, but much of it is unique. Chapter 1 uses traditional material to set the stage for the rest of the text: What is language? Do animals have language? What is the history of psycholinguistics? And so on. Chapter 2 examines the neurological basis for language. It is positioned early in the text to establish the importance of neuroscience in language studies and to introduce the role of emotion in language into the neuroscience literature. Some instructors may not be comfortable with this early emphasis on neuroscience at first glance; however, neuroscience is becoming more prominent in psychology textbooks, and our students must be properly prepared. Chapter 3 takes a fairly traditional journey through the speech perception literature, with one exception: It covers theories of speech perception that are currently motivating research questions rather than outlining all of the models that have emerged historically. Chapter 4 is a long chapter on words and word recognition. TheJay, Timothy B. is the author of 'Psychology of Language', published 2002 under ISBN 9780130266095 and ISBN 0130266094.

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