Psychology, linguistics, and the study of natural language
This textbook is designed to serve as an introduction to the interdisciplinary field of psycholinguistics. It is directed at filling the reading needs of courses in departments of linguistics and of psychology, presenting an integrated overview of the ways in which both disciplines have investigated the learning, production, comprehension, storage and recall of natural languages. Also detailed are those research topics that have captured the interests of psycholinguists over the past few decades. Some current topics included are modularity vs interactionism, the role of parsing strategies in sentence comprehension, and accessing the mental lexicon in word recognition. Earlier topics that have attracted considerable energy not so long ago, such as sound symbolism and linguistic relativity, are also investigated in some detail. Psycholinguistics is an enquiry into the psychology of language, but the facts of language are what generate theories about why language is learned, produced and processed the way it is. Thus there is a wide array of examples from the languages of the world, intended to provide a feeling for what the nature and range of human language are like.