This chapter introduced us to the subject of psycholinguistics and the major themes that pervade this book. We explored the history of psycholinguistics and the classification of languages into language families. We also saw the linguistic diversity that exists in Canada which presents us with new opportunities to explore the cognitive and linguistic possibilities of human language. We also considered some of the research techniques employed by psycholinguists to study language and their limitations.

Key Takeaways

  • Psycholinguistics is the scientific study if language based on psychology and linguistics.
  • Psycholinguistics has a long tradition in history but became a recognized field after the cognitive revolution in the 1950s.
  • While the early study of language was mostly based on comparative linguistics with the classification of language families, we have evolved to understand language as a common human attribute
  • Psycholinguists use a variety of research methods to explore language

Exercises in Critical Thinking

  1. What is the definition of language? What are its key characteristics?
  2. What are the differences between linguistics and psycholinguistics?
  3. What are some of the limitations that psycholinguists face in studying language?
  4. Can all the research techniques we discussed be used in all contexts?
  5. What are your thoughts on group studies versus individual case studies?
  6. What is the difference between cognitive neuropsychology and neuroscience?


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Psychology of Language Copyright © 2021 by Dinesh Ramoo is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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