Discovering Speech, Words, and Mind / Edition 1

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Written in a lively style, Discovering Speech, Words, and Mind applies a scientific approach to the study of various aspects of speech, using everyday examples to introduce the beginning student to the world of language and cognition.
• An accessible introduction to the fundamentals of speech production, speech perception, word-formation, language acquisition and speech disorders
• Considers how the informational content of the speech signal relates to phonological units — connecting the three areas of speech, words, and mind
• Focuses on speech production and recognition at the word-level and below, and includes sign languages
• Written in a highly accessible style for students with no background in linguistics or psychology
• Packed with numerous student-friendly features, including engaging examples, illustrations, and sidebars for further discussion; further online exercises and data also available at

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Captivating a broader audience with the wonder and importance of speech for understanding language is a difficult undertaking. In this beautifully written and illustrated book, Byrd and Mintz do just that … In this engaging and highly readable book, the reader learns to appreciate the complexity and beauty of language, and to think scientifically about it. A daunting amount of information is presented, but in such a coherent and engaging fashion that the facts support one another, creating a well-woven tapestry that hangs together … Given the writing quality, it is a book I would recommend even for those who are not enrolled in a formal class.”  Language (March 2012)

"I recommend this textbook for its cogent exposition of important and foundational findings in psycholinguistics and for connecting theoretical and empirical aspects in the study of language in a compelling discussion."  Linguist (February 2011)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405157995
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 4/26/2010
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 318
  • Sales rank: 1,236,465
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Dani Byrd is Professor of Linguistics at the University of Southern California and a Research Affiliate of Haskins Laboratories. She is a member of the Editorial Board on both the Journal of Phonetics and the Journal of the International Phonetic Association, and has published widely on articulation, vocal tract imaging and prosody.

Toben H. Mintz is Associate Professor of Psychology and Linguistics at the University of Southern California, where his research involves studies with infants, toddlers, and adults, as well as computer modelling. He is on the Editorial Board of Cognition.

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Table of Contents

1 Human Language as a Scientific Phenomenon.

The specialness of language.

The study of language as a cognitive science.

2 Speaking, Sound, and Hearing.

Speaking and transcribing.

The sound of speech.


3 Phonetic Diversity in the World's Languages and Diversity Among Dialects of English.

The sounds of the world's languages.

English in the United States and around the world.

4 Introduction to Experimental Design.

5 Speech Perception.

The lack of invariance and the use of cues in speech perception.

Ways in which speech perception might be special.

Discovering words.

6 Word Recognition.

7 Phonological Units and Phonological Patterning.

8 Word Form and Function.

9 Sign Languages.

10 Language and the Brain.

11 Language, Speech, and Hearing Disorders.

12 Reading and Dyslexia.

Appendix: IPA Chart.


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