Introduction to Psycholinguistics: Understanding Language Science / Edition 1

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This textbook offers a cutting edge introduction to psycholinguistics, exploring the cognitive processes underlying language acquisition and use.
• Provides a step-by-step tour through language acquisition, production, and comprehension, from the word level to sentences and dialogue
• Incorporates both theory and data, including in-depth descriptions of the experimental evidence behind theories
• Incorporates a comprehensive review of research in bilingual language processing, sign language, reading, and the neurological basis of language production and comprehension
• Approaches the subject from a range of perspectives, including psychology, linguistics, philosophy, computer science, neurology, and neurophysiology
• Includes a full program of resources for instructors and students, including review exercises, a test bank, and lecture slides

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
 This textbook is modern, thorough, witty, and deeply instructive.  At last, students of the psychology of language (in the classroom and out) have a book they'll value and enjoy.

- Victor Ferreira, University of California, San Diego

This is the psycholinguistics textbook we've all been waiting for. Traxler has brought us into the 21st century.

He surveys the field with depth, breadth, and most definitely wit. Students will find the text quite accessible, and instructors will appreciate the rigorous content.

- Morton Ann Gernsbacher, University of Wisconsin-Madison

It's all here, from Nim to Noam, and "the horse raced past the barn" to the elephant in Groucho's pants. Traxler covers the subject matter of modern psycholinguistics with thoroughness and panache.

- Mark S. Seidenberg, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Engaging and witty, this is a refreshing and informative textbook on the psychology of language that will appeal to students and teachers alike.

- Gerry Altmann, University of York

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405198622
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 9/21/2011
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 592
  • Sales rank: 762,134
  • Product dimensions: 8.20 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Matt Traxler is Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Davis. He edited The Handbook of Psycholinguistics (with Morton Ann Gernsbacher, 2006). He currently serves as associate editor on the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology and Language and Linguistics Compass. He is also a consulting editor at the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition. When Dr. Traxler is not at work at the university, he will often be found stalking the wily rainbow trout.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations



1. An Introduction to Language Science

Language Characteristics

Grammar, Language Origins, and Non-Human Communication Systems

Language and Thought

A Description of the Language Processing System

Summary and Conclusions

Test Yourself

2. Speech Production and Comprehension

Speech Production


Foreign Accent Syndrome Revisited

Speech Perception

Summary and Conclusions

Test Yourself

3. Word Processing

The Anatomy of a Word: How We Mentally Represent Word Form

Lexical Semantics

Lexical Access

Lexical Ambiguity Resolution

The Neural Basis of Lexical Representation and Lexical Access

Summary and Conclusions

Test Yourself

4 Sentence Processing

Models of Parsing: Two-Stage Models

Models of Parsing: Constraint-based Models

Interim Summary

Argument Structure Hypothesis

Limitations, Criticisms, and Some Alternative Parsing Theories

Parsing Long-Distance Dependencies

Summary and Conclusions

Test Yourself

5 Discourse Processing

Construction–Integration Theory

The Structure Building Framework

The Event Indexing Model

Causation, Cohesion and Coherence in Discourse Encoding and Memory

The Role of General World Knowledge in Discourse Processing

Building Situation Models

Inferencing: Memory-Based Account of Discourse Processing: Minimalist vs.Constructionist Inferencing

The Neural Basis of Discourse Comprehension

Summary and Conclusions

Test Yourself

6 Reference

Characteristics of Referents That Make Co-Reference Easier

Characteristics of Anaphors That Make Co-Reference Easier

The Relationship between an Anaphor and Possible Referents Affects Anaphor Resolution

Binding Theory

Psycholinguistic Theories of Anaphoric Reference

Summary and Conclusions

Test Yourself

7 Non-Literal Language Processing

Types of Non-Literal Language

The Standard Pragmatic View


Why Metaphor?

Metonymy and Underspecification

Idioms and Frozen Metaphors

Embodiment and the Interpretation of Non-Literal Language

The Neural Basis of Non-Literal Language Interpretation

Summary and Conclusions

Test Yourself

8 Dialogue

Gricean Maxims

Dialogue is Interactive

Common Ground

Audience Design

Effects of Listeners’ Perspective-Taking on Comprehension

Summary and Conclusions

Test Yourself

9 Language Development in Infancy and Early Childhood

Prenatal Learning

Infant Perception and Categorization of Phonemes

Solving the Segmentation Problem

Statistical Learning and Speech Segmentation

Interim Summary

Learning Word Meanings

Acquisition of Morphological and Syntactic Knowledge

Summary and Conclusions

Test Yourself

10 Reading

Speed Reading?

Eye Movement Control and Reading

Oculomotor and Cognitive Control Theories of Reading

Cognitive Processing in Reading I

Cognitive Processing in Reading II: Visual Word Processing

Dyslexia: Single-Deficit Models

Dyslexia: Dual-Route and Single-Route Explanations

Summary and Conclusions

Test Yourself

11 Bilingual Language Processing

Mary Potter and the Secrets of Bilingualism

Languages Are Simultaneously Active During Comprehension and Production

Models of Language Control in Bilingual Speakers

Bilingualism and Executive Control

Teaching Techniques and Individual Differences in Second Language Learning

The Neural Bases of Bilingualism

Summary and Conclusions

Test Yourself

12 Sign Language

Characteristics of Signed Languages

Lexical Access in Sign Language

Sign Language Acquisition and Language Evolution

Reading in Deaf Signers

The Neural Basis of Sign Language: Left-Hemisphere Contributionsto Production and Comprehension

Does the Right Hemisphere Play a Special Role in Sign Language?

  The Effects of Deafness and Learning Sign Language on Cognitive Processing

Cochlear Implants

Summary and Conclusions

Test Yourself

13 Aphasia

Aphasiology: What Happens to Language When the Brain Is Damaged?

Broca’s Aphasia, Wernicke’s Aphasia, and Syntactic Parsing

Treatment and Recovery from Aphasia

Summary and Conclusions

Test Yourself

14 Right-Hemisphere Language Function

Speech Perception and Production

Word Processing

Right-Hemisphere Contributions to Discourse Comprehension and Production

Right-Hemisphere Contributions to Non-Literal Language Understanding

What You Can Do with One Hemisphere

Why Lateralization?

Summary and Conclusions

Test Yourself

Name Index

Subject Index

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