Psycholinguistics 2: Structures and Processesby John Morton
This is the second volume in an important new series on current developments in linguistics. The series is aimed at broadening the definition and application of psycholinguistics, often regarded as a specialist's field. Books in the series are addressed to psychologists, linguists, computer scientists, philosophers, and educators at the graduate and undergraduate level.
The first chapter, "Structures and Processes," by Neil V. Smith, University College, London, introduces the subject of linguistics and its relation to other disciplines. It outlines the standard linguistic position on the structure of sets of rules (of a grammar), discusses alternatives to this position, and briefly considers the relationship between linguistics and psychology.
The second chapter, "Infants' Perception of Speech and Other Acoustic Stimuli," by Jacques Mehler, CNRS, Paris and Josiane Bertoncini raises theoretical and empirical arguments designed to clarify the 'specificity' issue for language and examines some putative mechanisms that may be responsible for the emergence of language. Primarily a review of these issues as they relate to the auditory world of the very young human infant, this chapter concludes with an intriguing look at the results and implications of Mehler's latest experiments.
The third and fourth chapters in the book are linked by a common theoretical framework, although they focus on quite different topics. In "Word Recognition," John Morton discusses the effects of context and word frequency on the recognition of words, and outlines the kinds of models that have been proposed to account for these and other phenomena, with particular reference to his own Logogen Model.
Andrew Ellis, Psychology Department, University of Lancaster, also uses the Logogen Model as his framework in "Speech Production and Short-Term Memory," focusing on just one aspect—the Response Buffer—to bring together two areas of research that are normally treated separately: the study of short-term memory and the examination of the psychological processes underlying speech production.
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