Psycholinguistics: Introduction and Applications, Second Edition is the first textbook in psycholinguistics created for working language professionals and students in speech-language pathology and language education, as well as for students in psychology and linguistics. It provides a clear, lively introduction to research and ideas about how human brains process language in speaking, understanding, and reading. Within a unifying framework of the constant interplay of bottom-up (sensory) and top-down (knowledge-based) processing across all language uses and modalities, it is an integrated, self-contained, fully updated account of psycholinguistics and its clinical and pedagogical applications. In this second edition, author Lise Menn is joined by leading brain researcher and aphasiologist, Nina Dronkers. The significantly revised brain chapter contains current findings on brain structure and function, including the roles of newly delineated fiber tracts and language areas outside Broca's and Wernicke's areas. Fully-explained examples are taken from Spanish and other languages as well as English.
Five core chapters (language description; brain structure and function; pragmatic and semantic stages of speech production; syntactic, morphological, phonological, and phonetic stages of speech production; and experimental psycholinguistics) form the foundation for chapters, presenting classic and recent research on aphasia, first language development, reading, and second language learning. A final chapter demonstrates how linguistics and psycholinguistics can and should inform classroom and clinical practice in test design and error analysis, while also explaining the care that must be taken in translating theoretically based ideas into such real-world applications. Concepts from linguistics, neurology, and experimental psychology are kept vivid by illustrations of their uses in the real world, the clinic, and language teaching. Technical terms are clearly explained in context and also in a large reference glossary.
"This remarkable book lays out the field of psycholinguistics like a feast on the table of knowledge. As it moves deftly between theory and experiment, this text reviews contemporary understanding of basic questions on the use of language, such as: How do we acquire a first or later language? How do we understand and produce sentences? How do our brains process language? What causes errors in language production and what do these errors tell us about the neural organization of language? How do neurologic disorders such as stroke lead to impairment of language?
Deep knowledge of the subject matter is beautifully matched with eloquent but straightforward expression to produce a book that is inviting and rewarding to read. Above all, Lise Menn and Nina Dronkers carry the reader along a journey that explores the excitement of research in psycholinguistics, marking the way with signposts of scientific accomplishment and pointing out pathways of potential discovery. Readers who may have been frustrated in previous attempts to fashion an under- standing of psycholinguistics from other books or a collection of journal articles are well advised to read this book for a clear and comprehensive account of the field. Readers who know little about either psychology or linguistics should not be intimidated, as this book will escort them through the forest of theories, hypotheses, and discoveries, culminating in a satisfying assessment of what is known and how it came to be known. Instructors who seek a book that will both encourage and educate their students will find this one to be a most worthy candidate. Readers of diverse backgrounds and levels of expertise will enjoy this book as a trustworthy and entertaining companion. This second edition retains the considerable strengths of the first but offers several enhancements to make the book even better.
Lise Menn, PhD, professor emerita of linguistics and fellow of the Institute for Cognitive Science at the University of Colorado, Boulder; while there from 1986 to 2007, she taught courses and supervised doctoral dissertations in phonetics, general linguistics, language development, psycholinguistics, and neurolinguistics. Her work on phonological development and cross-linguistic comparison of agrammatic aphasia has contributed fundamentally to the understanding of phonological disorders in children and aphasia in adults. Dr. Menn has been an associate editor of the journals Aphasiology and Language, and served on the Board of Governors of the Academy of Aphasia. She has given presentations on the practical value of thinking psycholinguistically about language learning and language disorders in countries around the world. Dr. Menn was elected fellow of the Linguistic Society of America in 2006 and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2014.
Initial forays into psycholinguistics were in the philosophical and educational fields, due mainly to their location in departments other than applied sciences (e.g., cohesive data on how the human brain functioned). Modern research makes use of biology, neuroscience, cognitive science, linguistics, and information science to study how the mind-brain processes language, and less so the known processes of social sciences, human development, communication theories, and infant development, among others.
There are several subdisciplines with non-invasive techniques for studying the neurological workings of the brain. For example: neurolinguistics has become a field in its own right; and developmental psycholinguistics, as a branch of psycholinguistics, concerns itself with a child's ability to learn language.
In seeking to understand the properties of language acquisition, psycholinguistics has roots in debates regarding innate versus acquired behaviors (both in biology and psychology). For some time, the concept of an innate trait was something that was not recognized in studying the psychology of the individual. However, with the redefinition of innateness as time progressed, behaviors considered innate could once again be analyzed as behaviors that interacted with the psychological aspect of an individual. After the diminished popularity of the behaviorist model, ethology reemerged as a leading train of thought within psychology, allowing the subject of language, an innate human behavior, to be examined once more within the scope of psychology.
The theoretical framework for psycholinguistics began to be developed before the end of the 19th century as the "Psychology of Language". The work of Edward Thorndike and Frederic Bartlett laid the foundations of what would come to be known as the science of psycholinguistics. In 1936 Jacob Kantor, a prominent psychologist at the time, used the term "psycholinguistic" as a description within his book An Objective Psychology of Grammar. 
However, the term "psycholinguistics" only came into widespread usage in 1946 when Kantor's student Nicholas Pronko published an article entitled "Psycholinguistics: A Review". Pronko's desire was to unify myriad related theoretical approaches under a single name. Psycholinguistics was used for the first time to talk about an interdisciplinary science "that could be coherent", as well as being the title of Psycholinguistics: A Survey of Theory and Research Problems, a 1954 book by Charles E. Osgood and Thomas A. Sebeok.
The field of linguistics and psycholinguistics has since been defined by pro-and-con reactions to Chomsky. The view in favor of Chomsky still holds that the human ability to use language (specifically the ability to use recursion) is qualitatively different from any sort of animal ability. This ability may have resulted from a favorable mutation or from an adaptation of skills that originally evolved for other purposes.
Many of the experiments conducted in psycholinguistics, especially early on, are behavioral in nature. In these types of studies, subjects are presented with linguistic stimuli and asked to respond. For example, they may be asked to make a judgment about a word (lexical decision), reproduce the stimulus, or say a visually presented word aloud. Reaction times to respond to the stimuli (usually on the order of milliseconds) and proportion of correct responses are the most often employed measures of performance in behavioral tasks. Such experiments often take advantage of priming effects, whereby a "priming" word or phrase appearing in the experiment can speed up the lexical decision for a related "target" word later.
Newer, non-invasive techniques now include brain imaging by positron emission tomography (PET); functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI); event-related potentials (ERPs) in electroencephalography (EEG) and magnetoencephalography (MEG); and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Brain imaging techniques vary in their spatial and temporal resolutions (fMRI has a resolution of a few thousand neurons per pixel, and ERP has millisecond accuracy). Each methodology has advantages and disadvantages for the study of psycholinguistics.
Another unanswered question in psycholinguistics is whether the human ability to use syntax originates from innate mental structures or social interaction, and whether or not some animals can be taught the syntax of human language.
Two other major subfields of psycholinguistics investigate first language acquisition, the process by which infants acquire language, and second language acquisition. It is much more difficult for adults to acquire second languages than it is for infants to learn their first language (infants are able to learn more than one native language easily). Thus, sensitive periods may exist during which language can be learned readily. A great deal of research in psycholinguistics focuses on how this ability develops and diminishes over time. It also seems to be the case that the more languages one knows, the easier it is to learn more. 781b155fdc