About The Book

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.

Additionally, the text is now accompanied by a PluralPlus companion website that includes a Web-based Student Workbook as well as an Instructor’s Manual–both flexibly organized for instructors and students of varying backgrounds.

Instructors, why adopt this text?

  • Clear, vivid, straightforward writing style by experienced professors with varying student needs and instructor backgrounds (speech pathology, linguistics, psychology) in mind.
  • Practical and open-minded: treats language innateness and the value of formal versus functional approaches to language description as unsettled questions.
  • Builds awareness of specific issues for clinic clients and English learners from Chinese, Japanese, and Spanish backgrounds.
  • Explicit, attractive presentation of clinical and pedagogical applications of psycholinguistics and linguistics.
  • Teaches basics of laboratory, clinical, and second-language classroom experimental design while presenting key experiments underlying current thinking about brain and behavior.
  • Review of a range of phenomena from normal, partially-learned, and impaired language, such as dialect variation, semantic category priming and garden-path sentences; alteration of the brain by prenatal and early language experience; overgeneralization and failure to generalize; reading problems, aphasia, oral apraxia, perseveration.
  • Complete glossary of technical terms that are also clearly explained throughout the text.
  • NEW! ‘Companion website’, which replaces the previous CD, that provides sound files to help with learning the International Phonetic Alphabet and anatomical terms, color versions of text figures, supplemental information, and a compact version of the experimental psycholinguistics section for students with a background in psychology.
  • NEW! A Student Workbook with problems, self-quizzes, links to additional resources, and optional advanced material.
  • NEW! A Instructor’s Manual that provides source information and additional illustrations and explanations of key concepts for each chapter, suggesting classroom discussion topics and instructional activities, and providing explanations and answers for Student Workbook problems.

From the Foreword

“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.

Psycholinguistics: Introduction and Applications, Second Edition is authoritative in its command of information and enjoyable in its exquisite use of words to talk about words. What better way to learn about psycholinguistics?”
Raymond D. Kent, PhD, Professor Emeritus, University of Wisconsin-Madison

About The Authors

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.

Nina F. Dronkers, PhD, is a research career scientist and director of the Center for Aphasia and Related Disorders with the Department of Veterans Affairs Northern California Health Care System. She is also an adjunct professor at the University of California, Davis in the Department of Neurology. Her research and clinical interests focus on understanding the speech, language, and cognitive disorders that occur after injury to the brain. Dr. Dronkers is known internationally for her extensive work in understanding the relationship between areas of the brain affected by injury and the speech and language disorders that result. Using novel techniques, she and her colleagues have sought to identify new brain structures that play critical roles in the processing of speech and language, as well as how these relate to other cognitive skills. Dr. Dronkers is currently chair of the Governing Board of the Academy of Aphasia and past chair of the Society for the Neurobiology of Language.

Table Of Contents

Foreword by Raymond D. Kent, PhD
Introduction: Psycholinguistics and What It’s Good For

Chapter 1. Basic Linguistics: How to Describe Language Use and Language Knowledge

Chapter 2. Brains and Language
Nina F. Dronkers and Lise Menn

Chapter 3. Normal Speech Errors and How They Happen: I. From Idea to Word

Chapter 4. Normal Speech Errors and How They Happen: II. Saying Words and Sounds in the Right Order

Chapter 5. Experimental Studies of Normal Language Production and Comprehension: An Introduction to Experimental Methods in Psycholinguistics and Neurolinguistics

Chapter 6. Analyzing Aphasic Speech and Communication: The Psycholinguistics of Adult Acquired Language Disorders

Chapter 7. Developmental Psycholinguistics: Studies of First Language Acquisition

Chapter 8. The Psycholinguistics of Reading and Learning to Read

Chapter 9. First and Second Language Acquisition: A Psycholinguistic Approach to Their Similarities and Differences

Chapter 10. Using Psycholinguistics in Testing, Teaching, and Therapy

Afterword: Other Important Areas for Applying Psycholinguistics


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