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Summary The Articulate Mammal An Introduction to Psycholinguistics

Reuiring no prior knowledge of the subject this text tackles basic uestions central to the study of psycholinguistics such as whether language is restricted to humans whether there is biological evidence for innate language activity how children. this books is a great introduction to the psychology of language the age old nurture versus nature controversy is outlined Is language a skill which humans learn such as knitting Or is it natural phenomenon such as walking or sexual activity Skinner s 1957 attempt to explain language as similar to the bar pressing antics of rats was a dismal failure as Chomsky showed Chomsky proposed instead that the human species is preprogrammedfor languagehuman language and animal communication are compared Some features of human language were found to be shared with some animal communication systems but no animal system possessed them all Attempts to teach sign and symbol systems to non human apes are described after a lot ofeffort these apes could cope with some of the rudimentary characteristics of human language but their achievements were far inferior to those of human children Above all intention reading and pattern finding seemed to be beyond the ability range of non humansthe hard biological evidence was discussed the human brain teeth tongue and vocal cords have been adapted to the needs of speech In addition talking reuires the synchronization of so many different operations humans seem to be set to cope with this taskchildren s early speech is looked at Their output is not just a random amalgam of badly copied adult utterances Instead they are instinctively aware that language is rule governed in that it follows consistent patterns However in the early stages the rules are not necessarily linguistic ones children might just be applying their general intelligencethree different views on child language were considered First Chomsky s proposal that children contain specific linguistic information which reuires minimal exposure to activate was not borne out by the evidence Second the claim that children solve the puzzle of language by using theirgeneral intelligence aided by helpful parents and a desire to satisfy their everyday needs was not supported either several individuals had been found who displayed a huge discrepancy between their linguistic and general cognitive abilities Third the suggestion that children make use of an inbuilt linguistic puzzle solving device seemed nearest the truth though the interaction betweeninherited principles caretaker input and changing mental organization is still unclearLanguage cannot be explained simply as an offshoot of general intelligence even though humans obviously use general cognitive abilities when they speak Eually infants do not have fixed chunks of pre information about language Instead they are naturally geared to processing linguistic data At each stage children can handle only a certain amount their mind is a natural filter like a fishing net with a particular size mesh which catches some fish but lets others slip away A child s mind therefore never gets overloaded Once a certain amount of language is in place this forms the basis for another trawl with another net probably one with a slightly different sized mesh And soon and so on Children move forward partly because each stage reached forms the basis for tackling the next This general process is known as epigenesis Psychologists and linguists need to combine in order to tease out the details of the epigenetic seuence associated with language

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The Articulate Mammal An Introduction to Psycholinguistics

Ok has been substantially revised in particular taking account of the considerable changes in Chomsky's recent ideas As a result the chapters on grammatical innateness child language acuisition and speech comprehension have been largely rewritte. A very brilliant introduction to psycholinguistics It doesn t make me confused It makes me even curious

Jean Aitchison ´ 2 Characters

Learn language and how we understand plan and produce language The author investigates these issues with regard to animal communication child language and the language of adults and provides references and suggestions for further reading;The bo. I purchased this on my kindle so I didn t realise it was a textbook at the time It felt like reading a popular science novel I put down the book feeling enriched and pretty chuffed with myself for reading textbook


10 thoughts on “The Articulate Mammal An Introduction to Psycholinguistics

  1. says:

    This is a really good introduction to psycholinguistics language acuisition speech production comprehension It provides a short guide to the evolution of Chomsky's theories as well as those that run alongside and counter to his theories There is a substantial and useful further reading section at the back of the book and an eually useful list of sources I bought the Kindle version because it was in line with my bank account than the prin

  2. says:

    this books is a great introduction to the psychology of language the age old nurture versus nature controversy

  3. says:

    More in depth than what I had expected which makes it even fascinating Starting with defining and describing grammar the author goes on to discuss what language in animals can teach us heading then straight into how children acuire speech and finally rounding it all up with a journey into neurosciences 'Talking'

  4. says:

    I purchased this on my kindle so I didn't realise it was a textbook at the time It felt like reading a popular science novel I put down the book feeling enriched and pretty chuffed with myself for reading textbook

  5. says:

    I read this years ago as a text for my Linguistics major at university It was fascinating and by far my favourite area of the subject I have often kept track of it and really wanted to fork out for my own up to date copy Now that it has been significantly revised I've gone and purchased the latest version to check it out I can't wait to read it again It is so accessible and doesn't feel like a text at all If you are at all into language th

  6. says:

    A must read for every psychology enthusiast This is designed as an introductory exercise into psycholinguistics deals with language parenting scientific thinking Obviously it isn't a swift read but would leave you an insightful per

  7. says:

    Fascinating textbook on speech understanding and development I would recommend this to people interested in having children as it provides excellent insight into mental development in babies

  8. says:

    A very brilliant introduction to psycholinguistics It doesn't make me confused It makes me even curious

  9. says:

    Interesting book on Psycholinguistics and a classic book as well in this field but some of the concepts therein are old or have been greatly elaborated For example the 'fact' that raising bilingual children results in them being able to fluen

  10. says:

    very good