The psycholinguistics of English

Authored by: Christopher J. Hall

The Routledge Handbook of English Language Studies

Print publication date:  June  2018
Online publication date:  July  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138913455
eBook ISBN: 9781351001724
Adobe ISBN:


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Psycholinguistic studies have revealed a great deal about the nature of the English language, even though the primary objective of the field has been to explain the neuropsychological structures and mechanisms which support the general human capacity for language. This chapter summarises psycholinguistic approaches to a selection of English structure and usage domains, giving a flavour of the methods employed and how results have been used to support theory. It begins with some general observations about psycholinguistic perspectives on English, before exploring in more detail the development, representation and processing of a selection of English lexical and grammatical phenomena, in users and learners of different varieties of the language (including unstandardised and non-native Englishes). The ongoing debate about the psychological status of linguistic rules is then explored through the perspective of studies using English data, on usage-based learning, individual differences in attainment, and phonics use in schools. The chapter ends with a brief discussion of future directions and some general conclusions about the contribution of psycholinguistics to the field of English Studies.

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