Writing from scratch about such a difficult study is not easy and perhaps even meaningless due to its intricacy and the lack of awareness, it is true. A psycholinguistics is, on the other hand, everywhere. It as an integral component of your speech process and thinking process that accompanies you since childhood when you only compose your first words and sentences. It leads you through an adult life when dealing with understanding the context of what was said or trying to catch the primary objective of a joke recently told by someone.
Psychology comes to help in the situations where simple methods of linguistic behavior are not to be interpreted with one explicit hypothesis but something that lies deep in the subconscious mind. Moreover, it takes place when there are any incapacities of producing the speech occur like deafness or some kind of trauma that influence either the ability to speak or neurotic issues.
So, have you got a special mission in the class to tell everyone what actually such a study is? Go out of the frames of quandary – just read these hints to assist you to go through mediocrity and become a pro just like famous psychologists who contributed the most into the language learning from the prospect of psychological processes.
Psycholinguistics is a science of the language tightly bind with the psychology. Apparent they do not vie for the honor to be primary or underlying but build a strong collaboration when only one study is not enough. It is a recent science, evoked in the 50s of the previous century, and the main contribution has been done by German scientists. This study is closely connected to the other topics such as:
- Phonology. There are some tries that come before the first words and phrases we do as children to imitate people around us. This subtopic investigates inner actions in mind when a child imitates the sounds;
- Morphology. The way we commutate and store the complex and partial words and use them for modelling of other structures and thus extend our lexical abilities;
- Syntax. Why is it that grammatical arrangement and not another one? Why can a stress on one word change the whole perception of the sentence and make the listener do what the speaker wants? This topic touches upon various issues;
- Semantics. To deliver some message through the language method one has to get to know the same meaning of it as the others. If not, a misunderstanding and misinterpretation takes place;
- Pragmatics. The last stage of forming a thought is to insert it into the appropriate situation to be able to communicate in the society.
As every field of study, psychology should touch upon some specific topics to investigate them within its own point of view. Those usually are dealing with the creation of speech deep in the mind before producing it in the manner of articulation.
So, the most important functions of this study that are being widely researched and investigated are the following:
- Language acquisition
- Formation in the mind
Psycholinguistic Developing Stages of Acquiring the System of Words
The research about the language stages from formation to production and psychological processes that accompany them has undergone a lot of hypotheses to implement new methods of acquiring a new language. Here are some of them.
Firstly evoked with the help of John Watson at the beginning of the 20th century and was decided to become a new period of learning the language. The objective of this method claims that children can obtain the needed language comprehension skills through the constant conditioning. It has been widely used in the US at schools however, later this theory was spurned by a notable linguist Noam Chomsky who claimed that the language is not a drilling boring way to become a habit but a live object of continuous altering.
Audiolingualism was not only the mean of achieving the desirable results but repeating what was said by the teacher, drilling in order to get it as a part of some structural habit and insert it into a behavioral mechanism.
It did not meet the expectations as children could not use the acquired knowledge in the real situations as people could not form logical structure of the sentences and apply the drilled phrases to life situations. We can argue a lot about the advantages and pitfalls of such learning, one thing remains is that it is widely used even now all over the world when learning a foreign or native language.
So, what did this theory offer in short? Here is what:
- Imitation, merely repeating, less attention to writing the language;
- Reinforcement, implementing a stimulus to make the probability of some kind of behavior occur in the future;
- Habit formation, getting used to the revised action in order to make it ordinary and subconsciously accomplished.
An idea proposed by Chomsky and accepted by the priority of today’s psycholinguists has to claim that the humanity possesses a great possibility to process the nature of language innately.
The main contradiction to the behavior theory was that Skinner’s principle of learning was based on compulsory repeating and imitating the spoken language, however, someone had to create new sounds and words. Therefore, as said by Chomsky, there should be an in-built ability to learn the language and involuntarily remember it. The device which was responsible for such action was called LAD – Language Acquisition Device and is applied to all languages without limitations.
In the sight of learning a new language the linguist mused on natural communication skills that should be stressed rather than merely memorization, although using the grammar rules (that are also all the same for each language, by the way).
To state it shortly, an innatist theory presumes that a human obtains necessary language skills:
- Inborn, it comes with empirical experience;
- Through communication;
- Naturally learned grammar rules.
More Questions Than Answers?
One more thing to understand: why is a psycholinguistics as a science of the inner triggers of understanding our conversations so crucial? Why did it evoke, separated from both fields of study and collided into one combination?
For the knowledge of language processing to be effective and innovative, linguistics alone is not enough. Therefore, another study has been added and as the sphere of researches is increasingly big as it develops even more and expands in volume. It involves all stages of language processing like lexical, syntactic and semantic ones.
Another positive point is that we have a unique opportunity to observe the process of acquainting the first language consequently right since childhood to understand how did the power of thought evoking has turned into the production of some sounds and syllables that happened to obtain their special meaning.
We are finishing with the theoretical part of this article. Stay updated and check out for our next article about writing a term paper in psycholinguistics where we will investigate the sign language cognitive process to have no doubts in the quality of your intelligence and have an excellently written paper with us!