The University of Southampton
Courses

LING2002 Psycholinguistics

Module Overview

This course examines three areas of psycholinguistics which help to understand what the relationship between language and the human mind might be.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

apply some of the concepts introduced in the 1st year to the study of psycholinguistics ? gain an understanding of first language acquisition ? study how humans process language ? explore the physical basis for language in the human brain ? use the empirical evidence from first language acquisition, language processing, and language and the brain, in order to explore the relationship between language and the human mind

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • how children acquire their first language
  • how humans understand and produce language
  • the neurological basis for language in the brain
  • what the empirical evidence outlined in each of these areas tells us about the organisation of language in the human mind
  • the theoretical interpretation of this evidence in terms of current debates about the modularity of the human mind
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • critically evaluate theories
  • establish the relationship between a theoretical framework and empirical evidence
  • synthesise evidence from a range of sources in order to present a coherent argument
  • work in small groups
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • apply some of the analytical tools acquired in your first year to the study of a specific area of linguistics
  • apply theoretical models of language to the study of specific language questions
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • the theoretical interpretation of this evidence in terms of current debates about the modularity of the human mind
  • link empirical evidence to the formulation of theories of language
  • critically evaluate theories of language in the light of empirical evidence

Syllabus

This module examines three areas of psycholinguistics which all help to understand what the relationship between language and the human mind might be. Each area brings its own insights into this debate, and the module will aim to analyse the specificity of each of these fields, but also to establish links between them in order to gain a deeper understanding of the issues relating them. In particular, the study of these fields will be used to critically evaluate current debates about the modularity of the mind in relation to language. The three areas investigated are as follows: 1. First language acquisition (4 weeks) ? How are first languages acquired? ? Crosslinguistic similarities/differences ? Language development in exceptional circumstances (e.g. deaf children, blind children, Williams syndrome children, language-deprived children, bilingual children etc...) 2. Language processing (4 weeks) ? comprehension: how do we process the incoming sound sequence in order to extract the content of the message. ? production: How do we transform what we want to say into a sequence of sounds. The various stages of the planning process will be explored. 3. Language and the brain (4 weeks) ? evidence from brain damage: how does brain damage affect language production and comprehension? ? memory, word storage ? language disorders: what do they tell us about the organization of language in the brain?

Special Features

The assessment will require students to relate the concepts and knowledge acquired during the lectures to empirical evidence from one or more of the three areas investigated during the course, and to critically evaluate these concepts.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include ? a weekly lecture outlining a body of knowledge and concepts ? a weekly student-led seminar in which the issues presented in the lecture will be applied to the critical analysis of empirical evidence Learning activities include ? group work during the seminars ? psychological experiments ? analytical tasks (e.g. analysis of first language acquisition data, of speech errors etc..)

TypeHours
Independent Study126
Teaching24
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Aitchison, J (1998). The articulate mammal. 

Assessment

Assessment Strategy

Assessments designed to provide informal, on-module feedback ? practical tasks and activities in class

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (2000 words) 50%
Exam  (2 hours) 50%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Share this module Share this on Facebook Share this on Google+ Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×