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Reflections on Psycholinguistic Theories
Raiding the Inarticulate


  • Date Published: January 2018
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108417150

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About the Authors
  • In a work that is part memoir, part monograph, Nigel Duffield offers a set of lyrical reflections on theories of Psycholinguistics, which is concerned with how speakers use the languages they control, as well as with how such control is acquired in the first place. Written for professionals and enthusiastic amateurs alike, this book offers a 'well-tempered' examination of the conceptual and empirical foundations of the field. In developing his ideas, the author draws on thirty years of direct professional experience of psycholinguistic theory and practice, across various sub-disciplines, including theoretical linguistics, cognitive psychology, philosophy, and philology. The author's personal experience as a language learner - more importantly, as the father of three bilingual children - also plays a crucial role in shaping the discussion. Using examples from popular literature, song, poetry, and comedy, the work examines many of the foundational questions that divide researchers from different intellectual traditions: these include the nature of 'linguistic competence', the arbitrariness of language, and the theoretical implications of variation between speakers and across languages.

    • Original use of literary examples, including popular literature, provides a fresh perspective on high-level topics in the psychology and philosophy of language
    • Interdisciplinary, it relates philosophical and psychological theories of language and mind, to sociolinguistics, historical linguistics, stylistics, as well to theories of arithmetic and physical architecture
    • Accessible to non-expert readers, it assumes little prior knowledge of particular linguistic theories and uses non-technical language to present its ideas
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This book is unique. Other books discuss the relationship between formal and experimental linguistics. This book does so through the lens of music, poetry, and personal experiences. This melding of art, personal experience, and science make the book an excellent read and a great learning experience.' Natasha Warner, University of Arizona

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2018
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108417150
    • length: 410 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 157 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.76kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Both Sides, Now:
    1. Breaking us in two
    2. Marr's Vision I
    3: Marr's Vision II
    Part II: Six Different Ways
    4. (Case #1): 'Starry, starry night'
    5. (Case # 2): 'There's a word for it'
    6. (Case # 3): 'Running up that hill'
    7. (Case # 4): 'Me, myself, I'
    8. (Case # 5): 'Be my number two'…won't you?
    9. (Case # 6): 'Cwucial questions'
    Part III. Say it ain't so, Joe:
    10. A is for Abstraction (and Ambiguity)
    11. B is for Arbitrariness
    12. C is for Competence~Performance, and Proficiency
    13. F is for Functions of Language
    14. G is for Grammar
    15. H is for Homogeneity
    16. I is for Internalism (I-language)
    17. J is for Judgment
    18. N is for (Chomskyan) Nativism
    19. O is for Object of Study
    20. P is for Poverty of the Stimulus (Good Arguments)
    21. R is for (Exophoric) Reference
    22. T is for Sentence
    23. V is for von Humboldt (Discrete Infinity)
    24. Ω is for Love
    Part IV. A Tale of Two Cities:
    25. 'I ain't bovvered'
    26. 'Who did say that?'

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    Reflections on Psycholinguistic Theories

    Nigel Duffield

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  • Author

    Nigel Duffield, Konan University, Japan
    Nigel Duffield received his university education in language and linguistics in England (Cambridge and London) and the USA (Los Angeles). A Professor of English and Linguistics at Konan University, Japan, since 2012, he has held previous positions in Germany, Canada, the Netherlands, and England. His unique perspective on psycholinguistics is informed by his interactions with psycholinguists across a wide theoretical spectrum.

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