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  • Cited by 5
Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
July 2022
Print publication year:
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Book description

Bringing together cutting-edge research, this Handbook is the first comprehensive text to examine the pivotal role of working memory in first and second language acquisition, processing, impairments, and training. Authored by a stellar cast of distinguished scholars from around the world, the Handbook provides authoritative insights on work from diverse, multi-disciplinary perspectives, and introduces key models of working memory in relation to language. Following an introductory chapter by working memory pioneer Alan Baddeley, the collection is organized into thematic sections that discuss working memory in relation to: Theoretical models and measures; Linguistic theories and frameworks; First language processing; Bilingual acquisition and processing; and Language disorders, interventions, and instruction. The Handbook is sure to interest and benefit researchers, clinicians, speech therapists, and advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students in linguistics, psychology, education, speech therapy, cognitive science, and neuroscience, or anyone seeking to learn more about language, cognition and the human mind.


'All you ever wanted to know about language and working memory is in this volume! Top researchers present theoretical models of working memory, cover diverse aspects of linguistic memory, and provide evidence from distinct populations (children, adults, atypical individuals, bilinguals, signers, and more). The final chapter synthesizes this work, pointing the way toward a unified theory of working memory and language.'

Karen Emmorey - Distinguished Professor of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, San Diego State University, United States

‘Although speakers have stored large amounts of information on the languages that they command in long term memory, a unique feature of our human language capacity is that we combine these building blocks in infinite novel ways to generate and interpret multi-word utterances. Obviously, next to retrieval of lexical information, this requires a form of working memory. Understanding the interaction between language processing and working memory would profit tremendously from bringing the separate lines of research on language and working memory together. This is exactly what this massive volume does. It is a much-needed integration of two separate research traditions in the field of cognitive (neuro)science: memory and language.’

Peter Hagoort - Director of the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics and Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands

'This Handbook is an unparalleled resource for researchers and graduate students with an interest in the role of Working Memory in first and second language acquisition, multilingual language use and language maintenance across the lifespan. The very latest theoretical and empirical issues involved in researching and applying findings from this important area of cognitive science enquiry to practical issues of L1 and L2 learning, practice, and retention of knowledge are addressed throughout this impressive, indispensable collection. Most highly recommended.'

Peter Robinson - Professor of Second Language Acquisition, Aoyama Gakuin University, Japan

'In bringing together cutting-edge reviews focused on close links between working memory and language, John W. Schwieter and Zhisheng (Edward) Wen have bucked the trend towards fractionation and specialization in cognitive research, and demonstrated how integration and cross-fertilization of ideas offer the keys to major advances in scientific understanding. Chapters reflect the international expertise and high levels of scholarship of their authors and provide an invaluable set of resources for anyone with an interest in these core abilities of human cognition.'

Robert Logie - Professor of Human Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Edinburgh

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