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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.Read more
- 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
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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- Date Published: March 2018
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9781108417150
- length: 410 pages
- dimensions: 235 x 157 x 21 mm
- weight: 0.76kg
- availability: In stock
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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