Language in Mind: An Introduction to Psycholinguistics

Julie Sedivy, University of Calgary

Julie Sedivy, University of Calgary

Language in Mind: An Introduction to Psycholinguistics

Sample Content
table of contents

Description

The field of psycholinguistics has grown considerably over the past decades, and is of relevance to various disciplines. Courses in psycholinguistics/psychology of language range from large, lower-level courses to specialized seminar-style courses, taught within Psychology departments, Linguistics departments, and other departments or programs that deal with aspects of language and communication. This new book provides a broad, introductory...

The field of psycholinguistics has grown considerably over the past decades, and is of relevance to various disciplines. Courses in psycholinguistics/psychology of language range from large, lower-level courses to specialized seminar-style courses, taught within Psychology departments, Linguistics departments, and other departments or programs that deal with aspects of language and communication. This new book provides a broad, introductory survey to psycholinguistics that will remain relevant to students whether or not they continue on in the field. Language in Mind addresses important questions and approaches, reflecting a variety of theoretical orientations and viewpoints and provoking a sense of curiosity about language and the structures in the mind and brain that give rise to it. Intriguing stories—presented in an accessible, energetic writing style—set the stage with a question; students then work through a series of theoretical refinements and counterarguments, guided through these unfolding stories with the help of suggested classroom demonstrations and activities. The result is a creative, pleasurable, and deep level of engagement by the student. Throughout, the author communicates the dynamic and evolving nature of the field, synthesizing the key ideas underpinning psycholinguistics research. This approach, in conjunction with the presentation of actual sample stimuli and results, prepares students to be more successful consumers of primary source material.

Summary of key features

  •  Well-crafted prose presents the material in a plot-driven way that makes the text one that students (and instructors) want to read.
  • A range of simple to in-depth “fieldwork” and in-class Web Activities and Projects encourages students to work with data, to notice patterns and generalizations, and to generate hypotheses. Brief summaries of the Web Activities in the text are supported by materials on the book’s Companion Website.
  • Special boxes (1) provide sample stimuli and key data, to assist students in reconstructing the logic of complex experiments and (2) address specific methods implemented by researchers.
  • “Language at Large” text modules relate key concepts to fascinating examples pertinent to the world outside of academia—e.g., advertising, popular culture, the law. These modules are intended to reinforce newly-learned concepts and to stimulate thinking about how abstract ideas can be applied to concrete questions. Additional, updated examples, some drawn from the author’s various blogs, will reside on the Companion Website.
  • End-of-chapter “Digging Deeper” modules present topics of outstanding debate in the literature and point to additional readings. Students are encouraged to consider what kind of data or experimental design might help advance the debate. The modular structure of these sections gives instructors the flexibility to assign them or not, without sacrificing students’ grasp of material in subsequent chapters.
  • Full-color illustrations support the concepts presented in the text, and create a visually compelling layout.
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Julie Sedivy combines a strong background in academic research and teaching with a keen interest in scientific and literary writing for non-academic audiences. She received her Ph.D. in 1997 from the University of Rochester, where she was involved in pioneering research in the use of eye movement methods for studying spoken language comprehension. She held an academic appointment in the Cognitive & Linguistic Sciences at Brown University from 1997 to 2009, where she continued her interdisciplinary research program, and garnered consistently outstanding teaching reviews. She has published more than thirty articles and chapters, and has served as Associate Editor for Linguistics and Philosophy, and as Consulting Editor for the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition. She currently holds an adjunct appointment at the University of Calgary, and divides her time between research/teaching and writing. She is the lead author of the popular science book Sold on Language: How Advertisers Talk to You and What This Says About You (John Wiley and Sons), and blogs regularly for outlets such as Discover Magazine and Language Log.

Language in Mind is an introductory textbook that provides a broad perspective on psycholinguistics in an engaging and accessible way. I highly recommend it to both instructors and students who are looking for a good starting point for psycholinguistics or language science.”
—Heeju Hwang, The Quarterly Review of Biology

“Designed as an undergraduate textbook, Language in Mind: an introduction to psycholinguistics is an essential handbook for navigating the sea of text, images, and sound that comprise our communication environment. … Sedivy describes herself as having an ‘incurable infatuation with language’, which is energetically transmitted through Language in Mind, instantiating psycholinguistics as a course that many universities will now want to offer. … Overall, the daunting complexities of brain and communication research are approached in a clear and instructive manner. Sedivy encourages readers to critically assess the experimental methods that produced our current knowledge, pushing students to devise their own methods to test hypotheses as well as providing model after model of how to determine the parameters and limitations of an experiment. It would be a joy to teach using this book.”
—Gwyneth Sutherlin, London School of Economics and Political Science book review

For the Student

Companion Website (sites.sinauer.com/languageinmind)
The Companion Website for Language in Mind includes the following resources for each chapter of the textbook:

  • Chapter Outline
  • Web Activities (all referenced in the textbook), including supporting materials
  • Flashcards & Key Terms
  • Further Readings
  • Web Links

In addition, the author will be updating the site periodically with additional Language at Large modules, and Web Essays on new research and topics in the field.

For the Instructor

NEW! Test Bank
A Test Bank is now available for Language in Mind. The Test Bank includes a wide range of questions for Chapters 2-12 of the textbook. Each chapter includes both multiple-choice and short-answer questions, at a range of Bloom's Taxonomy levels. All questions are referenced to specific textbook headings. The Test Bank is provided both in Microsoft Word format and in Blackboard Diploma format (software included).

Instructor’s Resource Library
This resource includes all figures (line-art illustrations and photographs) and tables from the textbook, provided as both high- and low-resolution JPEGS. All have been formatted and optimized for excellent projection quality. Also included are ready-to-use PowerPoint presentations of all figures and tables.