Chapter

Language as a Mental Phenomenon

Ray Jackendoff

in Foundations of Language

Published in print January 2002 | ISBN: 9780198270126
Published online September 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780191713255 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198270126.003.0002
 Language as a Mental Phenomenon

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Language is instantiated in the minds and therefore the brains of language users, so that linguistics can be regarded as a branch of psychology. This chapter asks what it means to say that linguists are modeling the mind, and reinterprets in a more tractable light the important distinction between competence and performance, i.e., between speakers' knowledge of a language and their ability to put that knowledge to use. Topics discussed include the meaning of ‘mental’, how to interpret linguistic notation mentally, knowledge of language, competence versus performance, and language in a social context.

Keywords: linguistic notation; knowledge; competence; performance

Chapter.  8645 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Psycholinguistics

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