Psycholinguistics post-war, pre-Chomsky

Willem J.M. Levelt

in A History of Psycholinguistics

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199653669
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191742040 | DOI:
Psycholinguistics post-war, pre-Chomsky

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This chapter outlines the unifying new efforts that led to modern psycholinguistics, in order to form a practical science of the users of language. It first takes a look at the 1950 Conference on Speech Communication, where the different papers presented reveal that engineers, mathematicians, biophysicists, etc. did not consider behaviorism as a vital feature of communication. It then identifies some developments in Britain that contributed to psycholinguistics, including Colin Cherry's ‘cocktail party effect’ and Dennis Fry's interdisciplinary perspective in the analysis of speech communication. The next section focuses on other developments on brain and language in certain countries, including Russia, the United States, and Italy. It also discusses Géza Révèsz, his ‘contact theory’, and a symposium on thinking and speaking that was held in Amsterdam. This chapter concludes with a discussion on old and new approaches in developmental psycholinguistics and the state of general psycholinguistics since 1951.

Keywords: modern psycholinguistics; language users; Conference on Speech Communication; cocktail party effect; interdisciplinary perspective; speech communication; brain and language; contact theory; developmental psycholinguistics; general psycholinguistics

Chapter.  13874 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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