Psycholinguistic Perspectives

Christina L. Gagné

in The Oxford Handbook of Compounding

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780199695720
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Linguistics

 Psycholinguistic Perspectives

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  • Linguistics
  • Psycholinguistics
  • Grammar, Syntax and Morphology


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Psycholinguistic research is concerned not just with the structure of language, but also with how such structure is represented and used. In short, psycholinguists study how language is acquired, represented, and used by the human mind. Compound words offer an interesting test case for psycholinguistic theories because even though they represent a unified concept, like simple words, they also embody an underlying structure, like phrases and sentences. This chapter provides an overview of experimental psycholinguistics, and, in particular, discusses theoretical approaches taken concerning the representation and processing of compounds, and factors that influence compound processing. It also discusses current directions and issues in psycholinguistic research.

Keywords: psycholinguistic research; language; compound words; compound processing

Article.  7061 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Psycholinguistics ; Grammar, Syntax and Morphology

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