Linguistics 433/533 Psycholinguistics

Winter 2001: MWF 12:45-1:50 Professor: Lynn Santelmann, Ph.D.
Office: 239 East Hall Phone and Voice Mail: (503) 725-4140
Office hours: M & W 2:05-3:05 E-mail:
or by appointment

Required Text: Berko Gleason, J., & Bernstein Ratner, N. (Eds.). (1998). Psycholinguistics (2nd ed.). Fort Worth, Texas: Harcourt Brace.
Optional Text: Scovel, T. (1998). Psycholinguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Supplemental: See Reserve List

Course Objectives:

  • To develop understanding of the relationship between language and the processes of the brain and mind.
  • To develop detailed knowledge of basic sub-fields of psycholinguistics, including: the biological bases of language (language & the brain), speech perception, the lexicon, sentence processing, discourse, speech production and language acquisition.
  • To examine the methods used in psycholinguistic research and to interpret the types of results these methods have uncovered.
  • To understand basic language production and perception data and how these data have contributed to the development of the major theories in psycholinguistics.
  • To introduce and explore the major theories in the area of psycholinguistics.
  • To explore specific issues in psycholinguistics might be examined experimentally.
  • Graduate Students
  • To apply knowledge of one subfield of psycholinguistics a domain not discussed in the text, e.g., cross-linguistic applications, language disorders, language acquisition, law, advertising, or language technology.
  • Student Learning Objectives:

    At the end of Psycholinguistics, students should be able to:

  • Identify the basic areas of the brain involved in language and describe the functions carried out by these areas.
  • List the major issues in the areas of speech perception, word recognition, sentence processing, text processing, reading and language acquisition.
  • List the major processes involved in speech perception, word recognition, sentence processing, text interpretation, reading and language acquisition.
  • Illustrate how each of the processes in (3) works for each of these domains.
  • Show how each of the processes in (3) works with new data.
  • Describe the methods used to experimentally test hypotheses in psycholinguistics.
  • Describe and demonstrate theoretical models of: speech perception, word recognition and lexical organization, sentence processing, language acquisition and reading.
  • Analyze new data with each of these models in (6).
  • Develop a proposal for researching a specific question, based on knowledge of general issues and psycholinguistic methodology.
  • Graduate Students
  • Explain how results in one subfield of psycholinguistics can be applied to a domain not discussed in the text.
  • Schedule and reading assignments (subject to change):
    Required Reading
    Week 1 (Jan 8 - Jan 12)

    Brain and Language

    Chapter 1

    Chapter 2

    Week 2 (Jan 17 - Jan 19)

    No Class Jan 15 (MLK Day)

    Brain and Language
    Chapter 2
    Week 3 (Jan 22 -26)
    Speech Perception
    Chapter 3
    Week 4 (Jan 29-Feb 1) 

    Quiz & Essay #1: Jan 29

    Words and Meaning
    Chapter 4
    Week 5 (Feb 5 - Feb 9)
    Words and Meaning

    Sentence Processing

    Chapter 4

    Chapter 5

    Week 6 (Feb 12 - Feb 16)

    Topic for Papers due Feb 16

    Sentence Processing

    Text and Discourse

    Chapter 5

    Chapter 6

    Week 7 (Feb 19 - Feb 23)
    Text and Discourse

    Speech Production

    Chapter 6

    Chapter 7

    Week 8 (Feb 26 - Mar 2)

    Quiz & Essay #2: Feb 26

    Speech Errors Due Feb 26

    Speech Production


    Chapter 7

    Chapter 9

    Week 9 (Mar 5 - Mar 9)

    Speech Error Journal Due March 7 Essay #3 Mar 9


    Language Acquisition

    Chapter 9

    Chapter 8

    Week 10 (Mar 12 - Mar 16)

    Abstract (1-2 page summary) for paper due March 12

    Language Acquisition: First, Second & Bilingual

    In-class discussion of projects

    Chapter 8

    Chapter 10

    Final Papers Due Tuesday, March 20 at 12:00 noon.

    Course Requirements and Grading:     433         533
    Participation and Discussion Notes     15%         15%
    Exams and Essays                             45%         40%
    Speech Error Journal                         15%         15%
    Project/term paper                             25%         20%
    Presentation on Applications of Psycholinguistics 10%

    Students with special needs: Please see me if you have a disability that may require some modification of the seating, testing or other class requirements, so that appropriate arrangements may be made.

    Participation During the quarter, you will be regularly asked to contribute to the group as a whole and to small roup discussions. In small group discussions, I will ask you summarize your discussions, reflect on issues, apply data to a theory and discuss with the class. You will be asked to provide a short written summary after the small group work. All of this will, of course, require you to come to class prepared.

    Quizzes and Exams: There will be two in-class quizzes covering basic vocabulary and concepts, each followed by a take-home exams involving short-answer questions. In addition, there will be a third take-home quiz/exam the final week of the quarter. The purpose of the quizzes is to make sure that you have mastered the basic vocabulary needed for discussing concepts in class. The purpose of the take-home exams is to examine in depth models and theories of psycholinguistics. Graduate students (533) will receive extra questions on the exams. Work on exams/quizzes must of course be entirely individual. If there is clear evidence that it is not, those involved will receive a zero for the exam.

    Graduate Student Presentations Graduate Students will be asked to make a short (ca. 15 -20 minute) presentation applying some of the concepts in one of the unit to the class. These presentations will take place at the end of one of the units. These presentations should focus on one or possibly two applications of the information covered in the unit. Details and schedule to be provided in class.

    Speech Error Journal (Due March 7, 2001) At the end of the Speech Production section of the course, students will be required to hand in a "journal" of speech errors that they have recorded throughout the quarter. This project will consist of three parts: recording speech errors, analyzing the type of planning unit and discussing what these errors tell us about the organization of language in the mind. We will spend time discussing both of the latter points in class.

    Preliminary: Due February 26, 2001 Students should record 20-30 speech errors for this project. Begin early: Good contexts are lectures, conversations, radio call-in shows. For each error, give the error, the intended utterance and the context. Note other relevant aspects of the speaker (e.g., age, native language) if needed. Errors need not be in English, but can be in any language you happen to speak/understand. (Non-English errors should be translated for the in-class discussion and final write-up.)

    Write-up: Due March 7, 2001

    Part 1: Each speech error should be classified according to the type of planning unit (e.g., phonemic feature, phonetic segment, syllable, morpheme, word, phrase) and the type of error (addition, deletion, anticipation, perseveration, blend, exchange, shift, substitution). Group errors by planning unit or type of error, don't just give me a random list!

    Part 2: Discuss how speech errors provide evidence for the following points (cf. pp 322 - 327 in book).
    - speech is planned in advance
    - how the lexicon is organized semantically and/or phonologically
    - whether morphologically complex words are assembled or stored as wholes
    - differences between content words and affixes/functors
    - knowledge of rules of language

    Use the errors you have recorded as examples to support your discussion points. Include as many of these points as you can. Due to the small size of your speech error corpus, it is unlikely that you will find evidence for all of these points.

    Final Paper Due March 20, 2001

    The final paper/project for this course will be a proposal for a psycholinguistic experiment. (See Page 5 for outline of what the proposal should include.) The topic may be any topic related to psycholinguistics. The purpose of this paper is to (a) research one area of psycholinguistics in detail, (b) help you apply your knowledge of psycholinguistics to one very specific question, (c) help you understand at least one method for collecting psycholinguistic data and (d) help you link one very specific question to larger questions in the field.

    Good places to get ideas for term papers:

  • Questions that you have as you read the chapters that aren't answered.
  • Questions that are raised in class as unanswerable.
  • Extending existing studies to new populations or new situations.
  • Browsing through journals in the library. Try Applied Psycholinguistics, Language, Speech and Language, Cognition, Journal of Experimental Psychology (there are several different ones, including Human Perception and Performance, Learning, Memory & Cognition), Journal of Child Language
  • If second language learners are part of the proposal, the proposal must focus on a topic related to how second language learners process or perceive language. The topic may not be related to how best to teach second languages.

    The project will consist of several parts:

    1. Topic choice - Due Feb 12th

    This is a short description of your project and should include: the general area to be studied, several possible questions that you'd like to ask (you will choose only one for your final paper) and one or two possible methodologies you would consider using in your proposal.

    2. Abstract - Due March 12th

    This is a 1-2 page summary of your project and must be typed. It should include:
    1. The general area to be studied and why it's important to the area of psycholinguistics.
    2. The one specific question you are pursuing.
    3. The methodology you will use in your proposal
    4. The kind of stimuli you would propose to use.
    5. A list of journal articles that you've found about your topic, and a two - four sentence summary of each article.

    3. The Final Proposal - Due March 20th

    A handout will be given that covers organization and information required. Be sure to include headings for each section and make links between ideas and sections clear. Assume your reader is intelligent, has some basic background in basic linguistic or psycholinguistic terminology, but no prior knowledge of this particular topic. You will need to explain any unfamiliar areas or terms and you will need to support any hypothesis, conclusion, etc. that you draw. The proposal should be as long as it takes to adequately cover all of these points. Graduate students (533) will be expected to provide more depth in both background, hypotheses and analysis in their papers.

    Grading Criteria
    Participation will be graded on how well prepared you are for the discussion, appropriate contributions to both small and large group discussion, and ability to respond appropriately to classmates' comments and discussion. Regular attendance and contribution to only small groups will result in a "C". Regular attendance and contribution to both large and small groups will result in a "B". Superior participation in both large and small groups will warrant an "A". Irregular attendance and/or failure to participate in discussions will result in a "D" or lower.

    Discussion Notes will be graded on how well you represent and synthesize information from the group, and will be graded on an A-F scale. "C" summaries will provide a general summary of content of the discussion. "B" summaries will also find common threads in the discussion and will provide clarification where needed . "A" summaries will also provide an evaluation or reflection on the discussion.

    Quizzes will be graded on a point scale. An A or A- will fall between 91-100% of the points, a B+, B, or B- will fall between 90-81% of the points, a C, C+, or C- will fall between 80% and 71% .

    Essays will be graded on an A-F scale. "C" exams will contain an accurate description of concepts, will illustrate concepts with examples and describe how illustrations relate to the concept. "B" exams will also draw on information from more than one source and relate facts to larger acquisition issues or perspectives. "A" exams will also synthesize information and include theoretical  perspectives.

    Speech Error Journals: will be graded on an A-F scale. "C" journals will document the minimum number of speech errors, classify these speech errors and describe how the study of speech errors is used as evidence for the planning speech. "B" journals will also contain more than the minimum number of errors and discuss in detail how the data provide evidence for the planning of language at different levels of representation. "A" journals will also relate the data to broader theories and models of language production and representation.

    Final Projects: will be graded on an A-F scale. A "C" project will contain background information on a subdomain of psycholinguistics, an idea for an experiment with that subdomain and will describe how that experiment would relate to that area of psycholinguistics . A "B" project will contain more comprehensive background information, an idea for an experiment and will relate data to both issue under discussion and larger issues of psycholinguistics. An "A" project will contain a review of the representative literature and place that literature in theoretical perspectives, a new idea for an experiment, and will relate the experiment to the issue under discussion, larger issues and theoretical or outside perspectives.

    Presentations (Graduate Students): will be graded on an A-F scale and will be graded on how well they introduce information about a new domain, relate and integrate that information with the class content and theories. "C" presentations will coherently introduce a topic in applied psycholinguistics and demonstrate how it relates to the field of psycholinguistics. "B" presentations will also discuss how the applied area relates to hypotheses and models in psycholinguistics. "A" presentations will also contain some critical assessment of the area or suggest new extensions or applications of this information.

    Reserve Readings for Psycholinguistics

    These books are on overnight reserve at the library. Note these are a selection of books that I think might be useful. There are other useful books in the catalog and on the shelves. For your final papers you must also consult journal articles, found via the journal indexes, e.g., PsycLit, MLA or ERIC.

    Psycholinguistics: General and Applied

    Aitchison, J. (1977). The articulate mammal: an introduction to psycholinguistics. New York: Universe Books. P37 .A37 1977.

    Berko Gleason, J. & Bernstein Ratner, N. (1993). Psycholinguistics. Harcourt Brace College Publishers. PN37 .P759 1993. (Note this is the first edition of our textbook!)

    Garman, M. (1990). Psycholinguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. P37 .G33 1990.

    Gernsbacher, M.A.. (1994). Handbook of psycholinguistics. San Diego: Academic Press. P37 .H335 1994.

    Harley, T. (1995). The psychology of language : from data to theory. Taylor & Francis. P37 .H337 1995.

    Kess, J.F. (199). Psycholinguistics : psychology, linguistics, and the study of natural language. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. P37 .K48 1992.

    Gleitman, L. & Liberman, M. (1995). An Invitation to Cognitive Science V. 1. Language. (Check also under Osherson, Daniel (series editor). MIT Press. BF311 .I68 1995

    Rosenberg, S. (1982). Handbook of applied psycholinguistics: major thrusts of research and theory. Hillsdale NJ: Erlbaum. P37 .H3 1982.

    Titone, R. & Danesi, M. (1985). Applied psycholinguistics: an introduction to the psychology of language learning and teaching. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. P53.7 .T58 1985.

    Language and the brain

    Honjo, I. (1999). Language viewed from the brain. New York: Karger. QP399 .H66 1999.

    Jensen, E.. (1998). Teaching with the brain in mind. Alexandria, Va. : Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. LB1060 .J46 1998.

    Obler, L. & Gjerlow, K. (1999). Language and the brain. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. P132 .O25 1999.

    Paradis, M. (1995). Appects of Bilingual Aphasia. Oxford: Pergamon. RC425.A84 1995

    Speech Perception

    Borden, G., Harris, K.S., & Raphael, L.J. (1994). Speech science primer: physiology, acoustics, and perception of speech. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins. P95 .B65 1994

    Hollien, H. (1990). The acoustics of crime : the new science of forensic phonetics. New York: Plenum Press. HV8073 .H624 1990.

    Pickett, J.M. (1999). The acoustics of speech communication : fundamentals, speech perception theory, and technology. Boston: Allyn & Bacon. BF463 .S64 P5 1999


    MacDonald, M.. (1997). Lexical representations and sentence processing. Hove, East Sussex, UK: Psychology Press. P37.L45 1997.

    Schreuder, R. & Weltens, B. (1993). The bilingual lexicon. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. P118.B535 1993.

    Singleton, D. (1999). Exploring the second language mental lexicon. Cambrdige: Cambridge University Press. P118.2 .S556 1999.

    Sentence Processing

    Clifton, C. Jr., Frazier, L., & Rayner, K. (1994). Perspectives on sentence processing. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum. P37 .P475 1994.

    MacWhinney, Brain & Bates, Elizabeth. (1989). The crosslinguistic study of sentence processing. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. P295 .C76 1989


    Singer, Murray. (1990). Psychology of language : an introduction to sentence and discourse processes. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum. P37 .S46 1990.

    Feedle, R. O. (1977). Discourse production and comprehension. Norwood, NJ: Ablex. P302 .D56.

    Speech Production

    Poulisse, N. (1999). Slips of the tongue: speech errors in first and second language production. Amsterdam, John Benjamins. P118 .P646 1999

    Levelt, W. (1993). Lexical access in speech production. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell. P326.L3 78 1993.


    Henderson, J., Singer, M., Ferreira, F. (1995). Reading and language processing. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. BF456.R2 R337 1995

    Taylor, I. & Olson, D. (1995). Scripts and literacy: Reading and learning to read alphabets, syllabaries and characters. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Kluwer. P211 .S42 1995

    Language Acquisition and Loss

    Bialystok, E. & Hakuta, K. (1994). In other words: the science and psychology of second-language acquisition. New York : BasicBooks. P118.2 .B52 1994.

    Bloom, P. (1994). Language Acquisition: Core Readings. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. P118 .L2536 1994

    Fletcher, P. & MacWhinney, B. (1995). The handbook of child language. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell. P118 .H347 1995

    Seliger, H. & Vago, R. (1991). First Language Attrition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. P40.5 .L28 F57 1991