1st Edition

The New Psychology of Language From Body to Mental Model and Back

By Ton Dijkstra, David Peeters Copyright 2024
    328 Pages 94 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    328 Pages 94 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This illuminating book offers an up-to-date introduction to the psychology of language, exploring aspects of language processing that have previously not been given centre stage such as the role of body and brain, social aspects of language use, and mental models.

    The New Psychology of Language presents an overarching theoretical account called the Language User Framework for discussing a wide variety of core language activities. How do we understand speech in conversations? How do we read books? How do we convert our thoughts into bodily signals (speech, gestures, facial expressions) when we speak? What happens in the mind and brain when we have mastered two or more languages? All these aspects of language use are discussed at the level of words and sentences, as well as text and discourse. Language is considered as an embodied, embedded, incremental cognitive activity aiming at the construction and communication of rich and dynamic mental models. Discussion boxes highlight controversies in the field; case studies and practical exercises provide insight into everyday examples; illustrations represent important models of language processing; and key findings come along with clear and concise chapter summaries. Special attention is paid to research techniques for investigating the psychology of language.

    This accessible book is essential reading for students in disciplines such as psychology, cognitive science and neuroscience, artificial intelligence, biology, the language and communication sciences, and media studies. It is also a useful resource for a lay audience with an interest in language and communication.

    1. Basic assumptions of a new psychology of language  2. Language and communication  3. The Language User Framework  4. Language research techniques  5. Recognizing spoken words  6. Recognizing printed and written words  7. Sentence processing  8. Meaning  9. Language production  10. Multilingualism  11. Conclusion and outlook


    Ton Dijkstra is a Full Professor in Psycholinguistics and Multilingualism at the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour at Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

    David Peeters is an Associate Professor at the Department of Communication and Cognition at Tilburg University, The Netherlands.