You are here: Home > Publications
CBSU bibliography search
To request a reprint of a CBSU publication, please click here to send us an email (reprints may not be available for all publications)
Why not abolish psycholinguistics?
In W.U. Dressler, H.C. Luschützky & O.E. Pfeiffer (Eds.), Phonologica 1988 (pp. 77-87). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Year of publication:
The aim of psycholinguistic research is to shed light on the cognitive processes involved in the production and perception of language. Thus psycholinguistics is a subdiscipline of cognitive psychology rather than of linguistics, and its aims necessarily differ from those of linguistics, which is concerned with explaining language structure and language change. Nonetheless, overlap often occurs or appears to occur, where on the one hand, processing considerations and the cognitive characteristics of the language user are held to be relevant to the explanation of linguistic structure, and on the other, linguistic structure is claimed to play a role in determination of processing operations. However, the relevance of a particular research project in any discipline is constrained by the nature of the specific hypothesis under test. Thus a psycholinguistic study, employing the methodology of experimental psychology, invites conclusions about cognitive structure and processes; it cannot directly illuminate linguistic issues, no matter how central a role linguistic concepts have played in the research.