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Psycholinguistics (level 7)


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 7
  • Convenor and tutor: Professor Marjorie Lorch
  • Assessment: a 3500-4000-word essay (100%)

Module description

This module provides the theories and evidence of how human language is produced and understood. You will learn about how language is processed in the brain by considering aspects of the speech chain from listening to someone talking, understanding what was meant and producing a spoken response. We will consider aspects of sign languages, and reading and writing to explore the aspects of different modalities. This will be considered by drawing on a range of empirical evidence and current theories of psycholinguistics. It will provide an appreciation of the types of research used to investigate various psychological foundations of language.

Indicative module syllabus

  • Aspects of human and non-human communication systems
  • Auditory processing
  • Language comprehension
  • Spoken and signed language production
  • Reading and writing
  • Pragmatic inference and implicature
  • The relation of language to thought and culture

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • display and deploy knowledge and critical understanding of the aims, methods, concepts and theories relevant to psycholinguistics and their place within the wider study of human language
  • apply concepts and principles of psycholinguistics to new observations or contexts
  • display knowledge of the main methods of enquiry in psycholinguistics and the different approaches to solving problems in the field
  • use a range of established techniques to initiate and undertake critical analysis of information, and propose solutions to problems arising from that analysis
  • effectively communicate information, arguments and analysis in a variety of forms to both specialist and non-specialist audiences.