Originally published in 1985, this title was an important new teaching text at the time. Alan Garnham focuses on current theories about the central cognitive aspects of language understanding, and attempts to reflect the emergence of cognitive science, an inter-disciplinary approach to the study of language and other cognitive processes. As well as describing psychological studies, the text includes ideas from linguistics, artificial intelligence, the philosophy of language and formal logic.
Some introductory remarks on the study of language understanding precede a discussion of word recognition and the computation of the syntactic structure of sentences. The central part of the book is concerned with questions about meaning, the mental representation of word meanings, and text comprehension. The final two chapters address questions of how the parts of the language processing system operate together, and how language production is related to comprehension. Rather than attempting an exhaustive discussion of empirical research on his chosen topics, the author gives the reader the flavour of linguistic arguments. In particular, Psycholinguistics attempts to indicate the problems and also the possibilities of relating experimental data to theories of language processing.
Psycholinguistics will still be useful reading on courses in psycholinguistics, language and thought, and cognitive psychology.