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A History of PsycholinguisticsThe Pre-Chomskyan Era$
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Willem Levelt

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199653669

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199653669.001.0001

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Psycholinguistics post-war, pre-Chomsky

Psycholinguistics post-war, pre-Chomsky

Chapter:
(p.549) Chapter 15 Psycholinguistics post-war, pre-Chomsky
Source:
A History of Psycholinguistics
Author(s):

Willem J.M. Levelt

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199653669.003.0015

This chapter outlines the unifying new efforts that led to modern psycholinguistics, in order to form a practical science of the users of language. It first takes a look at the 1950 Conference on Speech Communication, where the different papers presented reveal that engineers, mathematicians, biophysicists, etc. did not consider behaviorism as a vital feature of communication. It then identifies some developments in Britain that contributed to psycholinguistics, including Colin Cherry's ‘cocktail party effect’ and Dennis Fry's interdisciplinary perspective in the analysis of speech communication. The next section focuses on other developments on brain and language in certain countries, including Russia, the United States, and Italy. It also discusses Géza Révèsz, his ‘contact theory’, and a symposium on thinking and speaking that was held in Amsterdam. This chapter concludes with a discussion on old and new approaches in developmental psycholinguistics and the state of general psycholinguistics since 1951.

Keywords:   modern psycholinguistics, language users, Conference on Speech Communication, cocktail party effect, interdisciplinary perspective, speech communication, brain and language, contact theory, developmental psycholinguistics, general psycholinguistics

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