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Hong Kong Shue Yan University

Department of English Language & Literature

1st term, 2016-2017

Course Title: Psycholinguistics

Course Code: ENG 350
Year of Study: 3rd
Number of Credits: 3
Duration in Weeks: 15
Contact Hours per Week: Lecture (2 hours)
Tutorial (1 hour)
Pre-requisite(s): ENG160 Introduction to Linguistics
Instructor: Dr. Theodora Lee

Course Aims
Psycholinguistics is the scientific study of language from a psychological point of view. This
course serves as an introduction to psycholinguistics and it will examine key issues
concerning how language is acquired, represented and processed in the brain (with particular
focus on language disorders and language acquisition). Major psychological
mechanisms/processes involved in language perception and language production will be
covered and experimental research in psycholinguistics will be discussed.

Course Outcomes, Teaching Activities and Assessment

Course Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
Upon completion of this course students should be able to:
ILO1 explain the major theories and key concepts regarding the cognitive and
psychological nature of language learning and usage
ILO2 demonstrate knowledge about some classical psycholinguistic experiments
ILO3 understand empirical studies of psycholinguistics, and to present these studies
orally and professionally (similar to those in academic conferences)
ILO4 synthesize results and findings of psycholinguistic studies within certain

Teaching and Learning Activities (TLAs)

TLA1 Pre-reading assignments
TLA2 Presentation of key concepts and theories
TLA3 In-class discussions
TLA4 Video-watching and discussions
TLA5 Simulation exercise (psycholinguistic experiments)
TLA6 Quizzes on comprehension of contents in lectures
TLA7 Oral presentations by students in groups
TLA8 Written report on a topic related to the presentation project

Assessment Tasks (ATs)

AT1 Class attendance and participation 10%
AT2 Mid-term quiz 20%
AT3 Oral presentation and written report 40%
AT4 Final examination 30%
TOTAL 100%

Alignment of Course Intended Learning Outcomes, Teaching and Learning Activities

and Assessment Tasks
Course Intended Learning Teaching & Learning Assessment Tasks
Outcomes Activities
ILO1 TLA1,2,3,6 AT1,2,4
ILO2 TLA2,3,4,5 AT2,3
ILO3 TLA1, 6, 7 AT2,3
ILO4 TLA6,8 AT3,4

Course Schedule

Week Lecture Topics/Contents Readings

Week 1-2 Introduction Aitchison (2008:1-6)
The Nature of Language Scovel (1998)
Language Evolution Chapter 1
Hauser et al. (2002)
Week 3-4 Language Acquisition: Aitchison (2008:7-
Behaviourism (B.F. Skinner) 23)
Nativism & UG (Noam Chomsky) Scovel (1998)
Interactionism (CDS; Motherese) Chapter 2
Emergentism, Usage-based Theories, DST Approach Pinker (1994)
Chapter 2
Kuhl (2004)
Week 5 Reading Week 1
Week 6 Experimental Psycholinguistics Aslin (2007)
Bergelson, E., &
Swingley, D (2012)
Miller (2003)
Week 7 Consultations of written report
Week 8-9 Biological Foundations of Language: Scovel (1998)
Language and human brain structure and functions Chapter 5
Language disorders Tartter (1998)
Chapter 5
Week 10 Reading Week 2
Language Processing: Perception Fodor (1995)
Hawkins (2003)
Scovel (1998)
Week 11-13 Chapter 4
Language Processing: Production Bock (1995)
Dell (1995)
Scovel (1998)
Chapter 3
Week 14 TBC: Acquired Language Disorders Libben (2005)
Oral Presentation Karmiloff-Smith

Week 15 Recapitulation
Oral Presentation
*The schedule may be subject to change.

Academic Honesty
You are expected to do your own work. Dishonesty in fulfilling any assignment undermines the
learning process and the integrity of your college degree. Engaging in dishonest or unethical behavior
is forbidden and will result in disciplinary action, specifically a failing grade on the assignment with
no opportunity for resubmission. A second infraction will result in an F for the course and a report to
College officials. Examples of prohibited behavior are:
Cheating an act of deception by which a student misleadingly demonstrates that s/he has
mastered information on an academic exercise. Examples include:
Copying or allowing another to copy a test, quiz, paper, or project
Submitting a paper or major portions of a paper that has been previously submitted for another
class without permission of the current instructor
Turning in written assignments that are not your own work (including homework)
Plagiarism the act of representing the work of another as ones own without giving credit.
Failing to give credit for ideas and material taken from others
Representing anothers artistic or scholarly work as ones own
Fabrication the intentional use of invented information or the falsification of research or other
findings with the intent to deceive
To comply with the Universitys policy, the written report has to be submitted to VeriGuide.


Required Textbook:
Scovel, T. (1998). Psycholinguistics (Oxford introduction to language study). Oxford: OUP.
(Mainland version is available)

Required Readings:
Aitchison, J. (2008). The Articulate Mammal: An Introduction to Psycholinguistics (5th ed.)
Routledge. Introduction, pp. 1-23.
Hauser, M., Chomsky, N., & Fitch, W. (2002). The faculty of language: What is it, who has it,
and how did it evolve? Science, 298, 1569-79.
Karmiloff-Smith, A., Thomas, M., Annaz, D., Humphreys, K., Ewing, S.,Brace, N., et al.
(2004). Exploring the Williams Syndrome face process- ing debate: The importance of
building developmental trajectories. Jour- nal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 45,
Kuhl, P. (2004). Early language acquisition: Cracking the speech code. Nature, 5, 831-843.
Libben, G. (2005). Brain and Language. In O'Grady, W., Archibald, J., Aronoff, M. & Rees
Miller, J. (eds.). Contemporary Linguistics: An Introduction. New York: Bedford/St
Martins, pp. 464-483.
Miller, G. (2003). The cognitive revolution: A historical perspective. Trends in Cognitive
Science, 7/3, 141-144.
Pinker, S. (1994). The Language Instinct. Penguin. Chapter 2: Chatterboxes, pp. 25-54.

Aitchison, J. (2008). The articulate mammal: An introduction to psycholinguistics. London:
Aslin, R. N. (2007). What's in a look? Developmental Science, 10(1), 48-53.
Bergelson, E., & Swingley, D. (2012). At 69 months, human infants know the meanings of
many common nouns. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109(9), 3253-
Bock, K. (1995). Sentence production: From mind to mouth. In J, Miller and P. Eimas. (eds).
Speech, Language and Communication. Academic Press.
Bolhuis, J. & Everaert, M. (2013). Birdsong, speech, and language: exploring the evolution of
mind and brain. Cambridge: MIT Press.

Carroll, D. W. (2008). Psychology of language (5th Edition). Thomson Wadsworth Publishing.

Cowles, H. W. (2010) Psycholinguistics 101. New York: Springer Publishing.
Cutler, A. (2005). Twenty-first century psycholinguistics: Four cornerstones. Mahwah, N.J.:
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Dell, G. (1995). Speaking and misspeaking. In Gleitman L. and Liberman M. (eds). Invitation
to Cognitive Science, Vol 1, 2nd edition. MIT Press.
Drnyei, Z. (2009). The psychology of second language acquisition. Oxford: OUP.
Fodor, J. (1995).Comprehending sentence structure. In Gleitman L. and Liberman M. (eds).
Invitation to Cognitive Science, Vol 1, 2nd edition. MIT Press.
Field, J. (2004). Psycholinguistics: A resource book for students. London: Routledge.
Gullberg, M. & Indefrey, P. (2006). The cognitive neuroscience of second language
acquisition. Malden, MA: Blackwell-Wiley.
Hawkins, S. (2003). Roles and representations of systematic fine phonetic detail in speech
understanding. Journal of Phonetics, 31(3), 373-405.
Menn, L. (2011). Psycholinguistics: Introduction and application. San Diego, CA: Plural Pub.
Ochsner, K. N. & Kosslyn, S. (2013), Oxford handbook of cognitive neuroscience. Oxford:
Oxford University Press.
Savage-Rumbaugh, S.E., Murphy, J., Sevcik, R.A., Williams, S. L. & Rumbaugh, D.M.
(1993). Language Comprehension in Ape and Child. Monographs of the Society for
Research in Child Development, 58 (3-4). Chapter 1: Introduction: Of Language, Apes,
and Men, pp. 1-12.
Skehan, P. (1998). A cognitive approach to language learning. Oxford: OUP.
Trevor, A. H. (2008). The psychology of language: From data to theory (3rd Edition). New
York, NY: Psychology Press.
Tartter, V. (1998). Language Processing in Atypical Populations. Sage Publications.