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  1. Lotte Meteyard

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0724

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Meteyard, L. 2010. Psycholinguistics. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–3.

Author Information

  1. University College London, United Kingdom

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Most would agree that modern psycholinguistics began after Noam Chomsky's review of Verbal Behavior by B. F. Skinner (1959), which rejected the book's behaviorist explanation of language development and use. Acquisition could not be explained by simple input–output relations, Chomsky wrote, because the input was not consistent or comprehensive enough (the “poverty of the stimulus” argument). The only way to explain language was to understand and explain the internal, cognitive representations that mediate input and output. Psycholinguistics brings psychologist cognitive scientists and linguists together in the study of the cognitive processes that underpin the acquisition, representation, production, perception, and comprehension of language. This article focuses on behavioral research and identifies comprehensive texts on psycholinguistics in the references. The relevance to psycholinguistics of bilingualism (see Kroll & De Groot, 2005), neuropsychology (see Caplan, 1996), and neuroscience (Hartley, 2001; Gaskell, 2007) are not included in this presentation.


  • Lexicon;
  • comprehension;
  • production;
  • language development