Questions tagged [psycholinguistics]

Questions that are about the neurobiological and psychological factors that affect the acquisition, comprehension and utilisation of the language in human beings.

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Are there any fundamental differences in personal pronoun acquisition across languages?

I am interest in reversal errors in personal pronoun acquisition. My knowledge comes mostly from studies done with English-speaking children, and I was wondering if there is any languages where this ...
Artem Kaznatcheev's user avatar
20 votes
2 answers
865 views

Are similar languages easier for children to acquire than dissimilar ones?

When a child is first learning a language in a bilingual environment, is it easier or harder to properly acquire the two distinct languages if they are more similar? For example, is it easier for a ...
Artem Kaznatcheev's user avatar
13 votes
6 answers
13k views

Evidence for age cutoff in foreign accent acquistion

Steven Pinker in "The Language Instinct" claims that there is strong psychological evidence for the existence of a sharp age cutoff for the ability to acquire a flawless foreign accent (I may dig up ...
Marcin Kotowski's user avatar
13 votes
5 answers
5k views

What are some examples of recent studies investigating strong linguistic determinism?

One of the most controversial ideas put forth in linguistics is the idea of linguistic determinism. Also known as the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, it states that people who speak different languages would ...
Otavio Macedo's user avatar
26 votes
2 answers
4k views

Why do languages not share a root for "butterfly"?

In the article The Elusive Butterfly. Iconicity in Language (2001), William O. Beeman draws attention to the fact that most languages do not share a root for their word for butterfly. In other words, ...
Otavio Macedo's user avatar
18 votes
5 answers
932 views

Language acquisition without interactive contact with fluent speakers

Children raised in a multilingual environment learn all the languages that they are exposed to with no effort. Does the same thing happen if a child has only indirect contact with a language? For ...
Otavio Macedo's user avatar
16 votes
5 answers
6k views

Are there languages with no first person?

Fiction is rife with characters who always speak in third person. Often, such characters are portrayed as having a native language or culture that lacks the concept of a first person, and hence they ...
Superbest's user avatar
  • 271
15 votes
4 answers
663 views

Can one's native medium of language be written, rather than spoken or signed?

(This is probably a poorly-formed question, but I'm really just trying to find out if there's any research in this area.) Most children pick up a spoken or signed language at an early age, and this ...
Joe's user avatar
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8 votes
6 answers
14k views

Is it possible to change your mother-tongue by thinking in another language?

Once I heard from someone that your mother tongue is the language you talk in your thoughts. I've asked many people to verify the correctness of this proposition and to me, inductively this seems to ...
Saeed Neamati's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
410 views

A distance on words

I am not an expert in linguistics at all; more of a physicist instead. So I don't know if there are any defined distances on words D(W1, W2) that really represents how the human memory works; for ...
K. Sadri's user avatar
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5 votes
3 answers
1k views

Do bilinguals and multilingual native speakers make language mistakes?

Suppose a person speaks several languages, occasionally making mistakes in grammar(s), using untypical patterns, clichés and/or calques. Can such a level of language competence be defined as ...
Manjusri's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
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How do we perceive and read words and sentences? Does the order of the inner letters play no significant role?

Try to read this texts, start with the most difficult one, if you cant read, skip to the next easier one: all letters mixed I onlucd't ieebvel ttah I udloc talyulac rsddetanun hwat I swa radgeni....
Hauser's user avatar
  • 612
4 votes
4 answers
549 views

Does learning ancestral languages enrich a daughter language?

[Grammarphobia.com:] The study, published in 1973, offered this breakdown of sources [of English vocabulary]: Latin: 28.34%;  French: 28.3%;   Old and Middle English, Old Norse, and Dutch: 25%; ...
user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
2k views

What does "psychological reality of sound" mean ?

I am taking an introduction course about linguistics. When my teacher was trying to explain the difference between phonetics and phonology she said something like: "PHONETICS is study of physical ...
E.V.'s user avatar
  • 189
2 votes
2 answers
622 views

How can we use the same word in multiple different ways and distinguish the senses so easily?

Say for example some plant names. We have an orange which we easily know is a fruit, but is also a color. We have green which is a color, and greens which is plants, or money, or I could imagine it ...
Lance's user avatar
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