University of Arizona
Psyc 542 Topics in Psycholinguistics: Lexical Systems

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Instructor: Kenneth Forster, Rm 415B Psychology,

    The course will concentrate on key issues in the study of the human lexical processing system, with particular emphasis on visual word recognition. We will be concerned with the function and structure of the lexical processor as it relates to language use, and also as a way of studying broader issues such as priming, modularity, pattern recognition, information retrieval, associative memory, and neural nets.     The aim of the course will be to familiarize students with background theory, and also methodological issues. To achieve the latter, students will be expected to design and carry out an experiment using the facilities of the Psycholinguistics Laboratory. Part of the course will be devoted to training in the use the DMDX system for mental chronometry. An introduction to this system can be viewed at the DMDX HomePage.     This course will be of benefit to students with an interest in language, reading, and visual cognition. In addition, the coverage of priming issues will be of special relevance to students working in memory.

    Detailed topics will include modularity and the autonomy of language processing, techniques for measuring access time, phonological processes in reading, models of lexical processing, accessing ambiguous words, analysis of priming effects, semantic priming, repetition priming, form priming, morphological priming, and the nature of the bilingual lexicon. Special emphasis will be given to the theory of masked priming effects, and the implications of unconscious word recognition for a theory of consciousness.

Useful Texts (not required)

Taft, M. (1991). Reading and the Mental Lexicon. Hillsdale, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

An excellent introductory survey of research issues in visual word recognition -- very easy to follow.

Carroll, D.W. (1999).  Psychology of Language.  (3rd ed.) Pacific Grove, CA.: Brooks-Cole Publishing Company.

Traxler, M.J. (2012). Introduction to psycholinguistics.Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.

Generall surveys of research on language processes. 


    References will be available electronically.