Questions in Psycholinguistics
Language is an important tool for storing, organizing, and retrieving information that has been acquired throughout one’s life, as well as for thinking, modifying, and sharing such information with others. Thus, there are many questions researchers ask about language and its use. For this assignment, complete the steps listed below:
- Select one of the following topics:
- Recent research has shown that bilingualism shapes the human mind. What are some of the short-term and/or long-term consequences of bilingualism on information processing? Include at least two sets of findings (e.g., speed of processing and vocabulary size) in your paper.
- Human language is more than a communication system. What are the unique properties of human language that make it different from communication systems used by other species?
- Most of language use in adults relies on reading, an ability that is often acquired later in life than the ability to speak and understand speech in one’s primary language. Why is learning how to read more challenging than learning how to speak in one’s primary language?
- Ambiguities in the meaning of words and phrases are far from rare occurrences. Yet, both speakers and listeners (or readers) often do not appear to notice them. What are these ambiguities, and why do they often go unnoticed?
- Can you “forget” words in your first language while you are learning a second language? Summarize the available evidence to explain your answer.
- What do speech errors reveal about the way people think?
- More than half a century ago, two researchers, Noam Chomsky and B. F. Skinner, debated the role of nature and nurture in language acquisition. What was the viewpoint of each researcher? What was the evidence upon which their contrasting viewpoints relied?
- Can other species learn human language? If so, is it really language? In your answer, you may consider cetaceans, birds, and chimpanzees.
- Review the literature on the selected topic. For each topic, use at least two peer-reviewed articles that can answer the question(s) related to it.
Engage your critical thinking skills. Carefully summarize the evidence you have found and then critically examine it. For instance, ask yourself if the available evidence is sufficient to support the interpretations that researchers have proposed, and/or whether there are ambiguities and unknowns.
Guidelines for the AssignmentFor the selected topic, you must:
- Start with a title page and end with a reference page
- The title page must contain the following items (title of paper, student’s name, course name and number, instructor’s name, and due date).
- Be at least five double-spaced pages in length (without counting the title page and the reference page).
- Begin with an introduction to the selected topic in which you define all concepts that will be discussed in the paper.
- Briefly summarize the content of the selected article according to the guidelines described above.
- Analyze the key findings, illustrating the consistencies and inconsistencies.
- Conclude your paper by expressing your thoughts about the strengths and weaknesses of the available evidence. If possible, suggest the course that future research should take if answers are less than conclusive.
- The reference section will be the final page of the paper. In this section, you will cite the articles you have chosen to discuss in the paper and any other source that you have used. Be sure you follow the 6th edition of the APA guidelines as laid out by the Ashford Writing Center.