The Articulate Mammal: An Introduction to Psycholinguistics (4th ed.) Jean Aitchison () London: Routledge Pp. iii + ISBN (paper). Jean Aitchison. THE ARTICULATE MAMMAL: AN INTRODUCTION TO PSYCHOLINGUISTICS. New York: Universe Books, pp. (also available in. An established bestseller, The Articulate Mammal is a concise and highly readable introduction Jean Aitchison investigates these issues with regard to animal.

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Chapter 1, “The Great Automatic Grammatizator,” concerns one of the most contentious issues in psycholinguistics: Requiring no prior knowledge of the subject, this text tackles basic questions central to the study of psycholinguistics, such as whether language is restricted to humans, whether there is biological evidence for innate language activity, how children learn language, and how we understand, plan and produce language.

I found articulatee brief discussions of Chomsky’s parameter setting theory and recent work on optimality theory by Archangeli and Langendoen to be so fascinating that it has made me go out to read more on the subject.

It was a great intro. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.

The first area is what she calls the “acquisition problem,” which pertains to the controversial question of whether mammao pick up language because they are born furnished with particular linguistic knowledge or they acquire language because they are intelligent and skilled problem solvers. Fascinating textbook on speech understanding and development. In contrast to most introductory books on psycholinguistics written by psychologists, Aitchison states that her book is “an attempt to provide an introduction to the subject from the linguist’s point of view–although inevitably and rightly, it includes accounts of work done by psychologists” p.

Her conclusions are that no animals share all the features of human language, that there is “hard biological evidence” p. Chapter 8, “Celestial Unintelligibility,” is an explanation, using a story about interstellar travel and the planet Jupiter, of why Chomsky changed his beliefs regarding transformational grammar as well as details about his current theory, which involves parameters and modularity.


Aitichison differentiates between the psychological and linguistic approaches to psycholinguistics by their methodology. I read this tne ago as a text for my Linguistics major at university. Aitchison gives a brief review of the main themes of her book and outlines future prospects in the three areas on which her book has concentrated: In modern terminology, the behavior is innately guided” p.

Return to Table of Contents. Dashed numbers in square brackets indicate the end of each page for purposes of citation. Chris Tang rated it it was amazing Dec 03, So much for dinner-table conversations!!! Published June 26th by Routledge first published Suggestions for further reading.

The articulate mammal : an introduction to psycholinguistics in SearchWorks catalog

An Introduction to Psycholinguistics. Nov 03, Sowmya rated it it was amazing Shelves: There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Animals that try to talk. Paperbackpages. A very brilliant introduction to psycholinguistics.

McGill Journal of Education / Revue des sciences de l’√©ducation de McGill

The author investigates these issues with regard to animal communication, child language and the language of adults, and provides references and suggestions for further reading. Katie rated it really liked it Mar 14, Requiring no prior knowledge of the subject, this text tackles basic questions central to the study of psycholinguistics, such as whether language is restricted to humans, whether there is biological evidence for innate language activity, how children learn language, and how we understand, plan and produce language.

She presents evidence which she believes proves that children “automatically ‘know’ that language is rule-governed, and that they seem to make a succession of hypotheses about rules underlying the speech they hear around them” p. The issue under discussion is whether an innate language exists independently of other innate inabilities” p.

Her story in chapter 8 about Jupiter’s stick insects is a bit forced, but it does accomplish its purpose of explaining precisely why Chomsky changed his position regarding transformational grammar. The white elephant problem. The case of the missing fingerprint. Aitchison presents the positions of both camps, as well as what Chomsky has said about the matter. A must read for every psychology enthusiast. Now that it has been significantly revised I’ve gone and purchased the latest version to check it out.


To top it off, the information in the book is presented clearly and is easy to follow, easy to become engaged with. Selected pages Title Page. I bought the Kindle version because it was more in line with my bank account than the print book, and its index is conveniently linked This is a really good introduction to psycholinguistics–language acquisition, speech production, comprehension.

The Articulate Mammal: An Introduction to Psycholinguistics by Jean Aitchison

Among the areas that Aitchison talks about are the role of the lexicon, the “perceptual strategy” approach, the “slips of the tongue” phenomenon and speech errors, dysphasia, and how words and syntax are planned and assembled.

This statement is in contrast to the situation 50 years ago, when she claims that psycholinguistics was “a seedling compared to the more mature areas of linguistics and psychology” p. This is a talent not to be scoffed at, for the book certainly drives home what a strange, quirky, complex, and frequently illogical or counterintuitive thing language learning is, and how difficult it is to capture aspects of it in succinct and accurate sentences.

My library Help Advanced Book Search. It provides a short guide to the evolution of Chomsky’s theories as well as those that run alongside and counter to his theories.

Superpopielica rated it really liked it Sep 22, As one researcher expressed it: Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Bankers clerk or hippopotamus? Alix Rowe rated it it was amazing Sep 21, No trivia or quizzes yet. Trivia About The Articulate Ma