Language

The first edition of my text The Psychology of Language was published in 1995. It is currently in its fourth edition. My other book on language, Talking the Talk (second edition) is a gentler introduction to the area.

Students generally don't like psycholinguistics  (the psychology of language) very much. In fact they dislike it even more than cognitive psychology, my other great love. I think there are two reasons for this dislike. First, it is full of jargon - or technical terms we use to save space and time. If you can't remember what a reduced relative is, you're going to struggle. Second, it's easy after an hour of analysis of eye movements while reading garden path sentences to lose track of why you're doing it.

Language is a fundamental aspect of being human: try imagining your life without it. We spend so much of our time talking, listening, reading and writing without thinking about it that we can easily forget how important it is. We think in language. No other animals have it. It might be what makes us conscious.

These pages are written with the student in mind.


My language books.

Language links. I avoided giving links in the book because they change so quickly, so here are some useful ones.

Books on language. Here are some reviews of books on language.

Errata. Here are corrections and clarifications to the texts. Please look here before asking me a question.

FAQ. Questions I have been asked the book or about language.

Language blog. Here is my blog about language, mostly about recent news.

Ambiguity. Some examples of ambiguity in language to show what can go wrong if you're not careful.