Psych/Ling 413

Psychology of Language

Spring, 2012

Instructor:   Dr. Alison Morris
Office:  Room 490, Science I
Phone:  294-7532

Class meeting:  T-TH 12:40-1:55 pm   
                               Coover 1016
Office Hours:      T-TH 10:00-11:30 am 


Copy of full Syllabus is HERE

Term paper handout HERE

Paper grading rubric HERE

Class presentation handout HERE

Presentation grading chart HERE

List of approved paper topics

Tentative schedule of topics and readings:

Note. This schedule is only tentative. We may get more heavily involved in discussing some topics, so they make take a bit more time; other topics may take less time.

Week 1 - Jan 10-12


TED talk -- Steven Pinker


Language in animals?


Links to videos (includes Kanzi)





Ch. 1-3

Miller, G.A. (1990). The place of language in a scientific psychology. Psychological Science, 1, 7-14

Ch. 13 pp 379-392

Burling, R. (1993). Primate calls, human language, and
nonverbal communication.
Current Anthropology, 34,
(Comments are optional reading)


Week 2 - Jan 17-19


Perception of Language


Fast talking

Vocal fold vibration

Articulatory phonetics (U of Iowa)

Pattern Playback

Behavioral infant study

McGurk effect

Phoneme restoration



Ch. 4 pp. 68-90

McGurk, H., & MacDonald, J. (1976). Hearing lips and seeing voices.
Nature, 264, 746-748.

Nygaard, L. C., Sommers, M. S., & Pisoni, D. B. (1994).
Speech perception as a
talker-contingent process.
Psychological Science, 5, 42-46.

Week 3 - Jan 24-26

Perception of Language, cont.










Ch. 4 pp. 91-101

Daneman, M., & Reingold, E. (1993). What eye fixations tell us about phonological
recoding during reading. Canadian
Journal of Experimental Psychology, 47
153-178. CLICK HERE

Rayner, K., White, S. J., Johnson, R. L., &
Liversedge, S. P. (2006). Raeding wrods with jubmled lettres. There is a cost.
Psychological Science, 17, 192-193.


Week 4 - Jan 31-Feb 2

The Internal Lexicon




Ch. 5




Week 5 - Feb 7-9

The Internal Lexicon, continued







Latent Semantic Analysis (LSA)



Rayner, K., & Frazier, L. (1989). Selection mechanisms in reading lexically
ambiguous words. Journal of
Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 15
, 779-790.

Zwaan, R. A., Stanfield, R. A., & Yaxley, R. H. (2002). Language comprehenders mentally represent the shapes of objects.
Psychological Science, 13, 168-171.




Week 6 - Feb 14-16

Sentence Comprehension





Ch. 6

Ferreira, F., Bailey, K. G. D., & Ferraro, V. (2002). Good-enough representations in language comprehension. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 11, 11-15.

Week 7 - Feb 21-23

Figurative Language






Glucksberg, S. (1998). Understanding metaphors. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 7, 39-43.




Week 8 - Feb 28-Mar 1


Discourse Comprehension



Language Production





Ch. 7 pp. 157-175

Van Den Broek, P., Linzie, B., Fletcher, C., & Marsolek, C. J. (2000). The role of causal discourse structure in narrative writing. Memory & Cognition, 28, 711-721.



Ch. 8 pp. 191-211

Ferreira, V. S., & Griffin, Z. M. (2003). Phonological influences on lexical (mis)selection. Psychological Science, 14, 86-90.

Week 9 - Mar 6-8







Issues in Language Acquisition








Ch. 9 pp. 224-234

Wilkes-Gibbs, D., & Clark, H. H. (1992). Coordinating beliefs in conversation. Journal of Memory and Language, 31, 183-194. CLICK HERE

Keysar, B., & Henly, N. (2002). Speaker's overestimation of their effectiveness. Psychological Science, 13, 207-212.


Ch. 12

Newman, R. S. (2008). The level of detail in infants' word learning. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 17, 229-232.

Yuan, S., & Fisher, C. (2009). "Really? She blicked the baby?": Two-year-olds learn combinatorial facts about verbs by listening. Psychological Science, 20, 619-626.



Week 10 - Mar 13-15




Week 11 - Mar 20-22

***PAPER TOPIC DUE 3/22***










Ch. 11 pp. 310-323

Spivey, M. J., & Marian, V. (1999). Cross-talk between native and second languages: Partial activation of an
irrelevant lexicon. Psychological Science, 10, 281-284.

Bialystok, E., & Craik, F. I. M. (2010). Cognitive and linguistic processing in the bilingual mind. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 19, 19-23.


Week 12 - Mar 27-29

Language and Brain


Aphasia video (Norm Geschwind)

Broca's aphasia video

Wernicke's aphasia video

Ch. 13 pp. 354-379

Bellugi, U., Jarvinen-Pasley, A., Doyle, T. F., Reilly, J., Reiss, A. L., & Korenberg, J. R. (2007). Affect, social behavior, and the brain in Williams Syndrome. Current
Directions in Psychological Science, 16
, 99-104.



Week 13 - Apr 3-5

Language and Brain, Continued


Newscaster aphasia video 1

Newscaster aphasia video 2

Newscaster aphasia video 3

Hemispherectomy video (start at 21:27)


Language and Thought

Language and Thought slides


Ch. 14

Boroditsky, L. (2001). Does language shape thought?: Mandarin and English speakers' conceptions of time. Cognitive Psychology, 43, 1-22.

Barner, D., Li, P., & Snedeker, J. (2010). Words as windows to thought: The case of object representation. Current
Directions in Psychological Science, 19
, 195-200.

Week 14 - Apr 10-12

Student Presentations


Nation, Duff, Haase, Rueschenberg

Curran, Wenck, Boyd, Frana

Week 15 - Apr 17-19

Student Presentations

Arnold, Anderson, Grissom, Dawson, Donaldson

Frundle, Brady, Sipfle, Tazzioli, Malone, Ohge

Week 16 - Apr 24-26

***TERM PAPERS DUE 4/26***

Student Presentations


Pappas, Howie, Waechter, Korpi, Peters

Parmley, Peterson, Tapp, Hasenmiller, Pilney

QUIZ info

Median quiz average = 7.42





8.5-10 A

8-8.49 B+

6.75-8 B

6.25-6.75 B-

5.5-6.25 C+

4.0-5.5 C

< 4.0 D


Term paper handout HERE

Paper grading rubric HERE

Class presentation handout HERE

Presentation grading chart HERE

List of approved paper topics