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A psycholinguist is a social scientist who studies Psycholinguistics. Psycholinguistics is interdisciplinary in nature and is studied by people in a variety of fields, such as psychology, cognitive science, and linguistics. There are several subdivisions within psycholinguistics that are based on the components that make up human language.
More specifically, a psycholinguist studies language and speech production and comprehension using behavioral methods traditionally developed in the field of psychology. Due to its interdisciplinary nature, psycholinguists can be found in linguistic, psychology, cognitive sciences, communication science and disorders and other departments. The main aim of psycholinguistics is to outline and describe the process of producing and comprehending communication. In the tradition of psychology, various models are used to further this understanding.
It is also important to note the traditionally antagonistic relationship between linguists and psycholinguists. Following the "Chomsky Revolution", linguists suddenly found themselves the center of attention. Shortly thereafter, the exciting idea of finding meaning in language was rejected by Chomsky himself and linguists rapidly lost their celebrity status. Following the turbulence of the field in the 60's and 70's, many linguists chose to revert to previously favored methods of strict observation and description. Linguists look upon psycholinguists as missing the point in language description and ignoring wide amounts of variability in language. Psycholinguists look upon linguists as antiquated and atheoretical.
Psycholinguists currently represent a widely diverse field. Many psycholinguists are also considered to be neurolinguists, cognitive linguists, and/or neurocognitive linguists themselves or are associated with those who are. There are subtle differences between the titles, though they are all attempting to use different facets of similar issues.
- Definition of Psycholinguistics LaborLawTalk Dictionary
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