Linguistics 3701H / Psychology 3371H: Language and the Mind

This course is an introduction to the psychological processes for producing and understanding speech, the means by which they arise in the child, and bases in the brain.

Instructor: William Schuler

Meeting time: Tuesday and Thursday 9:35am-10:55pm in Oxley 122

Web site: The updated syllabus, assignments, slides, etc. will be posted here, so check it regularly.

Textbook: "Language in Mind: An introduction to Psycholinguistics," Julie Sedivy. Sinauer Associates, 2014. ISBN 978-0-87-893598-7.

Course Content:

Wk Reading due Monday Lecture: Tuesday Reading due Wednesday Lecture: Thursday
1 1/8 Sedivy Ch 1 pp 1—7 1/9
overview of course, overview of field, language and thought
1/10 Sedivy Ch 2 pp 9—31 1/11
background: neural activation
2 1/15 Sedivy Ch 2 pp 31—53 1/16
origins of language
1/17 Tom Mitchell video 1/18 PS1 handout
discuss Tom Mitchell video
3 1/22 Sedivy Ch 3 pp 55—75 1/23
background: associative memory
1/24 Sedivy Ch 3 pp 75—104 1/25
language and the brain
4 1/29 PS1 extended to 1/31 1/30
background: complex ideas
1/31 PS1 due, van Dyke and Johns 2012 2/1
discussion of van Dyke and Johns 2012
5 2/5 Sedivy Ch 4 pp 104—121 2/6 PS2 handout
background: generalization (learning)
2/7 Sedivy Ch 4 pp 121—143 2/8
learning sound patterns
6 2/12 Sedivy Ch 5 pp 145—168 2/13
probabilistic grammar
2/14 Sedivy Ch 5 pp 168—184 2/15
learning words
7 2/19 Sedivy Ch 6 pp 185—206 2/20
probabilistic grammar acquisition
2/21 Sedivy Ch 6 pp 206—231 2/22
learning sentence structure
8 2/26 PS2 due; review weeks 1—6 2/27
review session
2/28 review weeks 1—6 3/1
(midterm 1)
9 3/5 Sedivy Ch 7 pp 233—252 3/6 PS3 handout
background: hierarchic prediction
3/7 Sedivy Ch 7 pp 252—277 3/8
word recognition
10 (spring break) (spring break) (spring break) (spring break)
11 3/19 Sedivy Ch 8 pp 279—295 3/20
processes: encoding and decoding cued associations
3/21 Sedivy Ch 8 pp 295—328 3/22
understanding meaning
12 3/26 PS3 due 3/27
processes: ambiguity and resolution
3/28 Levy 2008 pp 1126—1144 excluding proof in sect 2.1 3/29
discussion of Levy 2008
13 4/2 Levy 2008 pp 1144—1169 4/3 PS4 handout
cont'd discussion of Levy 2008
4/4 Sedivy Ch 9 pp 329—346 4/5
processes: probabilistic interactive semantics
14 4/9 Sedivy Ch 9 pp 346—371 4/10
4/11 Pickering and Garrod 2013 4/12
discussion of Pickering and Garrod 2013
15 4/16 PS4 due; review wks 9—15 4/17
review session
4/18 review wks 9—15 4/19
(midterm 2)

Successful course participation involves:

Students with Disabilities:

Students who need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact me to arrange an appointment as soon as possible to discuss the course format, to anticipate needs, and to explore potential accommodations. I rely on the Office of Disability Services for assistance in verifying the need for accommodations and developing accommodation strategies. Students who have not previously contacted the Office for Disability Services are encouraged to do so (292-3307;

Academic Misconduct:

It is the responsibility of the Committee on Academic Misconduct to investigate or establish procedures for the investigation of all reported cases of student academic misconduct. The term "academic misconduct" includes all forms of student academic misconduct wherever committed; illustrated by, but not limited to, cases of plagiarism and dishonest practices in connection with examinations. Instructors shall report all instances of alleged academic misconduct to the committee (Faculty Rule 3335-5-487). For additional information, see the Code of Student Conduct

Academic dishonesty is not allowed and will be reported to the University Committee on Academic Misconduct.

General Education Requirements

This course fulfills "GE Social Science: Individuals and Groups"

Goals: Students understand the systematic study of human behavior and cognition; the structure of human societies, cultures, and institutions; and the processes by which individuals, groups, and societies interact, communicate, and use human, natural, and economic resources.

Expected Learning Outcomes:

  1. Students understand the theories and methods of social scientific inquiry as they apply to the study of individuals and groups.
  2. Students understand the behavior of individuals, differences and similarities in social and cultural contexts of human existence, and the processes by which groups function.
  3. Students comprehend and assess individual and group values and their importance in social problem solving and policy making.
Students are expected to achieve these goals through in-class group exercises and discussions and through homework that focus on similarities and differences in language processing across individuals.