Theoretical and Historical Roots of Psycholinguistic Research

  • R. W. Rieber
  • Harold Vetter
Part of the Studies in Applied Psycholinguistics book series (SAP)


Psycholinguistics can be said to have originated as far back in the history of philosophy as one cares to trace psychology. The widespread use of the term psycholinguistics and the development of a distinct discipline with that title, however, go back only to the early 1950s, when George Miller, Charles Osgood, and other psychologists introduced a knowledge of linguistics into the psychological study of language.1 Prior to that time, psychological studies of “verbal learning” dated from the concern of Ebbinghaus (1885) with memory and are tied to a strand of theory that can be followed back to the associationism of Locke [1632–1704]. To the extent that verbal learning theorists in psychology were almost totally lacking in linguistic sophistication, it might be said that their research interests represented precisely what psycholinguistics was not.


Human Language Deaf Child Philosophical Transaction Historical Root Deaf People 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. W. Rieber
    • 1
    • 2
  • Harold Vetter
    • 3
  1. 1.John Jay College of Criminal JusticeCUNYNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.College of Physicians and SurgeonsColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.University of South FloridaTampaUSA

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