Encyclopedia of the History of Psychological Theories

2012 Edition
| Editors: Robert W. Rieber

Psycholinguistics in Historical Perspective, From Monologue to Dialogue

  • Daniel C. O’Connell
  • Sabine Kowal
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0463-8_15

A Perspective on the History of Psycholinguistics

In a recent article entitled “Recapturing a context for psychology: The role of history,” Benjamin and Baker ( 2009, p. 97) have stated:

With the ever-increasing fragmentation of psychology into narrower subspecialties, the field devolves further and further into a focus on specialized knowledge, answering smaller questions and avoiding the larger and more meaningful ones.

Their complaint pertains to psychology in general, and the authors suggest that in order to regain a broader intellectual context, “an understanding of the history of psychological science offers a way.” In the following, we wish to take Benjamin and Baker’s lead and apply it to the subdiscipline of psycholinguistics. Our aim is to show that the historical development of psycholinguistics gives hope for a gradual perspectival shift both from an emphasis on the written to an emphasis on the spoken and from monological to dialogical language use.

Accordingly, we wish...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Georgetown UniversityWashingtonUSA
  2. 2.Technical University of BerlinBerlinGermany