A comprehensive textbook, Psychology of Language examines both the formal/structural aspects of linguistics and psycholinguistics and the concerns of sociolinguistics, conversation analysis, and social semiotics. In a clear and lively presentation, author Michael A. Forrester discusses three levels of communication: Thinking, the cognitive processes of self-communication; Talk, with an emphasis on everyday conversational behavior; Text, including the study of reading and writing
Within these areas, Forrester introduces a wide range of subjects, from language structure, semantics, and deixis to conversation, power relations in language, interpretation, and postmodern psychology.
Thorough and informative, Psychology of Language provides students of linguistics, sociolinguistics, rhetoric, and social psychology with a critical overview that integrates diverse themes.
Chapter 2: Language Structure and the Significance of Recursion
Language Structure and the Significance of Recursion
You have only to stop for a second and consider the nature of language to recognise that it has structure. As children we learned in the first few years of life that we couldn't just arrange the sounds we made in any old fashion; they had to follow a certain order. There were ‘sound-rules’ to comply with, ways of saying things in the correct fashion. As adults we know that it is simply impossible to communicate any thought independently of language,1 and it has been suggested that when we give attention to the medium, we are giving attention to the substance of our thoughts. But, the age-old question of which comes first, ...