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 3: Semantics: The Concept of Meaning
Semantics: The Concept of Meaning
One of the problems with syntactic approaches to the study of language is the precise role of semantics or meaning in the models proposed. On occasion critics of Chomsky have ridiculed the theory of transformational grammar as being largely irrelevant with respect to what words and sentences actually mean in context (Grice, 1957). However, it needs to be remembered that the Chomskian tradition in linguistics and psycholinguistics does not evade the question of meaning (see Figure 2.4, p. 25), and it is often recognised that transformational grammars and other such formalisms, although providing insights into the form or structure of language, are not appropriate analytical tools for studying meaning. Saussure and Chomsky, as structuralists, are concerned ...