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Words in the Mind: An Introduction to the Mental Lexicon

Words in the Mind: An Introduction to the Mental Lexicon

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By (author) Jean Aitchison

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  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Ltd
  • Format: Paperback | 352 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 226mm x 18mm | 399g
  • Publication date: 21 February 2012
  • Publication City/Country: Chichester
  • ISBN 10: 0470656476
  • ISBN 13: 9780470656471
  • Edition: 4, Revised
  • Edition statement: 4th Revised edition
  • Sales rank: 334,300

Product description

Featuring new coverage of the brain and language, and lexical corpora, the 4th edition of Words in the Mind offers readers the latest thinking about the ways in which we learn words, remember them, understand them, and find the ones we want to use. Explores the latest insights into the complex relationship between language, words, and the human mind, creating a rich and revealing resource for students and non-specialists alike Addresses the structure and content of the human word-store -- the 'mental lexicon' -- with particular reference to the spoken language of native English speakers Features a wealth of new material, including an all-new chapter focusing exclusively on the brain and language, and enhanced coverage of lexical corpora -- computerized databases -- and on lexical change of meaning Incorporates numerous updates throughout, including expansion of many notes and suggestions for further reading Comprises state-of-the-art research, yet remains accessible and student-friendly

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Author information

Jean Aitchison is Emeritus Rupert Murdoch Professor of Language and Communication at the University of Oxford. She is the author of numerous books on language, including Language Change: Progress or Decay? (Third Edition, 2001), The Word Weavers: Newshounds and Wordsmiths (2007), Aitchison's Linguistics (Seventh Edition, 2010), and The Articulate Mammal (Routledge Classics Edition, 2011).

Back cover copy

"Words in the Mind," is all about words: how we learn them, remember them, understand them, and find the precise ones we wish to use. It also addresses the structure and content of the human word-store - the 'mental lexicon' - with particular reference to the spoken language of native English speakers. Great strides have been made in our understanding of the lexicon since the first three editions of "Words in the Mind" were published, and it has developed into a major interest of study among linguists, psychologists, sociologists, and those who teach English as a second language. In addition to numerous updates and revisions, this latest edition features a wealth of new material, including an all-new chapter focusing exclusively on the brain and language. Enhanced coverage is also provided on lexical corpora - computerized databases - and on lexical change of meaning. Many of the notes and suggestions for further reading are also expanded and updated. Written by a true master of making scholarly concepts accessible, the fourth edition of "Words in the Mind" remains a rich and revealing resource for students and non-specialists alike, presenting the latest insights into the complex relationship between language, words, and the human mind.

Table of contents

Preface ix Acknowledgments xi Abbreviations and Symbols xiii Part I: Aims and Evidence 1 1 Welcome to Dictionopolis! 3 The human word-store 2 Links in the Chain 18 Assessing the evidence 3 Programming Dumbella 32 Modeling the mental lexicon 4 Brainy Matters 42 The physical underlay Part II: Basic Ingredients 51 5 Slippery Customers 53 Attempts to pin down the meaning of words 6 Bad Birds and Better Birds 66 Prototype theories 7 Whispering Chambers of the Imagination 80 Mental models 8 The Primordial Atomic Globule Hunt 90 The search for semantic primitives 9 Word-webs 99 Semantic networks 10 Close Companions 113 Words which cling together 11 Lexical All-sorts 119 Parts of speech 12 Verb Power 131 The role of verbs 13 Bits of Words 145 The internal architecture of words 14 Taking Care of the Sounds 157 Dealing with the sound patterns Part III: Newcomers 169 15 Multiple Meanings 171 The polysemy problem 16 Interpreting Ice-cream Cones 182 Metaphor and metonymy 17 Globbering Mattresses 194 Creating new words 18 What is a Bongaloo, Daddy? 209 How children learn the meaning of words 19 Aggergog Miggers, Wips and Gucks 222 How children cope with the sounds of words Part IV: The Overall Picture 235 20 Seeking and Finding 237 Selecting words 21 Organized Guesswork 248 Recognizing words 22 Odd Arrangements and Funny Solutions 261 The organization of the mental lexicon 23 Last Word 267 Final comments and future questions Notes 270 References 292 Index 327