Words in the Mind
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Words in the Mind : An Introduction to the Mental Lexicon

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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 alikeAddresses the structure and content of the human word-store the mental lexicon with particular reference to the spoken language of native English speakersFeatures 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 meaningIncorporates numerous updates throughout, including expansion of many notes and suggestions for further readingComprises state-of-the-art research, yet remains accessible and student-friendly
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Product details

  • Paperback | 350 pages
  • 152 x 226 x 18mm | 399.16g
  • John Wiley & Sons Ltd
  • Chichester, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 4th Edition
  • 0470656476
  • 9780470656471
  • 349,469

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.
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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
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About Jean Aitchison

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).
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