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Psycholinguistics

Psycholinguistics or psychology of language is the study of the psychological and neurobiological factors that enable humans to acquire, use, and understand language.

Initial forays into psycholinguistics were largely philosophical ventures, due mainly to a lack of cohesive data on how the human brain functioned.

Modern research makes use of biology, neuroscience, cognitive science, and information theory to study how the brain processes language.

There are a number of subdisciplines; for example, as non-invasive techniques for studying the neurological workings of the brain become more and more widespread, neurolinguistics has become a field in its own right.

Psycholinguistics covers the cognitive processes that make it possible to generate a grammatical and meaningful sentence out of vocabulary and grammatical structures, as well as the processes that make it possible to understand utterances, words, text, etc.

Developmental psycholinguistics studies infants' and children's ability to learn language, usually with experimental or at least quantitative methods (as opposed to naturalistic observations such as those made by Jean Piaget in his research on the development of children).

Psycholinguistics is interdisciplinary in nature and is studied by people in a variety of fields, such as psychology, cognitive science, and linguistics.

There are several subdivisions within psycholinguistics that are based on the components that make up human language.

Note:   The above text is excerpted from the Wikipedia article "Psycholinguistics", which has been released under the GNU Free Documentation License.
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