Accessibility statement



This module provides an overview of issues in psycholinguistics. It will focus on different levels of representation and processing (speech, words, sentences, discourse) and summarise relevant evidence from illusions, errors (slips of the tongue/ear, comprehension errors), Reaction Time, eye movement, together with results from developmental and acquired disorders.

The module will cover a selection of the following areas (not all areas will be covered each time the module is offered):

  • Speech perception, comprehension, and production
  • Speech errors
  • Lexical Access
  • Morphological Processing
  • Syntactic Processing
  • Discourse Processing
  • Experimental methods in psycholinguistics
  • Language acquisition and breakdown
  • Language in the brain (a brief introduction)

At the end of the module the student should:

  • Have a good understanding of key issues in psycholinguistics
  • Be familiar with methods in psycholinguistic research
  • Be familiar with major results in the areas of psycholinguistics covered
  • Be able to critically evaluate some of the issues involved in psycholinguistics

This module will be capped at 35.


Students must have successfully completed:

  • L09C Introduction to phonetics and phonology
  • L11C Introduction to syntax

Also ONE of the following:

  • L16I Intermediate syntax
  • L09I Intermediate phonetics and phonology
  • L08I Introduction to language acquisition

Information for visiting students: You will need to have had at least one year's course work in syntax and one year's in phonetics/phonology.


Contact hours

Approximately 3 contact hours per week, divided between lectures and practical work or seminars.

Teaching programme

Topics will include:

  • speech perception
  • lexical access
  • morphological processing
  • syntactic processing

(experimentation in psycholinguistics is covered in some of these areas)

Teaching materials

Textbook: To be confirmed.
A pack of readings will be available.

Suggestions for reading before the module starts

Try dipping into the suggestions below or into any other ‘Introduction to Psycholinguistics’ textbook you come across. (Note that these are not set textbooks for the module.)

  • Altmann, Gerry. T. M. (1997). The Ascent of Babel. Oxford University Press.
  • Fernández Eva M. & Helen Smith Cairns. 2010. Fundamentals of Psycholinguistics. Wiley-Blackwell.

Assessment and feedback

Formative assessment

Frequent exercises with feedback provided throughout the term.

Summative assessment and feedback

  • One summative exercise
    • Due: Week 8 of Autumn Term
    • Weight: 20%
    • Feedback: essay marks and comments provided within four weeks of submission.
  • 2-hour closed examination
    • Date: Week 1 of Spring Term
    • Weight: 80%
    • Feedback: Mark on university scale for whole module published by Term 2, Week 6. Students will be entitled to see their exam script with comments made on it, under supervision, on an appointed date after Week 6, Spring Term.

Transferable skills developed in this module

All modules provide an opportunity to work on general oral/written communication skills (in class and in assessments) and general self management (organising your studies), alongside the specific skills in language or linguistics that the module teaches.

In addition, this module will allow you to particularly develop skills in the application of data management skills.  This module allows you to develop skills in understanding and interpreting specific sets of data, in a theoretical context.

Follow this link to hear how past students use transferable skills from their degree in their current jobs.

About this module

  • Module name
  • Course code
    L27H (LAN00027H)
  • Teacher   
    Nino Grillo
  • Term(s) taught
  • Credits