Date of Award


Document Type




First Advisor

Dr. Weldon E. Vogt


Communication has proved to be an essential facet of life. Language has been with us a long time. Every normal person in the world eventually will talk. By virtue of this fact, every person--civilized or uncivilized--carries through life certain ideas about talking and its relation to thinking. These notions, naive but deeply rooted, tend to be intolerant of opposition because of their firm connection with speech habits that have become unconscious and automatic. We use language to communicate meaning or to send a message from one person to another. But how is this "communication code" developed? Is it acquired? Why do we say things the way we do? How do we put sounds and words together to form a complete thought? why do we use the specific forms we do?

In both education and psychology there are strong indications of renewed interest in language as a subject matter in its own right and as an important domain of human behavior. Beyond the application of linguistics to the teaching of grammar, reading, and foreign language, there are investigations of language and thought in European, American, and Soviet psychology and education that may considerably improve our knowledge of how language is acquired and how it relates to thought.

The following discussion will attempt to define linguistics and psycholinguistics, briefly discuss how we acquire language (including various developmental theories), psycholinguistics components involved, and present a basis for instruction in language and thought. As I have studied and researched this area, I have found much of the information to be well above my comprehensive abilities. This paper in no way reflects my knowledge but is an attempt to learn and understand more of the complicated but very interesting field of psycholinguistics.



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