Semester: Wintersemester 2015/2016

3.03.320 Words in the mind and other stuff of thought: The mental lexicon as a milestone of language processing


  • Donnerstag: 08:00 - 10:00, wöchentlich


Linguistic theories typically assume two major components of language: a lexicon that captures information about words, their components, and their meanings, and a grammar providing principles of combining the words into phrases and sentences. But how exactly do we get from a physical speech signal or a concatenation of letters to a proper interpretation of meaning in real life?
This seminar focuses on the mental lexicon, its organization, and how the stored information can be accessed in real time as people try to understand sentences and utterances. Relevant aspects include:
- Theories on the organizational structure of the lexicon
- Aspects of lexical access
- Models of word recognition
- Mental representations and computational processes in the brain
- Multimodal influences
- Experimental methods for investigating word processing

A focus will be on spoken language processing, but influences of orthography (graphematics) may become relevant. Comparisons of spoken and written input may be enlightening. Similarly, cross-linguistic comparisons may help to better grasp the important representational and processing aspects during word recognition and integration.
Students are encouraged to conduct a small (supervised) empirical research project on a relevant topic or research question of choice.

Language of instruction can be either English or German (participants’ choice), but the literature is in English.



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