Written by Talat BULUT, Denise H. WU on . Posted in Volume XX, Nr 2


Talat BULUT1,2,*, Denise H. WU1

1 Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, National Central University, Taiwan
2 Department of Speech and Language Therapy, Istanbul Medipol University, Turkey


Advances in linguistic theorizing in the second half of the 20th century motivated many psychologists to become interested in language processing. This interest at times turned into frustration due to lack of empirical evidence for the asserted linguistic postulates. This article briefly reviews some of the major interactions between Linguistics, Psycholinguistics, and other domains of cognitive science with respect to language processing. Specifically, perspectives of Chomsky’s Generative Grammar framework on language processing are discussed, with a focus on some of its key constructs and postulates such as derivation, traces and movement, which have been put to empirical test by psycholinguists. Additionally, the overemphasis placed by Generative Grammar on syntax is discussed, as it has been challenged by other linguists, who put forward new approaches to understand language processing. Particular emphasis is put on the Simpler Syntax Hypothesis, as it has been shown that this approach attempts to balance the division of labor between syntax and semantics, striving to incorporate findings from other cognitive sciences in linguistic research. It is argued that in spite of apparent discontent of psycholinguists with Linguistics, the latter domain has provided valuable insights into our understanding of language. It is concluded that more realistic and promising insights into language processing are expected from future research due to greater openness of the linguistic and psycholinguistic fields to findings from other cognitive science domains.

KEYWORDS: language processing, linguistics, psycholinguistics, generative grammar, simpler syntax hypothesis

PAGES: 87-99

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