The Psychology of Language and Communication

1986 Psychology Press

This wide-ranging introduction to the psychology of human language use offers a new breadth of approach by breaching conventional disciplinary boundaries with examples and perspectives drawn from many subdisciplines - cognitive and social psychology, psycholinguistics, neuropsychology and sociology. After an exploration of the diverse nature of communication, using examples throughout the animal kingdom, the authors focus on the range of human communicative channels, the nature of human language and the variations occurring between and within societies and cultures. Subsequent chapters cover speech production as a psycholinguistic skill; the coordination of verbal and non-verbal channels; the structure and management of conversations; language perception and comprehension; the cognitive neuropsychology of language, and the development of communicative skills. The book also presents an informative and entertaining historical perspective, and illustrates the fact that insights gained into controversial problems in other fields and at other times can shed light on many of today's most contentious debates in psychology.

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‘The non-specialist reader will find this the most accessible of the texts and the one which has the most relevance to concerns beyond psycholinguistics.’
Times Higher Educational Supplement, 1986

‘Ellis and Beattie (1986) cover a wide field in a lively and amazingly concise manner. A first-rate text that combines illustrations with hard data most impressively, it is difficult to imagine a better broad text.’
Professor Peter Robinson, 1992