Introduction to psycholinguistics: Investigating linguistic meaning

This course is aimed at students who have had little or no contact to psycholinguistics before. The focus of the course lies in introducing students to the core topics and methods in the psycholinguistic study of linguistic meaning, with a particular focus on pragmatic and discourse phenomena, e.g. perspective taking, pragmatic inferences, discourse management and coherence, etc. We will cover both theoretical issues as well as some of the tools used by psycholinguists to address and investigate their research questions. The course will be divided into two main parts: first, we will explore what psycholinguistics is, focusing on two of its core areas of study – language production and language comprehension; then, we will delve into selected papers from the psycholinguistic literature, discussing and analyzing them against the background of the issues presented in the first part of the course. Students are expected to obtain a basic understanding of what it means to investigate the semantics and pragmatics of natural language using psycholinguistic methods. By the end of the course, they should be able to critically assess how empirical data from psycholinguistic studies relates to theories of language and cognition, particularly when considering issues at the interface between different scientific [sub]disciplines.