Individual Differences in Language Ability and Language Behavior

Individual Differences in Language Ability and Language Behavior

1st Edition - January 1, 1979

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  • Editors: Charles J Fillmore, Daniel Kempler, William S-Y. Wang
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483263205

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Individual Differences in Language Ability and Language Behavior is a collection of papers that discusses differences at the center of the study of language, specifically, on the various dimensions of linguistic ability and behavior along which individuals can differ from each other. Papers also review the development of techniques that measure these dimensions in relation to biological, psychological, and cultural parameters. Some papers review individual differences in language study in terms of different perspectives: that of a psychometrician's, of an individualistic's vantage point, and of a psycholinguistic's. Other papers discuss how each individual accesses, uses, and judges his language through fluency, biases, spatial principles, or a linguistic-phonetic mode. Several papers examine individual differences in language acquisition, such as "profile analysis," strategies in acquisition of sounds, second language learning, and duplication of adult language system. A group of papers addresses the biological aspects of language variation. These biological aspects include selective disorders of syntax (agrammatism), selective disorders of lexical retrieval (anomia), and cerebral lateralization effects in language processing. Certain papers explain individual differences in languages using sociolinguistic analysis. The collection is well suited for linguists, ethnologists, psychologists, and researchers whose works involve linguistics, learning, communications, and syntax.

Table of Contents

  • List of Contributors




    Chapter Summaries


    I The Treatment of Individual Differences

    1 Psychometric Approaches to the Study of Language Abilities

    The Place of Psychometrics in Psychology

    Factor-Analytic Studies of Language Abilities

    The Possible Relevance of Language Ability Studies for Linguistic, Psycholinguistic, and Sociolinguistic Research

    Studies of Specific Language Abilities Involved in Foreign Language

    Aptitude Tests


    2 Sapir, Competence, Voices

    3 The Treatment of Individual Differences in Psycholinguistic Research

    II Language Use and Language Judgments

    4 Verbal Fluency and the Language-Bound Effect

    General Method

    Results and Discussion

    General Discussion


    5 On Fluency

    1. The Generativist Position

    2. Language Variability

    3. Two Senses of "Competence"

    4. The Competence-Performance Distinction

    5. Dimensions of Fluency

    6. Sources of Fluency Differences

    7. Research Possibilities

    8. Summary


    6 Language Use and Language Judgment

    1. Population Differences in Metalinguistic Performance, in the Presence of Relatively Invariant Linguistic Performance

    2. Are the Metalinguistic Functions Related to Language Use and Learning?

    3. Summary and Conclusions


    7 Where's English?

    1. Background

    2. The Experiment

    3. The Results

    4. Downshot and Upshot



    III Acquisition

    8 Profile Analysis of Language Disability




    Profiles and Language Disability

    Profile 1: Hugh

    Profile 2: Peter

    Profile 3, 4, and 5: Difficulties with Complex Sentences

    Profiles Extended



    9 Phonology as an Individual Access System: Some Data from Language Acquisition

    1. Individual Differences in Phonology

    2. Individual Differences in Child Phonologies

    3. Toward a Model of Phonology


    10 Individual Differences in Second Language Acquisition

    Cognitive and Social Strategies in Second Language Learning

    Sources of Individual Differences in Second Language Learning



    11 Individual Variation in Some Phonetic Aspects of Language Acquisition



    Aspects of Perception



    IV Neurolinguistics

    12 Individual Variations in the Perception of Dichotic Chords

    13 Effect of Aphasia on the Retrieval of Lexicon and Syntax



    14 How Shall a Thingummy Be Called?




    15 On the Evolution of Neurolinguistic Variability: Fossil Brains Speak

    Materials and Methods



    Summary and Conclusions


    16 Strategies of Linguistic Processing in Human Split-Brain Patients

    Lateralization and Language

    Language Limitations of the Right Hemisphere

    What Is Meant by Language?

    The Cognitive Dispositions of the Right Hemisphere

    A Missing Process in the Right Hemisphere



    V Sociocultural Aspects

    17 Individual and Social Differences in Language Use

    Example 1: Regent St.

    Example 2: Yogurt Dressing

    Example 3: Party

    Example 4: Who's the Artist?

    Example 5: How's the Family?

    Example 6: The Fingers of the Hand

    Example 7: A Gig

    Example 8: I Don't Wanna Read

    Example 9: I Don't Know

    Example 10: A Bridge



    18 Locating the Frontier between Social and Psychological Factors in Linguistic Variation

    A Deviant Individual: Nathan B.

    Individual Variation in Repetition Tests

    Individual Variation in the Acquisition of the Philadelphia Dialect

    Categorical Discrimination


    Subject Index

Product details

  • No. of pages: 362
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 1979
  • Published: January 1, 1979
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483263205

About the Editors

Charles J Fillmore

Daniel Kempler

William S-Y. Wang

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