The rise and (surprisingly rapid) fall of psycholinguistics

Synthese 72 (September):325-339 (1987)
Abstract
  Psycholinguistics re-emerged in an almost explosive fashion during the 1950s and 1960s. It then underwent an equally abrupt decline as an independent sub-discipline. This paper charts this fall and identifies five general factors which, it is argued, were responsible for its demise. These are: (a) an uncompromisingly strong version of nativism; (b) a growing isolation of psycholinguistics from the body psychology; (c) a preference for formal theory over empirical data; (d) several abrupt modifications in the Standard Theory in linguistics; and (e) a failure to appreciate the strong commitment to functionalism that characterizes experimental psychology. In short, what looked like a revolution two decades ago turned out to be merely a local reformation that occurred along side of and largely independent from the real revolution in the cognitive sciences
Keywords History  Language  Psycholinguistics  Science  Chomsky, N
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