Psycholinguistics is a new branch of linguistics which was developed by Chomsky school of thought. It is the study of interrelationship of psychological and linguistic behavior. It uses linguistic concepts and factors to describe Psychological -processes connected with the acquisition and use of language.
Chomsky as psycholingustics.
Now-a days it is related with the development of generative theory, and its most important area of research is learner language acquisition .It has debated deeply the interesting question of language acquisition process such as how do children acquire and learn their mother tongue? How much they grow up linguistically base acquisition and learn to handle the symbolic words, jargon, and stylistic varieties of their mother tongue effectively?
How much of the linguistic competence that they ultimately command are they born with and how much do they discover on the basis of their exposure to language and observation.Much of psycholinguistics has been deeply influenced by generative theory and tends to be considered so-called mentalists.The most important area is the research of language acquisition by children. In this respect there have been many studies of both a theoretical and a descriptive kind.Even elementary questions as when and how the child develops its ability to ask question syntactically, or when it learns the inflectional system of its language, remained unanswered. And a great deal of work has been done recently on the methodological and descriptive problems related to the obtaining and analyzing information of this kind.’
The theoretical questions have focused on the issue of how we can account for the phenomenon of language development in children at all. Normal children have mastered most of the structures of their language by the age of five or six.The generative approach argued ‘against the earlier behaviorist assumptions that it was possible to explain language development largely in terms of imitation and selective reinforcement.
It says that it was not possible to explain the rapidly or the complexity of language used by the people around them.Psycho linguists therefore argue that imitation is not enough; it is not merely by mechanical repetition that children acquire language. Both nature and nurture influence the acquisition of language in children. Children learn first not items and things but systems language process. Every normal child comes to develop this abstract knowledge of his mother tongue even of a foreign language to some extent for himself; and the generative approach argues that such a process is only explicable if one postulates-that certain features of this competence and present in the brain of the child right from the beginning.
We must remember that when Chomsky talks about ‘rules’, he means the competence rules in a child’s mind. These rules enable him to produce grammatical sentences in his own language. Chomsky does not mean that the child can describe these rules explicitly. but it’s in the unconscious of child For example, a five year old child can produce a sentence like I have finished my lunch; he can do that because he has a ‘mental grammar which enables him to form correct present perfect structures and also to use such structures in the right or appropriate situations. But he cannot say the present perfect tense is formed by have’ or has’ plus a past and present participle verbs, in these situation.
The evidence in favor of Chomsky’s view that the child ‘builds his own grammar’ by means of some innate mental capacity is very strong. Most psychologists of language agree with this theory. However, few people are extreme mentalist or extreme behaviorists. Behaviorism may not tell us much about the way in which we learn our mother tongue, but it can point the way to successful strategies in the learning of a foreign language when we are older.