Relationship Between Linguistics And Psychology;5 Facts

Relationship Between Linguistics And Psychology. Linguistics studies human language. Language is behavior or a cognitive process or both, is still a controversial issue yet it is well accepted that psychology is the study of human behavior and human mind. Hence both linguistics and psychology are closely related.

What Is Relationship Between Linguistics And Psychology.

Relationship Between Linguistics And Psychology

Investigations and attempts to find out answers to certain fundamental questions like the following are likely to provide invaluable clues to the linguistic: What is the principle of Learning? How is language learned by a child? Does the learning of mother tongue involve the same processes as the learning of second or foreign language? How does a child select the sounds that Belong to

 Is Language learning a result of stimulus-response, Imitation, repetition, reinforcement or of exposure? Can a child whose brain is injured in an accident relearn a language? Does the loss of linguistic skills affect his other skills? What roles does memory, motivation, age aptitude, play in language learning? Surely the answers to such help both the linguist and the scientist.

Etymologically, the word psychology comes from the Ancient Greek psyche which means soul or spirit and logos which means science so that if it literally means the science of the soul.

Following its development, psychology was then divided into several streams according to the philosophical understanding adopted, namely psychology which is mentalistic, behavioristic and also cognitive.

Understanding Psychology.

Relationship Between Linguistics And Psychology

Psychology is a process of reason by looking inside oneself as a stimulus that occurs. Behavioristic psychology gave birth to several streams called behavioral psychology.

The main purpose of psychology is to study the process of the human mind in the form of reactions if a stimulus occurs and then controls the behavior.

Cognitive psychology and commonly referred to as cognitive psychology is a human way to interpret, acquire, store, issue, use and organize knowledge, including the development and use of language knowledge.

In its development, psychology is more about discussing or studying the human side of things that can be observed. Later in its development, psychology was re-divided into several streams according to the philosophical understanding adopted so that it was finally known as metalistic psychology, behavioristic psychology and also cognitive psychology.

Mentalistic psychology then gave birth to a stream that reviews consciousness which aims to examine the process of the human mind by means of introspection, so it is called introspectionism psychology.

While cognitive psychology which is called cognitive psychology examines the scientific process of human cognitive, namely the process of reason such as human thoughts and thinking which is responsible for regulating human experience and behavior. The main thing studied by cognitive psychology is about how humans interpret, acquire, store and also use language knowledge.

Understanding Linguistics

In general, linguistics is defined as the science of language or the science that uses language as an object of study, while linguists are called linguists.

However, in English, linguist also means people who are good at using language as well as having the meaning of linguistic expert.

A linguist learns a language not as the main goal to be proficient in using the language but to know the rules of the structure of the language and also various aspects and aspects related to the language. Meanwhile, someone who is clever and fluent in several languages ​​is not necessarily a linguist if he has not studied the theory of language.

For this reason, a person like this is more fitting to be called a polygote or multilingual as a doctomy from a monoglot or one-speaking one.

Relationship Between Linguistics And Psychology You Must Know


Linguistics can be seen from various branches of linguistics which are made on the basis of several criteria or views and in general the field of linguistics is as follows.

  1. According to the object of study

Linguistics is divided into two major branches, namely micro and macro linguistics. The object of micro study is the internal structure of language which includes the structure of phonology, syntax, lexicon and morphology. While the object of study for macro is language in relation to several factors from outside the language such as sociology, anthropology , neurology and psychology.

  1. According to the purpose of the study

According to the purpose of the study, linguistics can be divided into two major fields, namely theoretical and applied. Theoretical studies are aimed at finding linguistic theory only and only to make descriptive linguistic rules. While applied studies aim to apply linguistic rules in practical activities such as language teaching, dictionary preparation, translators and others.

  1. According to history

Historical linguistics studies the development and changes of a language or several languages, whether with comparison or not. While the history of linguistics studies the development of linguistic knowledge about figures, theoretical trends and also the results of work.

Definition of Psycholinguistics

Etymologically, the word psycholinguistics which is one of the special types of psychology is formed from the words psychology and linguistics which are 2 different fields of science and each stands alone with different procedures and methods as well.

However, the relationship between the two is the same to examine language as a formal object but with different material objects where linguistics examines the structure of language, while psychology studies language behavior or language processes.

Psycholinguistics seeks to describe the psychological processes that take place when someone is saying the sentences that are heard when communicating and how humans acquire language skills so that different linguistic intelligences are obtained .

So theoretically, the main goal of psycholinguistics is to find a theory of language that is linguistically acceptable and psychologically able to explain the nature of language and how to obtain it.

In other words, psycholinguistics seeks to explain the nature of the structure of language and how the structure is obtained, used when speaking and when understanding sentences in the narrative.

Subdiscipline of Psycholinguistics

Psycholinguistics itself has developed rapidly and eventually created several subdisciplines of psycholinguistics and some of them are theoretical psycholinguistics, developmental psycholinguistics, social psycholinguistics, educational psycholinguistics, experimental psycholinguistics, applied psycholinguistics.

  • Theoretical psycholinguistics : Discusses language theory related to human mental processes in language. For example, phonetic design, syntactic design, word choice design, discourse design and intonation design.
  • Developmental psycholinguistics : Dealing with the process of language acquisition, either a first language or a second language.
  • Social Psycholinguistics : Dealing with the social aspects of language where for a language community, language is not only a symptom and social identity but is an inner bond and conscience that is hard to leave.
  • Educational psycholinguistics : Examines aspects of education in general in formal school education. Neurological psycholinguistics: Discusses the relationship between language, language and the human brain where neurologists have succeeded in analyzing the biological structure of the brain and naming each part of the brain structure.
  • Experimental psycholinguistics : Conducting experiments on all language and language activities on the one hand and language behavior and the consequences of language on the other.
  • Applied Psycholinguistics : Dealing with the application of the findings of the 6 subdisciplines of psycholinguistics to specific areas of need and included in these subdisciplines are linguistics, psychology, comprehension and speech, language learning, teaching reading, psychiatry, neurology, literature and communication.

Parent of the Discipline of Psycholinguistics

Psycholinguistics is a combination of psychology and linguistics which then finally raises a question what is the parent discipline of psycholinguistics, whether linguistics or psychology?.

Some experts then assume that psycholinguistics is a branch of psychological discipline because the name psycholinguistics has been created to replace the old name in psychology, namely the psychology of language.

While linguists say that psycholinguistics is a branch of the main discipline of linguistics because language is the main object studied by linguists and also psycholinguistic experts who study all aspects of the language.

In the United States, psycholinguistics is generally considered a branch of linguistics although there are also some who think that psycholinguistics is a branch of psychology . Chomsky assumes that psycholinguistics is a branch of psychology.

Psycholinguistics developed in language education should be in harmony with the development of linguistics and also the development of psychology so that a balanced mastery in psychological theory is needed and must be developed in language education, namely the sub-discipline of developmental psycholinguistics and also educational psycholinguistics.

The relationship between linguistic psychology and psycholinguistics is how to process or describe the ongoing psychology when someone is saying a sentence that is heard when communicating and also how the language ability is acquired by humans. Thus, the goal of psycholinguistics itself is to find a linguistically acceptable theory of language that can also be explained in psychology about the nature of language and how to obtain it. Linguistic psychology and psycholinguistics actually cannot be separated even though each of them can stand alone, but both have the same function to research language even though the methods used are different.

Relationship Between Linguistics And Psychology You Must Know

Linguistics and psychology, though distinct disciplines, share substantial overlap, particularly when it comes to understanding how humans produce, process, and comprehend language. The relationship between the two can be explored across several domains:

  1. Psycholinguistics: This is perhaps the most direct intersection of linguistics and psychology. Psycholinguistics studies the cognitive processes behind language acquisition, comprehension, production, and disorders. This area examines questions such as how children acquire language, how adults process and produce linguistic utterances, and how the brain supports these functions.
  2. Neurolinguistics: A subfield of both neuroscience and linguistics, neurolinguistics explores how the brain processes language. Techniques such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) or event-related potentials (ERPs) are employed to understand the neurological basis of language processing.
  3. Language Development: Both psychologists and linguists are interested in how language skills develop across the lifespan. Developmental psychologists might study the cognitive underpinnings of language milestones in infants and children, while linguists may focus on the sequence and patterns of linguistic acquisition.
  4. Cognitive Science: This interdisciplinary field encompasses aspects of psychology, linguistics, philosophy, computer science, and neuroscience to understand the nature of cognition. Language often serves as a primary model system for theories of cognition.
  5. Sociolinguistics and Social Psychology: Sociolinguistics studies the relationship between language and society. There’s overlap here with social psychology, which explores how societal factors and interpersonal dynamics influence behavior. Both fields can study topics like language attitudes, biases, and stereotypes.
  6. Language Disorders: Both disciplines contribute to the understanding of language disorders such as aphasia (language loss due to brain damage), dyslexia (difficulty reading despite normal intelligence), or Specific Language Impairment (difficulty in language acquisition without any clear cause). While linguists might focus on the specific language deficits and patterns, psychologists would likely approach the topic from a cognitive or developmental perspective.

To create a comparison between linguistics and psychology, let’s look at them in a tabular format, highlighting their primary areas of focus, methodologies, applications, and key concepts.

Aspect Linguistics Psychology
Definition Study of language structure, development, and usage Study of mind and behavior
Primary Focus Syntax, semantics, phonetics, phonology Cognitive processes, emotions, behavior
Methodologies Text analysis, field studies, computational models Experiments, surveys, case studies, psychoanalysis
Applications Language teaching, translation, computational linguistics Therapy, counseling, human-computer interaction
Key Concepts Grammar, dialect, language acquisition Mental health, learning, memory, perception
Interdisciplinary Link Psycholinguistics (study of language processing) Neuropsychology (study of brain and behavior)

This table encapsulates the fundamental differences and connections between linguistics and psychology. While linguistics is more focused on language and its aspects, psychology covers a broader range of human mental processes and behaviors. Both fields intersect in areas like psycholinguistics, which explores how language is understood, produced, and remembered by the mind.

by Abdullah Sam
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