New literature: An Introduction to Language and Linguistics, eds. Ralph W. Fasold & Jeff Connor-Linton, Cambridge University Press, 2014


In Chapter 7: Language and The Brain, psycholinguistics, biocognitive and neurocognitive bases of language are outlined. The biocognition of mental lexicon looks at the biology of words; the brain anatomy, neurotransmitters and hormones that govern and shape our language. Language was previously considered left-hemisphere dominant but research now suggests it depends on the task. In measuring brain functioning (eg through MRI), pseudo-word acquisition and storage can be identified and the example used is ‘blick’. Evidence suggests that understanding words from different conceptual categories activates different neural networks of the brain (What’s the difference between a giraffe and a screwdriver, p.271). “Words denoting strong visual attributes such as form or colour involve temporal-occipital areas relating to the visual cortex. In fact, specific subregions of these areas, and even individual neurons, may be partly specialized for different categories in which visual form is important such as animals (eg giraffes), faces and houses.” There also appears to be neuroanatomical differences between nouns and verbs; nouns linked to left temporal regions and verbs linked to left frontal lobe.


“There is no true word that is not the same time a praxis. Thus to speak is to transform the world.”

“Dialogue is the encounter between men, mediate by the world, in order to name the world. Hence dialogue cannot occur between those who want to name the world and those who do not wish this naming – between those who deny others the right to speak their word and those whose right to speak has been denied.”

“If it is in speaking their word that people, by naming the world, transform it, dialogue imposes itself as the way by which they achieve significance as human beings. Dialogue is thus an existential necessity.”

“Dialogue cannot be reduced to the act of one person’s “depositing” ideas in another, nor can it become a simple exchange of ideas to be “consumed” by the discussants.”

“Founding itself upon love, humility and faith, dialogue becomes a horizontal relationship of which mutual trust between the dialogues is the logical consequence.”

Dialogue cannot exist without hope and critical thinking.

“Only dialogue, which requires critical thinking, is also capable of generating critical thinking. Without dialogue there is no communication, and without communication there can be no true education.”

Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Paulo Freire, Chapter 3


New charity shop find: An Introduction to Language and Society, Martin Montgomery, Routledge 1986/1995

Transcriptions and Conventions.

Pauses: The length of pause is inserted within parentheses to the nearest half second. erm (1.0)

Unintelligible speech: Where an interpretation is in doubt it is enclosed with a single parentheses: erm (1.0) see you (next time). Where no interpretation is possible the parentheses are left empty. erm (1.0) see you (                )