Academic year
2022/2023 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
LM5820 (AF:381866 AR:203624)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Master's Degree Programme (DM270)
Educational sector code
2nd Semester
Course year
Go to Moodle page
Much like breathing, walking and seeing, speaking and understanding our native language are natural activities we engage in, many times a day, with little or no conscious awareness or effort. Scientists have, however, uncovered the complexity and creativity underlying even the simplest act of human language use. The course aims to provide students with knowledge and skills to study language as a mental function within a broader cognitive science perspective. We will focus specifically on the psycholinguistics of language production in different populations and across languages. We will cover the current experimental methods to study language representation and processing, current theories and computational models in language production, psycholinguistic approaches to dialogue, the relationship between comprehension and production, language production and memory systems, language processing in multilinguals, language changes across the life-span and as the result of changes in language experience, language processing in ageing.
Student will show Knowledge and Understanding of the following aspects of language in a psycholinguistic perspective:

1. What we mean by a psycholinguistic level of explanation with respect to language as a cognitive system
2. Representation and processing in monolingual adult speakers
3. Language and implicit vs. implicit memory systems
4. Psycholinguistic perspectives on dialogue
5. Computational psycholinguistic models
6. Language processing in bilingual speakers
7. Language processing in second language speakers and the role of proficiency
8. Language processing in older adults
9. Language processing in speakers with aphasia
10. Experimental designs in psycholinguistics: from theory to practice
11. Research ethics for human subject research

Applying knowledge and understanding

Students will show that they can apply their theoretical and methodological knowledge of psycholinguistics to analyse, understand and critique all sections of a theoretical, empirical or computational research report; students will individually gain practice with an experimental presentation software package; students will collaborate on a practical project with a pre-assigned group of peers guided by the instructor and construct a template for an experiment from scratch. They will program a complete trial of the experiment and present their work as a group, giving the necessary theoretical and methodological background.
Non-attenders do not have
A basic curiosity for understanding how language works inside our heads. Linguistics (syntax, phonetics and phonology), statistics for linguistics.
(1) The bio-psycho-social underpinnings of the language system; What we mean by levels of explanation with respect to language as a cognitive system
(2) Representation and processing in monolingual adult speakers
(3) Language and implicit vs. implicit memory systems
(4) Psycholinguistic perspectives on dialogue
(4) Computational models of language processing
(5) Language processing in bilingual speakers
(6) Language processing in second language speakers and the role of proficiency
(7) Language processing in older adults
(8) Language processing in speakers with aphasia
(9) Experimental designs in psycholinguistics: from theory to practice
(10) Research ethics for human subject research
Branigan, H. P., & Pickering, M. J. (2017). An experimental approach to linguistic representation. BBS, 40.
Ferreira, V. S., & Bock, K. (2006). The functions of structural priming. Language and Cog. Proc., 21(7-8), 1011-1029.
Pickering, M. J., & Ferreira, V. S. (2008). Structural priming: a critical review. Psyc Bulletin, 134, 427–459.
Bock, J. K. (1986). Syntactic persistence in language production. Cog Psych., 18(3), 355–387.
Bock, K., & Loebell, H. (1990). Framing sentences. Cognition, 35, 1–39.
Potter, M. C., & Lombardi, L. (1998). Syntactic priming in immediate recall of sentences. JML, 38, 265–282.
Ziegler, J., & Snedeker, J. (2018). How broad are thematic roles? Evidence from structural priming. Cognition 179, 221–240.
Ziegler, J., Bencini, G., Goldberg, A., & Snedeker, J. (2019). How abstract is syntax? Evidence from structural priming. Cognition, 193.
Pickering, M. J., & Branigan, H. P. (1998). The Representation of Verbs: Evidence from Syntactic Priming in Language Production. JML, 39, 633–651.
Bock, K., & Griffin, Z. M. (2000). The persistence of structural priming: Transient activation or implicit learning? JEP: General, 129, 177–192.
Hartsuiker, et al. (2008). Syntactic priming persists while the lexical boost decays: Evidence from written and spoken dialogue. JML, 58, 214–238.
Scheepers, C., Raffray, C. N., & Myachykov, A. (2017). The lexical boost effect is not diagnostic of lexically-specific syntactic representations. JML, 95, 102–115.
Tooley, K. M. (2020). Contrasting mechanistic accounts of the lexical boost. Mem. & Cogn.
Chang, et al. (2006). Becoming syntactic. Psych Review, 113, 234–272.
Chang, et al. (2000). Structural priming as implicit learning: A comparison of models of sentence production. J. of Psycholing Research, 29, 217–229.
Chang, F., Janciauskas, M., & Fitz, H. (2012). Language adaptation and learning: Getting explicit about implicit learning. Language and Linguistics Compass, 6, 259–278.
Pickering, M. J., & Garrod, S. (2004). Toward a mechanistic psychology of dialogue. BBS, 27(2), 169–190.
Pickering, M. J. (2006). The dance of dialogue. Psychologist, 19, 734–737.
Ferreira, V. S. (2019). A Mechanistic Framework for Explaining Audience Design in Language Production. Annual Review of Psychology.
Branigan, H. P., Pickering, M. J., & Cleland, A. A. (2000). Syntactic coordination in dialogue. Cognition, 75, B13–B25.
Branigan, H. P., &McLean, J. F. (2016).What children learn from adults’ utterances: An ephemeral lexical boost and persistent syntactic priming in adult–child dialogue. JML, 91, 141–157.
Tooley, K. M., & Bock, K. (2014). On the parity of structural persistence in language production and comprehension. Cognition, 132, 101–136.
Shin, J. A., & Christianson, K. (2012). Structural Priming and Second Language Learning. Language Learning, 62, 931–964.
Van Gompel, R. P. G., & Arai, M. (2018). Structural priming in bilinguals. Bilingualism, 21.
Hartsuiker, et al. (2016). Cross-linguistic structural priming in multilinguals: Further evidence for shared syntax. JML, 90.
Hwang, H., Shin, J. A., & Hartsuiker, R. J. (2018). Late bilinguals share syntax unsparingly between L1 and L2: Evidence From Crosslinguistically similar and different constructions. Language Learning, 68.
Flett, S., Branigan, H. P., & Pickering, M. J. (2013). Are non-native structural preferences affected by native language preferences? Bilingualism, 16.
Favier, S., et al. (2019). Proficiency modulates between- but not within language priming.
The bibliography is subject to small changes during the semester, depending also on student interests and input. All papers and the calendar for the course are available on moodle. Check moodle for updates and changes.
1. A written exam consisting of three essay questions and seven multiple choice questions. [See below for details on grade breakdown.]
2. A project to be completed during the course of the semester working in preassigned groups of 2-10 peers and a final oral presentation to the entire class. [See below for details on grade breakdown.]

1. Written exam: Out of 30 points. Grade breakdown is as follows: essay questions are 6 points each; six multiple choice questions (2 points each). For each wrong answer in the multiple choice section one full point will be taken off.
2.Group project: maximum 30 points. Assessment is based on: quality of the material sent in to the instructor and shared with peers; quality of the final presentation. Individual contributions to the group project: 1-3 points based on the quantity and quality of the work contributed to steering the group and accomplishing the tasks.
Frontal lessons for the theory parts, online tutorials, experience with different psycholinguistic studies, cooperative group learning for the applied components of the course.
Accessibility, Disability and Inclusion: Information regarding accommodation and support services for students with disabilities and students with specific learning impairments

Ca Foscari abides by Italian Law (Law 17/1999; Law 170/2010) regarding support services and accommodation available to students with disabilities. This includes students with
mobility, visual, hearing and other disabilities (Law 17/1999), and specific learning impairments (Law 170/2010). If you have a disability or impairment that requires accommodations (i.e., alternate testing, readers, note takers or interpreters) please contact the Disability and Accessibility Offices in Student Services:
written and oral

This subject deals with topics related to the macro-area "Human capital, health, education" and contributes to the achievement of one or more goals of U. N. Agenda for Sustainable Development

Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 14/07/2022