LINGUIST List 32.757

Mon Mar 01 2021

Books: The Study of Speech Processes: Boucher

Editor for this issue: Billy Dickson <>

Date: 24-Feb-2021
From: Rachel Tonkin <>
Subject: The Study of Speech Processes: Boucher
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Title: The Study of Speech Processes
Subtitle: Addressing the Writing Bias in Language Science
Published: 2021
Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Book URL:

Author: Victor J. Boucher
Hardback: ISBN: 9781107185036 Pages: Price: U.S. $ 110.00
Hardback: ISBN: 9781107185036 Pages: Price: U.K. £ 85.00
Hardback: ISBN: 9781107185036 Pages: Price: Europe EURO 99.20

There has been a longstanding bias in the study of spoken language towards using writing to analyse speech. This approach is problematic in that it assumes language to be derived from an autonomous mental capacity to assemble words into sentences, while failing to acknowledge culture-specific ideas linked to writing. Words and sentences are writing constructs that hardly capture the sound-making actions involved in spoken language. This book brings to light research that has long revealed structures present in all languages but which do not match the writing-induced concepts of traditional linguistic analysis. It demonstrates that language processes are not physiologically autonomous, and that speech structures are structures of spoken language. It then illustrates how speech acts can be studied using instrumental records, and how multisensory experiences in semantic memory couple to these acts, offering a biologically-grounded understanding of how spoken language conveys meaning and why it develops only in humans.

Part I. Questions of Ontology: Writing and the Speech-Language Divide; 1. How we are Introduced to the Study of Spoken Language; 2. The Modality-Independence Argument and Storylines of the Origin of Symbolic Language; 3. The Recent History of Attempts to Ground Orthographic Concepts of Language Theory; Part II. Questions of Epistemology: The Role of Instrumental Observations; 4. Recognizing the Bias; 5. (Re-) Defining the Writing Bias, and the Essential Role of Instrumental Invalidation; Part III. The Structure of Speech Acts: 6. Utterances as Communicative Acts; 7. Relating to Basic Units: Syllable-Like Cycles; 8. Relating Neural Oscillations to Syllable Cycles and Chunks; 9. Breath-Units of Speech and their Structural Effects; Part IV. The Processing of Speech Meaning: 10. The Neural Coding of Semantics; 11. Processes of Utterance Interpretation: For a Neuropragmatics; Index.

Linguistic Field(s): Neurolinguistics

Written In: English (eng)

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Page Updated: 01-Mar-2021