The Nexus Between Psycholinguistics and Language Acquisition

Published: SEPTEMBER 2021


Msuega Ahar, Tughgba T. Elijah & Ahemen M. Shinyi

About Author(s):

Department of Languages and Linguistics

Benue State University, Makurdi

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This paper aims at revealing the relationship between psycholinguistics and language acquisition. Psycholinguistics examines the human mind and its relationship to language acquisition on comprehension and use; while language acquisition involves unconscious manner through which children are able to become speakers of a given language usually the first language. The researchers have considered the interaction theory for the analysis of this study. Ideas from the empiricist and innateness theories of language analysis have been combined to form the interaction theory which is the brain child of Richard and Bell (1968). This theory established the claim that language acquisition rests on the interaction of human’s innate biological capabilities to acquire language with the exposure to language environment where the child is born to enable formation. It is a compromise between the Nativest and the Behaviourist theories. A descriptive method has been adopted; data collected is sourced from the secondary source. The evaluative and analytical, approaches have been used for the analysis of the data, collected. The Psycholinguistics is an asset to child’s language acquisition. In that their connected in many ways. The knowledge of psycholinguistics lays a precedence upon which the language acquisition and behavior is generally interpreted. It provides models that describes and predict language behavior that is so relevant in language acquisition process. The study recommended that parents, guidance and teachers should be exposed to the knowledge of psycholinguistics which is enable understand, interpret and help the children at various language acquisition stages.

Keywords: Acquisition, Comprehension, Interaction, Language, Psycholinguistics