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The Psychology of Language


Admission requirements

BA German Language and Linguistics or equivalent skills (C1 German).


What happens in our minds when we talk, listen, read or write? How are words and grammar stored in the mind and how are they accessed? Why is language learning for adults everything but child’s play? What parts of the brain are specialized for language? And what happens when they come to harm? These and similar questions are addressed in this seminar. Materials are a textbook (for everybody) and primary experimental literature (for the MA students). A special part of the seminar is devoted to experimental methods, including a visit to the Leiden Babylab.

Course objectives

The students possess

  • a global understanding of psycholinguistic problems, methods and models

  • global insights in the processes of language acquisition, language production and processing and the structure of the mental lexicon

  • the ability to apply the acquired terminology and manner of argumentation in oral and written reflection on the mental representation and processing of language

  • the ability to demonstrate the acquired knowledge and insights in oral and written form on an adequate level of German (in accordance with the OER)


Visit MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

Assessment method


  • Active participation in class

  • Oral presentation

  • Abstract (brief written version of oral presentation, 1000 words)

  • Essay (7000 words)


  • Active participation in class: 10%

  • Oral presentation: 20%

  • Abstract: 20%

  • Essay: 50%

  • The essay needs to be sufficient.


Resit is offered for the essay only.

How and when an essay or exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If requested by the student, an exam review will be offered within 30 days after publication of the exam results.

Reading list

  • Höhle, Barbara (ed.) Psycholinguistik. 2. Auflage. Berlin: Akademie-Verlag (available online at the University Library)
    Additional reading material will be distributed in class thru Brightspace


Enrolment through My Studymap is mandatory


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