Talking the talk: Language, Psychology and Science


This new book (published December 2009, with a 2010 publication date, and now available from all good physical and online bookshops) is an introduction for the lay reader and beginning student to the psychology of language. I hope it will bring the field of psycholinguistics to a much wider audience. I have tried to make it as accessible - and fun - as possible, and assume no prior knowledge of psychology. On the other hand, I hope I haven’t dumbed down the area in any way. You don’t need any background in psychology or linguistics to understand this book. Suitable for everyone with any interest in language!

I like this quote from Gary Dell about it:

A road trip through the varied landscape of psycholinguistics—including photos! Harley’s approachable style and frequent personal asides make the esoteric aspects of the field understandable, and he shows how everyday phenomena, such as slips of the tongue or children’s babblings, provide deep insight into how language works. Despite containing some fun topics, the book does not dumb down the science; it includes the latest findings from neuroscience and computational modeling and can function as quick reference for the expert as well as a thorough introduction for anyone who has marveled at our ability to speak.

The book is now published! If you’re in the UK, you can order it from all book shops or at Amazon UK:


Erratum: There is an error on p.239. It should read:

"All other things being equal, we get fewer TOTs on words like "ball" than on words like "growth". .... Rather than getting in the way, neighbouring words provide support, and words that lack? this support are more difficult to retrieve."