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 Dr Stephen Cowley

School of Psychology
University of Hertfordshire
College Lane
AL10 9AB



These change from year to year (last update March 2007)

Language, Communication and Development (3rd year)

In this, I am concerned with pre-linguistic development as well as the earliest stages of language. You can learn about my views by looking at my papers. In recent years, the main source for this module has been Michael Tomasello's "Constructing a Language" Harvard University Press, 2003. In future, I intend to use this module to explore how language enables children to develop what we call “selves”.

Language and Mind (1st year)

This module compares formalist and culturalist views of language with a special eye to the psychology of language. Our main focus is –not on describing languages –but what it is about language that makes us human. We focus on animal studies, the brain and comparing normal and anomalous development. Source texts change from year to year.

Cognition (2nd year)

In this module, I use a distributed view of cognition to rethink what we can do with written signs. While I have not yet pursued this work in print, it is shown that the change in perspective has important consequences for how we conceptualise language, thinking, and what it is that we do when we contextualize.


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