Taal: een introductie

Translated title of the contribution: Language: an introduction

F N K Wijnen, J N de Boer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleProfessional


BACKGROUND: This special issue discusses the roles and functions of language in psychiatric practice from different perspectives. As an introduction, we discuss the phenomenon ‘language’ as an object of scientific investigation.

AIM: To give a brief introduction to this theme issue.

METHOD: After a terminological introduction and an outline of linguistics, we discuss some of the cognitive processes that enable humans to produce and interpret verbal utterances.

RESULTS: The mental lexicon, the dictionary in our head, plays a central role in both language production and understanding. The starting point for language comprehension is recognizing basic form elements in the speech or sign stream (phonemes). Next, the perceiver must determine how words are related grammatically in order to deduce sentence meanings. We distinguish three successive steps in the production of language: conceptualizing, formulating and articulating.

CONCLUSION: Production and understanding words and sentences rely on a complex interplay of cognitive processes. In communication, we use words and sentences to convey and recognize intentions. This requires close cooperation between interlocutors.

Translated title of the contributionLanguage: an introduction
Original languageDutch
Pages (from-to)136-138
Number of pages3
JournalTijdschrift voor Psychiatrie
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023


  • Communication
  • Humans
  • Language
  • Linguistics
  • Speech


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