Some Foundational Principles of Cognitive Psychology Applied to the Study of Variation

Cynthia G. Clopper, Ohio State University; Terrin N. Tamati, Indiana University

The goal of this workshop is to provide participants with an introduction to the core principles that guide research in cognitive psychology and the potential application of those principles to the study of sociolinguistic variation. The workshop will begin with an overview of foundational theoretical issues in the study of human cognition, perception, and memory. This overview will be followed by a discussion of the relationships among the core theoretical questions in cognitive psychology and sociolinguistics, with a particular emphasis on the research questions in sociolinguistics that can be fruitfully explored from a cognitive psychological perspective. The workshop will conclude with an introduction to a selection of specific methodological approaches that have emerged from cognitive psychology and that have the potential to make a substantial contribution to our understanding of how sociolinguistic variation is encoded and represented by naive language users.