Psycholinguistics & Neurolinguistics

Language Production and Speech Production in comparison

Language Production

The ability to speak is a distinctive and enigmatic characteristic of the human species. Despite this, since the analysis of the principles that govern speech constitutes an essential component of linguistic activity, the production of language has been a little-known process. Language Production and Speech Production

 The reason is the difficulty of using experimental methods. Thus, the researcher addresses a process that is only observable in the last phase. It cannot control variables of influence in the input (ideas, beliefs, etc.), nor restrict types of response to the subject, without limiting the validity of its conclusions. In any case, there is an output (the chain of sounds that make up speech) that is observable and measurable. Language Production and Speech Production


Psychological / cognitive: (horizontal mental faculties)

During speech activity, subjects must select the content of their messages from representations activated in their memory, that is, attentional, motivational, and mnestic processes of a general and non-specific nature of the domain. At the same time, the selection of a representation as the content of a linguistic message implies performing certain mental operations on the representation.


When subjects communicate through language, they use combinations of linguistic signs that can be interpreted by their interlocutors, that is, they construct meaningful and grammatically acceptable sentences and not random series of words.

Communicative / instrumental

Speech is also an instrumental activity since the subjects emit the linguistic forms that they consider most effective at each moment of social interaction or communicative process, with social repercussions, which is influenced by pragmatic factors such as communicative objectives and intentions of the speaker, the social context where it occurs, the interlocutors’ knowledge about himself, etc. Language Production and Speech Production

Phases or generic stages of language production. Characterization of each one. Levelt’s model

Levelt proposes a cognitive model of the production process. According to him, three phases or processing components are distinguished
  1. Planning or conceptualization phase: subjects select the communicative content of their message. These are activities of an intentional nature, although not necessarily conscious. The result is the development of an information package called a prelinguistic message. This phase occurs in the conceptualizer.
  2. Linguistic coding or formulation phase: the prelinguistic message is translated into a linguistic format. It involves the use of language and grammar. It requires the progressive specification of the structural units (phrases, words, etc.) that will intervene in the locution until configuring the phonetic plan or representation of the ordered series of linguistic units that make up the sentence. The result of this phase is the phonetic plan or internal speech.
  3. Peripheral processes or articulation: not necessary for internal language. The linguistic representations that make up the phonetic plan are translated into a code or motor plan that sets in motion the sequence of movements of the muscular structures involved in the production of language. The motor performance of these acts is called speech production.

Difference between language production and speech production

The production of speech refers to the execution of the motor plan or sequence of movements of the muscular structures involved in the articulation of sounds, while the production of language implies the production of speech, plus the conceptualization and formulation phases. Language Production and Speech Production

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button