psycholinguistics in the field

Special Issue on “Laboratory in the Field: Advances in cross-linguistic psycholinguistics”

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Aim

We invite original and unpublished papers on psycholinguistic research on lesser-studied languages, for a special issue of Language and Cognitive Processes. Our purpose is to bring together researchers who are currently engaged in empirical research on language processing in typologically diverse languages, in order to establish the emerging field of cross-linguistic psycholinguistics as a cross-disciplinary research program. Both submissions that extend the empirical coverage of psycholinguistic theories (e.g., test whether supposedly universal processing mechanisms hold cross-linguistically) and submissions that revise and extend psycholinguistic and linguistic theory through quantitative data are welcome. The special issue will focus on the architecture and mechanisms underlying language processing (both comprehension and production) at the lexical and sentence level. This includes studies on phonological and morphological processing to the extent that they speak to the organization, representation, and processing of lexical units or the interaction of these processes with sentence processing. We seek behavioral, neurocognitive (e.g., ERP, fMRI), and quantitative corpus studies in any of these areas.

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Two paper updates

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Just a quick note. It feels good to be able to announce that the overview paper on cross-linguistic production (written with Elisabeth Norcliffe) is now available online. Thanks for your feedback and all the references that were sent our way.

Also: I’ve finally written up the first study from my thesis. Well, a considerably updated version of it. Anyway, if you’re interested in Uniform Information Density and/or the syntactic reduction of complement clauses in spontaneous speech … have a look at the paper…  feedback is welcome. Oh, and did I mention that it is a corpus-based study ;).

Over and out (from lovely Berkeley, enjoying the LSA Summer Institute)

More impressions from our visit to the Yucatan

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Hi All,

Mexico was great. Though this time it was not about the gorgeous beaches of Cancun, or a mid stop for Havana. In fact, street drivers kept on offering “I’ll take you to Cancun, to Chichen, to Coba” and looked puzzled when we declined time and again. We had other exciting plans! This time our goal was to meet, interview, record, and teach a class to Yucatec and Spanish speakers!

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Visiting the Yucatan: more studies on Yucatec Mayan and Mexican Spanish

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Heya. There are no results yet, but Katrina Housel, Carlos Gomez Gallo, and I just came back from the Valladolid, Mexico where we piloted and ran 3 studies on Yucatec and 4 studies on Mexican Spanish.

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Bibliography: Cross-linguistic work on sentence production

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Elisabeth Norcliffe and I are currently working on a short summary paper on cross-linguistic psycholinguistic work on sentence production (experiments and corpus studies w/ a sufficiently large sample and quantitative investigation). We would like to focus this effort on research on:

  • accessibility effects on word order, voice, and other morphosyntactic variations
  • radical vs moderate incrementality during sentence formulation
  • syntactic persistence (within and across languages)
  • agreement
  • disfluencies (but not speech errors)

If you know of work in any of these areas that we should consider, we would appreciate your feedback. Just leave a comment at the bottom of this page (it’s a moderated forum, so it will not appear immediately, but usually it does not take us longer than a day to accept your posts). You can also send an email to Florian. Read the rest of this entry »

Follow-up experiments on sentence production in Yucatec

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Elisabeth Norcliffe, Katrina Housel, Juergen Bohnemeyer and I have been working on the next step in our investigations of Yucatec sentence production (see previous post). Some people have asked for more detail on the design and material and we definitely appreciate the feedback.

We started designing a series of experiments on Yucatec word order and voice choices, focusing on accessibility effects (such as the relative animacy of the agent and patient in a transitive event) trying to find evidence that distinguishes between alignment and availability accounts of accessibility effects (or provides evidence that both mechanisms are found). Due its typological features, in particular the available word orders and the way voice is marked (morphologically, without necessarily requiring word order changes), Yucatec seems perfect to test whether more accessible referents are order first (availability), aligned with the subject function (alignment, as expressed in Bock, 1986), or whether structural choices (such as a passive over an active) indicated marked or unmarked alignment between grammatical or semantic function with the relative salience of the involved referents.

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Fresh of the press: Preliminary Mayan results … [Norcliffe & Jaeger]

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The orange juice is still warm, the cafe con helado barely melted, the Mexican music that has been playing on repeat for the last couple of hours still swings mind-numbingly in my fried brain (it’s VERY hot and humid here), and here we are: letting you, dear reader [sic], know what the world is waiting for: is there probability-sensitive morphosyntactic production in Yucatec Mayan (similar to English, cf. Frank & Jaeger, 2008-CUNY, 2008-CogSci; Jaeger, 2006-thesis, 207-LSA; Levy & Jaeger, 2007; Wasow et al., in press)? This is a follow-up on a recent post.

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