Special issue in “Cross-linguistic Psycholinguistics”

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At long last! It’s my great pleasure to announce the publication of the special issue on “Laboratory in the field: advances in cross-linguistic psycholinguistics”, edited by Alice Harris (UMass), Elisabeth Norcliffe (MPI, Nijmegen), and me (Rochester), in Language, Cognition, and Neuroscience. It is an exciting collection of cross-linguistic studies on language production and comprehension and it feels great to see the proofs for the whole shiny issue:

Front cover of special issue
Front cover of special issue

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Comment on our article in LLC

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The Language and Linguistics Compass (LLC) has launched a new joint project with LinguistList, so that they now showcase selected LLC articles on LinguistList. You get free access to these articles for that time and can comment on them in a moderated forum.

If you have time, have a look at and possibly add to the discussion forum on Jaeger & Norcliffe. 2009. The Cross-linguistic Study of Sentence Production, 3(4), 866 – 88. It just was posted, so it’s probably still scarily empty ;).

Two nice resources to find the language of your choice

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I was just reading Haspelmath’s post on the CyberLingBlog in reply to a summary of a recent talk by Newmeyer. Most of you probable know the World Atlas of Languages, which allows you to browse through language and linguistic properties, view their distributions over beautiful maps, and contains nice introductory articles to many typological features. It’s very well structured and gives you references for each language, too. Here’s a link to a page on a specific language, Polish.

There is another database that I didn’t know about which let’s you browse or search a (as of yet rather small set of) languages for morpho-syntactic properties: Syntactic Structures of the World’s Languages. Properties are defined in a pragmatic and manageable way. For example, SVO is defines allowing that order in a “neutral” context. The definition also makes clear that SVO can be “yes”, while other word order features are “yes”, too.

It seems that you can even contribute to this database by entering your own data (though maybe you need to apply?), including examples with glosses. Looks interesting. The usual caveats apply, but great that someone is trying! Aside of this project I remember only one similar project that someone at the University of Vienna started while I was an undergrad …  but as far as I remember that never reached critical mass.

If anybody knows of similar databases out there, feel free to post them below. Or even better: contribute to the CyberLingBlog. Everybody is invited.

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 »