Experimental Linguistics Module – Autumn 2011

Tuesday 2-4pm, Bancroft Building room 102.6

  • Module Description

    The goal of this module is to take students with no prior training in the methods or tools of experimental psychological science and provide them with the theoretical and practical training required to be able to critically engage with the Psycholinguistics literature and to undertake experimental linguistics research themselves. The module will include hands-on training in inferential statistics and hypothesis testing, experimental design, data collection (including training in ethical human subjects research protocols), and data analysis. The module will also engage students in considering strengths and limitations of various kinds of linguistics data, and how multiple sources of data and methods of data collection can be combined to enhance understanding. Students will develop their critical reading skills and gain practice in presenting primary source literature to their peers.


I won’t be posting direct links to readings. Many of these papers are available as a pdf on the author’s website, others can be found by googling the complete title + filetype:pdf, but a few will require you to use the eJournal resources through the library (qmul e-journal search). Don’t wait until the last minute to find papers – make sure you have the complete set as soon as possible. If you can’t get access to a particular paper, I can help you solve the problem, but only if I have advance notice.

Subscribe to the class calendar: xml | ical

Week Date Topic/Readings Deadlines
1 Sept. 27 Introduction/Overview
2 Oct. 4 Research Methods/Planning presentation schedule
3 Oct. 11 Levels of Representation in Speech Processing

  • Phillips, C. (2001). Levels of representation in the electrophysiology of speech perception. Cognitive Science, 25(5), 711-731.
  • Phillips, C., Pellathy, T., Marantz, A., Yellin, E., Wexler, K., Poeppel, D., McGinnis, M., et al. (2000). Auditory cortex accesses phonological categories: an MEG mismatch study. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, Vol. 12, 1038-1055.
4 Oct. 18 Language Specific Speech Processing: phoneme inventories

  • Werker, J. F. (1995). Exploring developmental changes in cross-language speech perception. In L. R. Gleitman & M. Liberman (Eds.), An Invitation to Cognitive Science, Vol. 1. MIT Press. pp 87-106.
  • Näätänen, R., Lehtokoski, A., Lennes, M., Cheour, M., & M. (1997). Language-specific phoneme representations revealed by electric and magnetic brain responses. Nature, 385(6615), 432-434.
  • Hacquard, V., Walter, M. A., & Marantz, A. (2007). The effects of inventory on vowel perception in French and Spanish: an MEG study. Brain and language, 100(3), 295-300.
5 Oct. 25 Language Specific Speech Processing: phonotactics

  • Dupoux, E., Kakehi, K., Hirose, Y., Pallier, C., & Mehler, J. (1999). Epenthetic Vowels in Japanese: A Perceptual Illusion? Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 25(6), 1568.
  • Dehaene-Lambertz, G., Dupoux, E., & Gout, A. (2000). Electrophysiological correlates of phonological processing: a cross-linguistic study. Journal of cognitive neuroscience, 12(4), 635-47.
  • Monahan, P. J., Takahashi, E., Nakao, C., & Idsardi, W. (2008). Not All Epenthetic Contexts are Equal: Differential Effects in Japanese Illusory Vowel Perception. In S. Iwasaki, H. Hoji, P. M. Clancy, & S.-O. Sohn (Eds.), Japanese/Korean Linguistics 17 (pp. 391-405). Stanford, CA: CSLI Publications.
6 Nov. 1 Experiment Set up (bring your pc laptops to class)
7 Nov. 8 Reading Week
8 Nov. 15 Linguistics and Cognition: Methodological Issues

  • Marantz, A. (2005). Generative linguistics within the cognitive neuroscience of language. The Linguistic Review, 22(2-4), 429-445.
  • Ferreira, F. (2007). Psycholinguistics, formal grammars, and cognitive science. The Linguistic Review, 22(2-4), Pages 365–380
  • Gibson, E. & Fedorenko, E. (2010). Weak quantitative standards in linguistics research. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 14(6), 233-34.
  • Sprouse, Jon & Diogo Almeida. (to appear). Assessing the reliability of textbook data in syntax: Adger’s Core Syntax. Journal of Linguistics.
9 Nov. 22 Modularity/Levels of Representation

  • Duffy, S. A., Morris, R. K., & Rayner, K. (1988). Lexical Ambiguity and Fixation Times in Reading. Journal of Memory and Language, 27(4), 429-446.
  • Pollatsek, A., Drieghe, D., Stockall, L., & de Almeida, R. (2010). The Interpretation of Ambiguous Trimorphemic Words in Sentence Context. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 17(1), 88-94.
10 Nov. 29 Prediction

  • Van Berkum, J. J. a, Brown, C. M., Zwitserlood, P., Kooijman, V., & Hagoort, P. (2005). Anticipating upcoming words in discourse: evidence from ERPs and reading times. Journal of experimental psychology. Learning, memory, and cognition, 31(3), 443-67.
  • Lau, E. F., Stroud, C., Plesch, S., & Phillips, C. (2006). The role of prediction in rapid syntactic analysis. Brain & Language, 98, 74-88.
  • Dikker, S., Rabagliati, H., & Pylkkänen, L. (2009). Sensitivity to syntax in visual cortex. Cognition, 110(3), 293-321.
11 Dec. 6 Data Analysis Workshop data collection done
12 Dec. 13 Final Wrapup 1000 word presentation writeup due

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