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Department of Linguistics

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The Department of Linguistics houses 5 research and teaching laboratories. The Phonetics and Psycholinguistics Laboratory provides an integrated environment for the experimental study of speech and language, including production, perception, and acquisition. Primary research areas in the lab are acoustic and auditory phonetics as well as spoken and written word recognition, all across a variety of languages. Software includes MultiSpeech and Praat for speech analysis and Paradigm, Superlab, and Matlab for collecting responses from up to four subjects simultaneously. A head-mounted eye-tracker (EyeLink II) is also available for psycholinguistic experiments. Digital noise-free recordings are made in our anechoic chamber.

The Second Language Acquisition Laboratory is equipped with 5 computer workstations and 2 dedicated testing rooms. Computers are equipped with software (Paradigm) for running psycholinguistic experiments (including interpretation tasks, reaction time, self-paced reading, speeded grammaticality judgment) and for conducting statistical analyses. Primary research areas in the lab are the acquisition and processing of syntax and semantics by adult second language learners, all across a variety of languages. Our research focuses on the linguistic and cognitive factors that impact acquisition at varying stages of development.

The Neurolinguistics and Language Processing Laboratory is fully equipped for multi-method, cross-linguistic research on the implementation of language in the brain. The laboratory includes a 70-channel Neuroscan Synamps2 EEG system for visual and auditory ERP (event-related potentials) studies, and two dedicated testing rooms for psycholinguistic experiments including lexical decision, priming, and self-paced reading. Brain imaging studies, including MEG and fMRI, are conducted at the Hoglund Brain Imaging Center at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City.

The Developmental Psycholinguistics Laboratory is equipped to investigate how preschool-age children acquire and use the knowledge of meaning in their first language. The lab uses various psycholinguistic tasks, such as linguistic comprehension tasks and the visual-world eye tracking paradigm, to assess children’s representation and real-time processing of meaning. The lab houses an eye tracking system with a remote camera designed specifically for children to participate in the visual-world eye tracking paradigm.

The Mayan Language Acquisition Laboratory provides facilities for documenting the acquisition of Mayan languages. The laboratory processes audio and video recordings of children acquiring the Mayan languages Ch'ol, K'iche', Mam and Q'anjob'al. The Laboratory uses the Qanform software suite to produce transcriptions that conform to the Minimal Coding standard (Pye 2001). A uniform transcription protocol insures that transcriptions for all the languages have a standard format. Transcripts are available online at the Adquisición de Lenguas Mayas (ALMA) website.

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