A busy start to the new academic year!

The humidity has started to wan, the tourists have parted, and flocks of bright eyed students have replaced them. That means the academic year must be in full swing here at William & Mary. The fall is always an exciting time of year, for students and faculty alike. This year has already started off with a bang.

Prof. Anya Lunden recently gave a talk at MidPhon 20 held at Indiana U. called “Phonetic Motivation for Final Stress Lapse”. Congratulations. This is among the many great things Anya is working on during her well-earned research leave this semester.

Prof. Dan Parker and co-authors Sol Lago (Potsdam Research for Multilingualism) and Colin Phillips (U. of Maryland) recently published a new article titled “Interference in the processing of adjunct control”, which appeared in Frontiers in Psychology under the research topic “Encoding and navigating linguistic representations in memory”. The article looks at how one type of anaphoric dependency involving adjunct control looks for a referent in memory, and shows that memory retrieval in sentence comprehension is more susceptible to error than we previously thought. Under certain conditions, these errors lead to “illusions of acceptability”! Enough magic. Read the paper here: http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01346/full

Dan also has become quite the international traveler. He recently presented two posters at the 2015 Architectures & Mechanisms of Language Processing (AMLaP) conference at the the University of Malta. The first poster was titled “Two is not always better than one: Modeling evidence for a single structure building system” and the second poster was titled “Agreement attraction is selective: Evidence from eye-tracking”, co-authored with Mike Shvartsman (Princeton) and Julie Van Dyke (Haskins Laboratories). He’ll also be giving a talk on the same material from the second poster at this year’s Experimental Psycholinguistics Conference next month in Madrid, Spain.

Lastly, we also set up our fancy new eye-tracking system. A few weeks ago, the kind folks from SR Research came down and held a two-day training session, imparting their eye-tracking knowledge upon us. We had a small group of students and faculty attending, and we’re now gearing up for some new studies this semester. Below are some photos from the training session.

Stay tuned for more updates as the semester continues!