Category Archives: Research

That’s a wrap (for Spring 2017)!

We accomplished a lot in the Spring 2017 semester. Let’s take stock:

  • 2 Honors theses from Quentin Ullrich (chair: Prof. Parker) and Alexa Rosalsky (chair: Prof. Lunden)
  • 2 new honors projects approved for the 2017-2018 academic year, from Jessica Campbell and Joshua Greenfield.
  • We once again hosted the North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad (NACLO)
  • Prof. Lunden gave 2 talks at the 2017 Linguistic Society of America (LSA) Annual meeting.
  • Prof. Lunden published an article in Phonology, co-authored with W&M students Jessica Campbell and Mark Hutchins (along with Nick Kalivoda).
  • Prof. Parker published 3 articles . One article appeared in Trends in Cognitive Science (co-authored with recent alumnus, Daniel Lantz) one in Journal of Memory and Language (co-authored with Colin Phillips), and one in an edited volume on Language Processing and Disorders (co-authored with Mike Shvartsman and Julie Van Dyke)
  • Prof. Harrigan successfully connected with area schools to conduct acquisition research with W&M students.
  • Prof. Parker gave 3 presentations (2 posters and 1 talk) at CUNY 2017
  • A multidisciplinary team of faculty including Prof. Parker established the new Data Science Program at W&M, which students can pursue a degree in starting this Fall
  • Prof. Parker obtained a Faculty Summer Research grant to support research in the lab this summer
  • And we churned through a series of exciting lab meetings from students and faculty!

Whew! Certainly looking forward to Summer!

 

Prof. Parker publishes in Journal of Memory and Language

Prof. Dan Parker and Colin Phillips (UMD) just published new work in Journal of Memory and Language. Their paper, “Reflexive attraction is selective” shows how to systematically induce attraction effects for reflexive anaphors using eye-tracking. Check it out!

Parker, D. & Phillips, C. (2017). Reflexive attraction in comprehension is selective. Journal of Memory and Language94, 272-290. [pdf]

Prof. Parker publishes in Cognition

Prof. Dan Parker and Colin Phillips (U. of Maryland) just published their work on illusory negative polarity item (NPI) licensing in Cognition! In this paper, Parker and Phillips use standard psycholinguistic methodologies to show that by making minimal changes to a sentence, it is possible to selectively control the presence and absence of linguistic illusions involving NPIs. These findings turn out to be very informative about how linguistic structure is encoded in working memory. Check out the paper:

Negative polarity illusions and the format of hierarchical encodings in memory

Prof. Dan Parker & Alumnus Daniel Lantz receive award for outstanding paper

Prof. Dan Parker and recent graduate, Daniel Lantz, recently presented their paper “Encoding and Accessing Linguistics Representations in a Dynamically Structured Holographic Memory System” at the 14th International Conference on Cognitive Modeling (ICCM), where the paper was recognized as an “Outstanding Paper”. The award was selected by the international program committee and the conference chairs. Congratulations!

You can check out the paper here: [pdf]

W&M takes it to the 2016 LSA meeting!

William & Mary researchers are taking it to the 2016 Linguistic Society of America (LSA) Annual Meeting, held in Washington DC from January 7-10. Here’s what you can look forward to:

Student Anna Henshaw and Anya Lunden will be presenting their joint work on “Consonant and vowel cues affecting the perception of Korean obstruents.” Anya will also be presenting independent research on “Finding secondary stress in Norwegian”.

Anne Charity Hudley will be leading a symposium that she organized with Christine Mallinson (University of Maryland, Baltimore County) on ‘Linguistics and the Broader University: The Significance of Linguistic Justice to Administration, Development, Program Building, and Public Affairs’.

Laura Heymann (William & Mary Law School) will be presenting her work on ‘Naming and reclaiming’ at the meeting for the American Name Society, which is held concurrently with the LSA.

Check out the program: LSA 2016 Annual Meeting Handbook

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!

EyeTrackerSetUp_2

EyeTrackerSetUp_3

EyeTrackerSetUp_4

Lab meetings and experiments begin!

It’s been a busy month in the lab. Anya Lunden and Dan Parker are currently running a new batch of experiments. Recruiting participants has never been easier since we joined the participant pool maintained by the Psychology department.

Our lab is still ‘under construction’, but we’re making great progress in getting everything set up. One of our most recent additions is a dual computer workstation housed inside the sound booth. This setup allows us to run multiple participants simultaneously (read: we get a lot of data quickly). Prof. Parker is also currently working with the Procurement Office to obtain a new eye-tracking system. We’ll also be getting some new furniture soon too!

Another big development is that we held our first lab meeting in preparation for summer research. This meeting was an informational meeting, and was well attended by undergraduate students. As we transition into summer, we’ll start holding smaller meetings more regularly to discuss current research developments. Stay tuned!