Category Archives: Undergraduate 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 and alumnus Daniel Lantz publish in topiCS

Prof. Dan Parker and recent graduate, Daniel Lantz (’16), just published their work  “Encoding and Accessing Linguistics Representations in a Dynamically Structured Holographic Memory System” in the journal Topics in Cognitive Science (topiCS). This paper is an extended version of their earlier 2016 paper of the same title that was published in the proceedings of the 2016 International Conference on Cognitive Modeling (ICCM)

Parker, D. & Lantz, D. (accepted). Encoding and Accessing Linguistic Representations in a Dynamically Structured Holographic Memory System. Topics in Cognitive Science, 9, 51-68. [pdf; supersedes the 2016 ICCM paper of the same title]

New Semester, New People, New Developments

We’ve had a very productive start to the Fall 2016 semester. Our first big development is bringing onboard Erica Schneider as our first Lab Manager! We are very excited to have Erica join us. She is already whipping things into shape by organizing a series of engaging lab meetings. Earlier this semester, we heard about new developments from Prof. Anya Lunden’s research group, which consists of Prof. Lunden, and students Jessica Campbell and Mark Hutchens. They recently submitted a new paper that uses qualitative and quantitative methods to investigate typological stress patterns. Following that, Prof. Parker led a discussion about computational methods in language science. Next up on the agenda is a career development workshop designed to help students learn how to situate their linguistics skills and research experiences in a broader context to pursue a range of career opportunities.

Stay tuned for more updates. Plenty of things on the way, ranging from new papers to new outreach events.

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]

Parker & Lantz publish in ICCM proceedings

Prof. Dan Parker and freshly minted W&M graduate Daniel Lantz will be heading to the Pennsylvania State University to give a talk on “Encoding and accessing linguistic representations in a dynamically structured holographic memory system” at the 2016 International Conference on Cognitive Modeling (ICCM 2016) August 4-6. The talk will present a new computational model designed to explain the selective behavior of illusory negative polarity item (NPI) licensing. Check out the proceedings paper here:  

Quentin Ullrich presents at the 2016 Harvard Undergraduate Linguistics Colloquium

Rising senior, Quentin Ullrich, got a sample of what’s it like to “pahk the cah on Hahvahd Yahd”, as a presenter at this year’s Harvard Undergraduate Colloquium.

Quentin’s talk titled: “Real Consumer Language: A Corpus-Based Approach to Trademark Law”, presented his findings on using social media data to inform trademark law. The research for his project was carried out in the Computational & Experimental Linguistics Lab (CELL), and will be developed further for his honors thesis. Great work Quentin!

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:

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!




Anya Lunden presents across Europe

Anya Lunden is currently giving a series of presentations in Europe.

She recently presented at the Manchester Phonology Meeting with student Anna Marry. The title of their presentation was “Effects of stress-based rhythm on unstressed syllables”. Check out the photos below!

Coming up in June, Anya will be giving not one, but two presentations at Phonetics and Phonology in Europe. The first presentation is a joint talk with recent William & Mary Linguistics graduate Kelsey Renoll titled “Position and stress as factors in metathesis. This talk with Kelsey comes out of work from a Summer Research Grant from the William & Mary Charles Center and a followup independent study. The title of her second presentation is “Phonetic motivation for final stress lapse”.

In between conferences, Anya will be a visiting lecturer at the University of Kent, where she will also be giving a talk on the Research Day titled “Explaining final stress lapse. To top it off, she’ll be giving a seminar on stress theory to MA and Ph.D. students!