Prof. Parker presents at CUNY 2016

Prof. Parker recently soaked up some rays in sunny Gainesville, Florida at the 2016 CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing. He presented three posters:

“Parallelism guides syntactic prediction for across-the-board extraction”, a collaboration with student Liana Abramson.

“A new model for processing antecedent-ellipsis mismatches”

“Agreement attraction is selective: Evidence from eye-tracking”

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

Outreach at Berkeley Middle School and NACLO 2016

For the past two years, William & Mary has served as a host site for the North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad (NACLO), and we’re gearing up to host it again in January 2016. NACLO is a contest in which middle and high school students solve linguistic puzzles. It’s a great opportunity for youngsters to learn about the diversity and consistency of language, while sharpening their logic skills.

In preparation for NACLO next month, our outreach team stopped by Berkeley Middle School to talk to their students about linguistics and how to get involved in NACLO. Prof. Dan Parker and two students, Meredith Wolf and Kelly Luo, led activities illustrating the connections between language and computers. Check out the photos below. Fun times were had by all! This is the second year that we’ve visited Berkeley and we hope to keep this tradition up and expand to more schools next year.





Dan Parker awarded teaching fellowship!

Congratulations to Prof. Dan Parker who was award a Taylor Reveley, III Interdisciplinary Faculty Fellowship for the next three year period. The fellowship is funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in honor of William & Mary’s President W. Taylor Reveley, III. Fellowships were awarded in pairs, and Parker will collaborate with Prof. Maurits van der Veen from the Government Department to develop a new course on “Language and text analysis in a world of big data”. The course will teach students about the successes and failures of big data and provide them with hands-on experience with big data.

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!



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!

LaRose awarded honors fellowship

Congratulations to Bobby LaRose, who has received funding from the Charles Center for his honors thesis project on “Structural priming across cognitive domains: From music to language and math“! Bobby will conduct the research for his project in the lab this summer, with his advisor Dan Parker. You can learn more about the project from Bobby himself by watching the video below:


W&M Faculty at WCCFL and SRCD

It’s been a busy few weeks for CELL faculty. Anya Lunden and coauthor Erin Ament present their work on “Experimental evidence for the syllabic role of word-final consonants” at the 33rd West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics (WCCFL 33) in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Dimitrios Skorodos and coauthor Anna Papagragou present their work on “Pragmatic inference in children: reasoning about scalar alternatives” at the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) Biennial Meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.