Experimental Linguistic Studies in the Field

An Introduction to Psycholinguistics in the Field

For readers new to this type of studies, the following article is a good starting point:
Whalen, D. H., & McDonough, J. (2015). Taking the Laboratory into the Field. Annual Review of Linguistics, 1(1), 395-415.

Overviews and Introductions for Language Acquisition Studies in Fieldwork Contexts

The 2015 special issue:First Language, 35 (4-5): Indigenous children’s language: Acquisition, preservation and evolution of language in minority contexts


Overviews and Introductions for Language Processing Studies in Fieldwork Contexts

You can get a recent overview in the 2015 special issue of Language, Cognition, and Neuroscience: “Laboratory in the Field: Advances in cross-linguistic psycholinguistics”, in particular the introductory article. Our paper in this issue is: Kgolo, N., & Eisenbeiss, S. (2015). The role of morphological structure in the processing of complex forms: Evidence from Setswana deverbative nouns. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 9, .1116-1133. The editors for the special issue were Alice C. Harris, T.Florian Jaeger, and Elisabeth Norcliffe. Florian Jaeger has written a blog post about the special issue that you can find on his blog.


In another recent paper, we have discussed the size of data sets and language samples that are required for cross-linguistic psycholinguistic studies:

Montero-Melis, G., Eisenbeiss, S., Narasimhan, B., Ibarretxe-Antuñano, I. Kita, S., Kopecka, A., Lüpke, F., Nikitina, T., Tragel, I., Jaeger, T.F. & Bohnemeyer, J. (2017). Satellite- vs. verb-framing underpredicts nonverbal motion categorization: Insights from a large language sample and simulations. Cognitive Semantics, 3, 36-61, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1163/23526416-00301002.


For different ways to take the lab to the field, see this article:


Speed, L. J., Wnuk, E., & Majid, A. (in press). Studying psycholinguistics out of the lab. In A. De Groot, & P. Hagoort (Eds.), Research Methods in Psycholinguistics and the Neurobiology of Language. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell. (preprint)


Some Further Selected Readings: Psycholinguistic and Experimental Linguistic Research on Under-Researched Languages

Bavin, E. & Stoll, S. (Eds.) (2013). The acquisition of ergativity. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Bochnak, M. R & Matthewson, L. (2015). Methodologies in semantic fieldwork. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Butler, L., Jaeger, T. F., Furth, K., Lemieux, A., Gallo, C. G. & Bohnemeyer, J. (2010). Psycholinguistics in the field: Accessibility-driven production in Yukatek Maya. Poster presented at the Cuny Conference on Sentence Processing.

Butler, L. K., Bohnemeyer, J. B., and Jaeger, T. F. (to appear). Plural marking in Yucatec Maya at the syntax-processing interface. In Machicao y Priemer, A., Nolda, A. & Sioupi, A. (eds.) Zwischen Kern und Peripherie (Studia Grammatica, volume 75). Berlin: Akademie-Verlag.

Clemens, L. E., Coon, J., Graff, P., López, N. A., Morgan, A., Pedro, P. M. & Polinsky, M. (2012). Experimental Design for Field Linguists. Presentation at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America. Symposium: Psycholinguistic Research on Less-Studied Languages. 

Clemens, L.E., Coon, J., Pedro, P.M., Morgan, A., Polinsky, M., Tandet, G. & Wagers, M. (2013): Ergativity and the complexity of extraction: A view from Mayan. Ms.

Demuth, K, Moloi, F., & Machobane, M. (2010). Three-year-olds’ comprehension, production, and generalization of Sesotho passives. Cognition, 115 (2), 238-251.

Demuth, K., Machobane, M., & Moloi, F., & Odato, C. (2005). Learning Animacy Hierarchy Effects In Sesotho Double Object Applicatives.  Language81 (2), 421-447.

Eisenbeiss, S., Bohnemeyer, J. & Narasimhan, B. (2006). Ways to go: Methodological Considerations in Whorfian Studies on Motion Events. Essex Research Reports in Linguistics 50, 1-20.

Francom, J., LaCross, A., & Ussishkin, A. (2010). How specialized are specialized corpora? Behavioral evaluation for corpus representativeness for Maltese. Proceedings of the Language Resource Evaluation Conference, Malta.

Gagliardi, A., & Lidz, J. (2014). Statistical insensitivity in the acquisition of Tsez noun classes. Language, 90(1), 58-89.

Goodluck, H., Saah, K. K., & Stojanovic, D. (1995). On the default mechanism for interrogative binding. The Canadian journal of linguistics40(4), 377-404.

Jaeger, T. F. & Norcliffe, E. L. (2009). The cross-linguistic study of sentence production. Language and Linguistics Compass 3: 1-22

Kgolo, N., & Eisenbeiss, S. (2015). The role of morphological structure in the processing of complex forms: Evidence from Setswana deverbative nouns. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 9, .1116-1133.

McDonough, J., & Willie, M. A. (2000). Allowable variability: A preliminary investigation of word recognition in Navajo. University of Rochester: Working Papers in the Language Sciences, Spring 00-1, 1-23.

O’Grady, W., Schafer, A.J., Perla, J., Lee, O-S. & Wieting, J. (2009). A psycholinguistic tool for the assessment of language loss: The HALA project. Language Documentation and Conservation 3(1). 100-112.

Proctor, M., Bundgaard-Nielsen, R. L., Best, C., Goldstein, L., Kroos, C., & Harvey, M. (2010, December). Articulatory modelling of coronal stop contrasts in Wubuy. In Proceedings of the 13th Australasian international conference on speech science and technology (Vol. 90193). Melbourne: La Trobe Univ. Press.

Saah, K. K., & Goodluck, H. (1995). Island effects in parsing and grammar: evidence from Akan. Linguistic review12, 381-409.

Sauppe, S., Norcliffe, E., Konopka, A. E., & Levinson, S. C. (2013, July). Dependencies first: Eye tracking evidence from sentence production in Tagalog. In CogSci 2013: The 35th annual meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 1265-1270). Cognitive Science Society.

Skopeteas, S. & Verhoeven, E. (2005): Postverbal argument
order in Yucatec Maya. Sprachtypologie und Universalienforschung
(STUF) 58, 4:347-373.

Verhoeven, E. (2010): Agentivity and stativity in experiencer verbs: Implications for a typology of verb classes. Linguistic Typology 14:213-251.




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