Psycholinguistics studies the relationship between linguistic behavior and psychological processes. Our lab asks how basic psycholinguistic research findings are modulated in a social context, and can be applied more broadly to current issues in social systems. For example, we ask how a person's perceived social characteristics (e.g., gender, race, ethnicity) influences how one interprets speech and how issues of educational (in)equity are complicated when one's language background is mismatched with the language used in schools.
To answer these questions we ask children and adults to participate in studies both in the lab (on the University of Puget Sound campus), at local schools, or in their homes. We use a variety of methods, including eye-tracking, reaction times, grammaticality/plausibility judgments, and acoustic measures. We also work with different language varieties, in particular African American English (often also called African American Vernacular English or Ebonics), German, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, and French.
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