Syntax, Semantics, and Language Processing Lab

Fall 2017

October XX: Planning meeting

Past meetings


June 6: Zawiszewski, A. & Friederici, A.D. (2009). Processing canonical and non-canonical sentences in Basque: The case of object-verb agreement as revealed by event-related brain potentials. Brain Research 1284, 161-79.

May 30: Laka, I., & Erdocia, K. (2012). Linearization preferences given “Free Word Order”; subject preferences given ergativity: A look at Basque. In E. Torrengo (ed.), Of Grammar, Words, and Verses: In honor of Carlos Piera (pp. 115-42). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

May 16: Sauppe, S. (2016). Verbal semantics drives early anticipatory eye movements during the comprehension of verb-initial sentences. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, 1–13,

May 2: Ussishkin, A., Warner, N., Clayton, I., Brenner, D., Carnie, A., Hammond, M., & Fisher, M. (2017). Lexical representation and processing of word-initial morphological alternations: Scottish Gaelic mutation. Laboratory Phonology: Journal of the Association for Laboratory Phonology, 8(1), 1–34,

April 25: Discussion of CUNY 2017 posters (part 2)
Morgan, A.M., von der Malsburg, T., Ferreira, V.S, & Wittenberg, E. This is the structure that we wonder why anyone produces it: Resumptive pronouns in English help production but hinder comprehension
Fadlon, J., Morgan, A.M., Meltzer-Asscher, A., & Ferreira, V.S. English and Hebrew speakers use language-specific strategies to produce communicatively efficient relative clauses.

April 18: Discussion of CUNY 2017 posters (part 1)
Ryskin, R., Fine, A., & Brown-Schmidt, S. Do listeners learn speaker/accent-specific syntactic biases?
Cunnings, I., & Sturt, P. Locality and discourse constraints in reflexive resolution.

March 17: Jenny, Steven, Jed, and Tom talked about the project they were working on last quarter. The project asks whether we have surface memory for prosodic shape.

February 24: Dillon, B., Clifton, C. Jr., & Frazier, L. (2014). Pushed aside: Parentheticals, memory and processing. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 29(4), 483-98.

Margaret talked about the replication study of Dillon et. al (2014) and follow-up experiments she's conducted.

February 17: Matt talked about distinct, co-active parses during language comprehension (joint work with Brian Dillon and Caroline Andrews).

February 3: Sumner, M. (2002). The reality of abstract representations in Modern Hebrew. In L. Mikkelsen and C. Potts (eds.), Proceedings of the West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics, vol. 21. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press, 420-42.

Jed also gave us an update on his recent fieldwork in Davao City, Philippines. He collected behavioral data for his nasal substitution project.


November 29 : Deniz talked to us about his project on resumptive pronouns: is resumption a feature of A-bar dependencies in general, or a feature of relative clauses in particular? Theories of resumption tend to discuss it in terms of A-bar dependencies in general, while presenting only data in which the resumptive pronoun is in a relative clause. Speakers (of English, Hebrew and Arabic, at least) report that resumptive pronouns in A-bar dependencies other than relative clauses are significantly degraded relative to relative clause resumption.

November 1 : Recent alum Chelsea Miller talked to us about some follow-up experiments that she's conducted to expand the scope of her MA thesis!

October 18 : Truckenbrodt, H., Sandalo, F., & Abaurre, B. (2009). Elements of Brazilian Portuguese intonation. Journal of Portuguese Linguistics, 8(1), 75-114.

Kelsey also talked about the project she's working on that extends her work on modal particles. The aim is to try to extract prosodic contours from meanings that are projected on various discourse particles. She'll be presenting the design of the experiment she's in the process of running for both English and German, created to disconnect particles from prosodic environments that they occur in​!​

October 11 : Polinsky, M., Gomez Gallo, C., Graff, P., & Kravtchenko, E. (2012). Subject preference and ergativity. Lingua 122, 267-77.

Steven also presented the design of the project that he's been working on for his second QP that looks at the role of morphological cues in relative clause processing in Georgian.

October 4 : Kouider, S. & Dupoux, E. (2009). Episodic accessibility and morphological processing: Evidence from long-term auditory priming. Acta Psychologica, 130, 38-47.

Jed also presented the design of the project that he's been working on for his second QP that looks at lexical retrieval and the nature of representations in morphologically complex words in Cebuano, a language spoken in the Philippines.

June 10: Jed gave a practice talk for AFLA

May 13: Nate gave us an update on a series of experiments looking at object control in English.

May 6: Grad students taking Ling 258 (Advanced Psycholinguistics) got feedback on their course projects.

April 22: Deniz talked about the processing of scalar implicatures.

April 15: Matt and Sandy talked about their project on Chamorro reflexives.

April 8: Chelsea and Jed talked about 2 posters of interest from CUNY.

February 26: McCourt, M., Green, J., Lau, E., & Williams, A. (2015). Processing implicit control: Evidence from reading times. Frontiers in Psychology.

February 19: Chelsea and Jed gave practice poster presentations for CUNY.

February 12: Phillips, C. & Wagers, M. (2007). Relating structure and time in linguistics and psycholinguistics. In Oxford handbook of psycholinguistics (pp. 739–756). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

February 5: Chow, Smith, Lau, & Phillips (2015). A "bag of arguments” mechanism for initial verb prediction. Language, Cognition, & Neuroscience.

January 29: Chacón, D.A., Imtiaz, Mashrur, Dasgupta, Shirsho, Murshed, S.M., Dan, M, & Phillips, C. (to appear). Locality and Word Order in Active Dependency Formation in Bangla.

January 22: Phillips, C. (2003). Linear order and constituency. Linguistic Inquiry, 34(1), 37-90.

January 15: Baayen, R. H., & Milin, P. (2010). Analyzing reaction times. International Journal of Psychological Research, 3(2), 12-28.


June 5: Meeting was also dedicated to provide feedback to projects that students are working on. Chelsea's project looks at possibility of agreement attraction after ellipsis sites in noun phrase ellipsis to determine whether there is reactivation at ellipsis sites. Jed's project looks at the role of Tagalog agreement/voice morphology in the comprehension of filler-gap dependencies.

May 29: Keshev, M. & Meltzer-Asscher, A. (2014). Implications of resumption for the parsing of Hebrew islands.

Meeting was also dedicated to provide feedback to projects that students are working on. Jenny, Kelsey, Steven, and Jeff are working on a project that looks at the comprehension of resumptive pronouns in English in real-time.

May 22: Alexiadou, A. & Gengel, K. (2008). NP ellipsis without focus movement/projections: The role of classifiers. Workshop on Interface-Based Approaches to Information Structure University.

May 15: Snider, N., & Runner, J.T. (2010). Structural parallelism aids ellipsis and anaphor resolution: Evidence from eye movements to semantic and phonological neighbors. Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing (AMLaP).

May 1: Nate presented his recent work on object control.

April 24: Lewis, S., & Phillips, C. (2013). Aligning grammatical theories and language processing models. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 44(1), 27–46.

April 17: Hofmeister, P. (2010). Representational complexity and memory retrieval in language comprehension. Language and Cognitive Processes, 26(3), 376–405.

April 10: Frazier, L., & Clifton Jr, C. (2002). Processing “d-linked” phrases. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 31(6), 633-659.

March 3: Jed presented his work on the acquisition of Tagalog relative clauses

February 10: Christianson, K., & Cho, H. Y. (2009). Interpreting null pronouns (pro) in isolated sentences. Lingua, 119(7), 989-1008.


Our group works on issues of how grammars are used in real-time language comprehension. We are interested in understanding the relationship between the form of grammatical constraints and other aspects of cognitive architecture, particularly memory.

When and where



Netta Ben-Meir

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