Lalitha Balachandran


Welcome! I'm a fifth year PhD candidate in the Department of Linguistics at UC Santa Cruz, advised by Matt Wagers.

My research is in psycholinguistics, and centers around the intersection between memory, semantics/pragmatics, and prosody. I'm interested in the timecourse and integration of these various sources of information during the incremental interpretation of sentences, as well as their maintenance and interaction in off-line sentence memory. My dissertation focuses on the relationship between prosodic/discourse structures and the availability of linguistic items during memory retrieval operations. Most recently, I've been working on the relationship between memory and metacognition during reading with Matt Wagers, and on the interaction of prosody and focus structure in memory with Amanda Rysling and colleagues.

In the past, I've investigated formal questions in semantics and pragmatics involving verb phrase ellipsis and discourse structures, under the guidance of Pranav Anand. Along with r/lab, the department's resumption and animacy lab, I've worked on the processing of contextual animacy. I'm also a member and former co-organizer of s/lab, the department's Syntax, Semantics, and Language Processing Lab.

In addition to psycholinguistics research, I'm passionate about evidence-based pedagogy and instructional equity within the field of Linguistics, and in STEM/Social Sciences more generally. In collaboration with UCSC's Teaching & Learning Center, I've contributed to a project on evaluating the efficacy of online courses at UCSC. I'm also a founding member (along with Stephanie Rich) of Equity in Linguistics (EquiL), the Linguistics Department's grad-student led working group on pedagogy, equity, and inclusion in Linguistics.


lalithab (at) ucsc (dot) edu
Department of Linguistics
UC Santa Cruz
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95064

Office Hours (Fall 2023):

LING 171: Psycholinguistics 1
Tuesdays from 2-3 pm via Zoom
Fridays from 10-11 am in person