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Matt Wagers

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Research & Data Links

If you cannot find a paper, materials or data you're looking for, I'm happy to help you via email.

Original research articles
year title authors citation
In press On the universality of intrusive Resumption: Evidence from Chamorro and Palauan Chung, S., Wagers, M. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory Postprint (authors' copy) Materials & data
2020 Hierarchical structure and memory mechanisms in agreement attraction Franck, J., Wagers, M. PLoS ONE, 15, e0232163 Open Access materials, data, scripts
2020 The predictive value of Tagalog voice morphology in filler-gap dependency formation Pizarro-Guevara, J.S., Wagers, M. Frontiers in Psychology, 11, 517
Open Access <at journal>
2019 A new argument for distinct, co-active parses during language comprehension Dillon, B., Andrews, C., Rotello, C., Wagers, M. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 45, 1271-1286 preprint materials, data, scripts
2018 Grammatical licensing and relative clause parsing in a flexible word-order language Wagers, M.W., Borja, M.F., Chung, S. Cognition, 178, 207-221 postprint materials, data, scripts
2018 English resumptive pronouns are more common where gaps are less acceptable Morgan, A., Wagers, M. Linguistic Inquiry, 49, 861-876 postprint
2018 Developing incrementality in filler-gap dependency processing Atkinson, E., Wagers, M.W., Lidz, J., Phillips, C., Omaki, A. Cognition, 179, 132-149 postprint
2017 Subject encodings and retrieval interference Arnett, N., Wagers, M.W. Journal of Memory and Language, 93, 22-54 postprint
2017 The role of voice morphology in processing Tagalog A-bar dependencies Pizarro-Guevara, J.S., Wagers, M. AFLA 23: The Proceedings of the 23rd Meeting of the Austronesian Formal Linguistics Association, pp. 228-242
Nomoto, A., Miyauchi, T., & Shiohara, A., Eds. Canberra: Asia-Pacific Linguistics
2017 Persons, pronouns, and processing asymmetries Clothier-Goldschmidt, S., Wagers, M. Asking the Right Question: Essays in Honor of Sandra Chung, pp. 115-125
J. Ostrove, R. Kramer, & J. Sabbagh (Eds.). UC Santa Cruz.
Open Access
2016 Structuring expectation: licensing animacy in relative clause comprehension Wagers, M.W., Pendleton E. Proceedings of the 33rd West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics, 33 postprint materials, corpus queries
2015 The real-time comprehension of wh-dependencies in a Wh-Agreement language Wagers, M., Borja, M.F., Chung, S. Language, 91
2015 Ergativity and the complexity of extraction: a view from Mayan Clemens, L.E., Coon, J., Mateo Pedro, P., Morgan, A.M., Polinsky, M., Tandet, G., Wagers, M. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory, 33, 417-467
2015 Constituent order and parser control processes in Chamorro Borja, M.F., Chung, S., Wagers, M. AFLA 21: The Proceedings of the 21st Meeting of Austronesian Formal Linguistics Association Open Access
2014 Going the distance: memory and control processes in active dependency construction Wagers, M.W., Phillips, C. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 67, 1274-1304
postprint materials
2014 The structure-sensitivity of memory access: evidence from Mandarin Chinese Dillon, B., Chow, W.Y., Wagers, M., Guo, T., Liu, F., Phillips, C. Frontiers in Psychology, 5, 1025.
Open Access
2013 Processing covert dependencies: an SAT study on Mandarin Wh-in-situ questions Xiang, M., Dillon, B., Wagers, M., Liu, F., Guo, T. Journal of East Asian Linguistics, 23, 207-232
2012 A test of the relation between working memory constraints and syntactic island effects Sprouse, J., Wagers, M., Phillips, C. Language, 88, 82-123
2012 Working-memory capacity and island effects: a reminder of the issues and the facts. Sprouse, J., Wagers, M., Phillips, C. Language, 88, 401-407.
2011 The exclusive interpretation of plural nominals in quantificational environments Anand, P., Andrews, C., Farkas, D., Wagers, M. Proceedings of the 21st Semantics and Linguistic Theory Conference, 176-196
N. Ashton, A. Chereches, & D. Lutz (Eds.)
2009 Agreement attraction in comprehension: representations and processes Wagers, M. , Lau, E., Phillips, C. Journal of Memory and Language, 61, 206-237. Materials, data
2009 Multiple dependencies and the role of the grammar in real-time comprehension Wagers, M., Phillips, C. Journal of Linguistics, 45, 395-433

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Chapters, tutorials & commentary
year title authors citation
In press Acceptability with the tools of signal detection theory Dillon, B., Wagers, M. Cambridge Handbook of Experimental Syntax
G. Goodall (Ed.)
In press Language processing experiments in the field Wagers, M., Chung, S. Oxford Handbook of Experimental Syntax
J. Sprouse (Ed.)
In press Managing experimental data in a study of syntax Wagers, M. The Open Handbook of Linguistic Data Management
A. Berez-Kroeker, B. McDonnell, E. Koller, & L. Collister (Eds.) Cambridge, MA: MIT Press
2017 Sources of variability in linguistic memory systems
(Commentary on target article by Ian Cunnings)
Wagers, M. W. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition
2016 Psychology of Syntax Wagers, M. H. Miller (Ed.), The Sage Encyclopedia of Theory in Psychology. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
2014 Syntax in Forward and in Reverse: Form, Memory and Language Processing Wagers, M. The Routledge Handbook of Syntax
A. Carnie, D. Siddiqi, & Y. Sato (Eds.), New York: Taylor & Francis
2013 Memory mechanisms for wh-dependency formation and their implications for islandhood Wagers, M. Experimental Syntax and Island Effects
J. Sprouse & N. Hornstein (Eds.), Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press
2013 Working memory and language processing: theory, data, and directions for future research Wagers, M., McElree, B. The Cambridge Handbook for Biolinguistics
C. Boeckx & K. Grohmann (Eds.) Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press
2011 Grammatical illusions and selective fallibility in real-time language comprehension Phillips, C., Wagers, M., Lau, E. Experiments at the Interfaces, Syntax & Semantics, vol. 37, pp. 153-186.
J. Runner (Ed.) Bingley: UK: Emerald Publications.
2007 Relating structure and time in linguistics and psycholinguistics Phillips, C., Wagers, M. Oxford Handbook of Psycholinguistics
G. Gaskell (Ed.). Oxford: Oxford UP.
2006 Constituent structure and the binding problem
(Commentary on target article by van der Velde & de Kamps)
Phillips, C., Wagers, M. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 29(1), 81

Posters and talk slides (selected)

A selection of posters & slides reporting unpublished work

Chamorro Psycholinguistics Project
The Chamorro language across islands and generations. 2014. Presentation delivered to a series of community groups on Rota (Ufisinan Mayot), Tinian (Public Library) and Saipan (American Memorial Park) in September 2014. Documents change and constancy in the comprehension of complex sentences and word structure across generations, and islands, of the Marianas.
Memory & Prediction
Limited reactivation in noun phrase ellipsis. With *Chelsea Miller*. Twenty-ninth Annual CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing, Gainesville, FL, March 3-5, 2016.
Structuring expectation. Invited address, WCCFL 33, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver: March 27-29, 2015.
Do reflexives always find a grammatical antecedent for themselves? With Joseph King* and Caroline Andrews. 25th Annual CUNY Conference for Human Sentence Processing, New York, March 14-16.
Anti-local contexts increase the overall speed of dependency completion.
Talk slides from Twenty-third Annual CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing, New York, NY, March 19-21, 2010.
Focal attention and the timing of memory retrieval in language comprehension. With Brian McElree. Talk slides from the Fifteenth Annual Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing Conference, Barcelona, Spain, September 7-9, 2009.
The consequences of number agreement on number interpretation. 2009. With Ellen Lau* & Colin Phillips. Poster given at the 22nd Annual CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing, Davis, CA, March 26-28.
Agreement and the subject of confusion. 2008. With Ellen Lau*, Clare Stroud & Colin Phillips. Talk presented at the 21st Annual CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing, Chapel Hill, NC, March 13-15.
The impact of resolved filler-gap dependencies on later dependency completion. 2007. With Roshni Caputo-Nimbark, Paul Hines, Rebecca Larson, Jessica Levy, Andrea Longini, Hana Quon & Claude Smith. Poster presented at the 20th Annual CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing, La Jolla, CA, March 29-31.
Implicature calculation and the pragmatics of experiments. 2011. With Pranav Anand and Caroline Andrews. 4th Experimental Pragmatics (XPRAG) meeting, Barcelona, June 2-4, 2011.


As an undergraduate I was fortunate to work on two very interesting projects on the anatomy of the brain. The first, while I was an RA in the lab of Charles Gross, concerned the life-cycle and spatial distribution of newly-born neurons in the adult neocortex. The principal investigator of the project was Elizabeth Gould. It was an exciting time to be involved in this kind of research since the existence and extent of adult neurogenesis was still controversial and not well understood.
Gould, E., Vail, N., Wagers, M., Gross, C.G. (2001). Adult-generated hippocampal and neocortical neurons in macaques have a transient existence. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 98, 10910-7.
The second project was about white matter scaling, while I was a part of Sam Wang's lab: how the axon size distribution and fraction of myelinated axons changes with increasing brain size. Part of this paper was developed in my A.B. thesis, Optimization of Neocortical White Matter under Constraints of Time and Space. This part of the research showed that as brain size increases, the center of the size distribution of myelinated axons does not shift, but its positive skew does: the fraction of very large axons grows. This has the consequence that the minimum cross-brain conduction time is essentially preserved across brain sizes.
Wang, S.S., Shultz, J.R., Burish, M.J., Harrison, K.H., Hof, P.R., Towns, L.C., Wagers, M.W., Wyatt, K.D. (2008). Functional trade-offs in white matter axonal scaling. Journal of Neuroscience, 28, 4047-56.
Although my core interests shifted to linguistics and cognitive science, my inchoate life as a neuroscientist did inspire my linguistic interests - particular, in thinking about how compositional representations are biologically encoded.