Influences on Morphological Learning
In addition to a language's morphological structure, what are other factors that influence learning words and grammatical structure in a new language? My NSF-funded postdoctoral research focuses on how various linguistic and extralinguistic factors affect how we learn morphological alternations. I use artificial language learning tasks with miniature languages that are either similar to English or Arabic in their morphological structure, and measure accuracy rates and error types to assess learning.
Lexical Production and Comprehension
I am curious about how we select words to use and understand the words that others use. For example, do we process speech from virtual assistants like Siri using some of the same subconscious methods that we do with human speech? Or do we use the same types of words to talk to someone who is hard-of-hearing, someone who seems to not speak English as their primary language, and someone in a noisy room?
I want to extend morphological theory to capture what we see in typologically diverse languages and psychologically, socially diverse populations. One of the ways I am doing this work is to draw connections between theoretical work in Distributed Morphology and experimental work in psycholinguistics and communicative disorders to demonstrate parallels that otherwise are hidden to researchers not engaged in broad, interdisciplinary bodies of literature. Furthermore, I explore what makes morphology in language "productive", investigating how willing participants are to use extant but unproductive morphological structures with novel words.