Using eye-tracking to understand language use and language processing in bilingual communities
In linguistic research there is a growing interest in the cognitive basis of language use, language competence, and language change. This project brings together a phonetician, a cognitive psychologist, and an expert in second language acquisition. We will use eye-tracking to understand how linguistic phenomena are processed in bilingual speech communities and for speakers acquiring a new language (compared to monolingual speakers). Our foci are syntactic processing, fluency-related phenomena (speech rate, hesitations, etc.), sound change, and the interaction of these. The results of our experiments will help explain how listeners draw inferences about their interlocutors and the role that a listener’s native language plays in developing such inferences. Of greater importance, this research is meant to enhance interdisciplinary awareness of the relation between produced and perceived speech, and how this relation obtains in individual monolingual and bilingual speakers.
Presented at the Psycholinguistics Lab, Department of Psychology, University of Michigan