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Welcome, Golsa!

The ExLing Lab welcomes our new PhD student Golsa Khodadadi! 

Golsa Khodadadi is interested in syntax, discourse, language processing, and second language acquisition. She has an MA in Applied Linguistics from University of Tabriz in Iran with a thesis that examined Verb Phrase Ellipsis in English political discourse and prose fiction. Her more recent research explores the comprehension of Verb Phrase Ellipsis by second language speakers of English.  

Dr. Tom Juzek’s research presentation

Dr. Tom Juzek , Assistant Professor of Computational Linguistics at Florida State University, gave a research presentation on December 07 on Gradience in Grammar and the Syntactic Acceptability Dataset.  

During the talk, Dr. Juzek presented the results of previous work with Jana Häussler (2020) on the question of whether gradience in acceptability should be considered as evidence for gradience in grammar. Then he further outlined the ongoing research on building a new dataset that based on COLA (Corpus of Linguistic Acceptability; Warstadt et al. 2018); this new dataset is valuable to both the machine learning community and the linguistic community. In the final step, he connected the previous 2020 results and the ongoing project with recent work in the field, most notably Francis (2022).

Based on his colorful experience in the tech industry and academia in several countries, Dr Juzek also gave a presentation on career paths for Linguistics graduate students on December 8. Following that, our Exling lab members were delighted to have lunch with Dr Juzek, invited him to our lab and had a pleasant discussion about both research projects.  

Welcome, Yue and Jingying!

The ExLing Lab welcomes two new PhD students: Yue Li and Jingying Hu!

Yue completed her M.A. in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics from the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences. Her interests are sentence production and second language acquisition. 

Jingying completed her MA. in TCSOL from Peking University. Her interests are Chinese linguistics, second language acquisition, psycholinguistics.

Congratulations to Vanessa Sheu!

Vanessa Sheu successfully defended her preliminary project in May 2022 titled “Aural Processing and Spoken Production of Mandarin Garden-Path Sentences in Native, L2, and Heritage Speakers: The Role of Semantic Plausibility.”

Her research involves looking at the syntax-semantic interface in the interpretation of ambiguous sentences and the effect of semantic complexity on production in heritage speakers.


Double congratulations to Josh Weirick!

Josh Weirick successfully defended his dissertation “Language background and the realization of the information structure constraints on English dative constructions: Evidence from monolingual and bilingual speakers” on May 21, 2021. In other excellent news, Josh will start a new postdoctoral position in the Aphasia Lab in the Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences at Purdue on August 1. Congratulations, Dr. Weirick!

Josh Weirick defending his dissertation on Zoom.
Josh Weirick defending his dissertation on Zoom.

CUNY 2020 virtual conference

Because of the covid-19 pandemic, CUNY 2020 (March 19-21) could not be held as planned in Amherst, Massachusetts. However, the organizers went to heroic efforts and quickly moved the CUNY 2020 conference online. Links to the talks and posters are available for anyone to view in the OSF repository.

Our lab members got to participate in the virtual conference. Josh Weirick and Elaine Francis presented a poster titled “Acceptability of relative clause extraposition in English: Effects of predicate type and givenness”. Please check out the poster video at the link below! Watch to the end for some silliness.


Welcome, Vanessa!

As the Fall 2019 semester begins in earnest, we are excited to welcome PhD. student Vanessa Sheu to the ExLing Lab.

Vanessa is excited to join the Exling Lab this fall. She received her B.A in Comparative Literature at the University of Michigan and her M.A. in TESOL at Teachers College, Columbia University. As a heritage speaker of Mandarin she is interested in the syntax of heritage speakers, as well as filler-gap dependencies in Mandarin and sentence processing methods.

March 2019 Conferences

Lab members were busy presenting at three conferences in March 2019. Carol Chun Zheng, Josh Weirick, and Elaine Francis presented a talk at the American Association of Applied Linguistics conference in Atlanta and a poster at the CUNY sentence processing conference in Boulder, CO reporting on their project, “Effects of frequency and simplicity in L2 English causative motion production.” In addition, Josh Weirick and Elaine Francis presented preliminary results from their project “A verb appeared that usually doesn’t: Effects of predicate type and discourse status on relative clause extraposition in English” at the Purdue Linguistics, Literature, and Second Language Studies conference.

Dinner at CUNY in Boulder with our friend Prof. Charles Lin from Indiana University. Carol Chun Zheng, Elaine Francis, Charles Lin, Josh Weirick

2019 LSA Linguistic Institute: University of California, Davis

The 2019 Linguistic Institute is right around the corner! The Institute will take place from June 24th – July 19th at the University of California, Davis. Dr. Elaine Francis will be teaching the course on Experimental Syntax with Dr. Savithry Namboodiripad from the University of Michigan. The full course list and additional details about the Institute can be found here.

Welcome to Purdue Experimental Linguistics Lab (ExLing)

Heavilon Hall

Our research lab is located on Purdue’s campus in Heavilon Hall Room 201 (campus map). Our research deals with syntax and its interfaces with semantics, discourse information structure, and language processing in production and comprehension. Some of our goals are as follows:

  • to identify the various factors that contribute to the realization of grammatical alternations—sentence types that differ in structure but overlap in usage
  • to explore the relation between grammar and performance, in particular the hypothesis that processing pressures in production and comprehension contribute to the development of grammatical conventions
  • to understand how the similarities and differences among the sentence types that alternate with each other are best represented within a theory of grammar
  • to explore the relation between grammar and meaning, in particular how structural differences relate to differences in conceptualization within and across languages

We address these issues using a variety of experimental methods,including acceptability judgment tasks, structural priming tasks, various elicitation tasks, reading and response time measurements, and quantitative corpus analyses.

Lab members also make use of a variety of theoretical approaches, including Hawkins’ theory of performance-grammar correspondence, Sadock’s Automodular Grammar (aka Autolexical Syntax), Culicover and Jackendoff’s Simpler Syntax, Slobin’s thinking-for-speaking hypothesis, Ramchand’s model of event structure, and Cinque and Rizzi’s cartographic approach to the syntax-discourse interface.
Languages currently under investigation include English, Cantonese, Shanghainese, Chaoshan, and Mandarin.