Dr Clara Cohen
- Lecturer in Psycholinguistics (English Language & Linguistics)
Although I started studying quite traditional generative linguistics (I still have a quiet fondness for clever phonological rule-ordering examples and elegant phrase-structure trees), my interests now tilt more and more towards experimental research into language processing, and computational research with corpus data. Shiny new toys delight me, and I am happiest when I am experimenting with a new programming language to analyze different types of corpus data, a new eye-tracking lab, a new way of doing growth-curve analysis, Bayesian approaches to statistics, or a fancy ERP cap, with gel and electrodes and blinking lights.
In order to fight the danger of distracting myself from my work with all these shiny toys, I use the results of my experiments as converging evidence from many different data sources, united in pursuit of larger questions:
- Experimental: How do details of pronunciation variation illuminate patterns in lexical storage and retrieval?
- Computational: How can computational models shed light on the processes underlying bilingual processing and second language acquisition?
I am interested in supervising experimental projects relating to psycholinguistics, speech perception, speech planning, lexical retrieval, bilingualism, and computational modeling of all these processes.
Please note: I am not available to supervise work on EFL, TEFL, or language pedagogy.
Potential students should be aware that my expertise leans heavily towards quantitative and computational methods. I do not have the expertise to supervise projects that employ only qualitative methods. Students do not need to be statistical programming experts to apply, but they should be prepared to learn a great deal of those skills over the course of their degree.
If you would like me to supervise your studies, please email me with the following information:
- A research proposal (~10 pages), containing a brief literature review motivating their research question, planned methodology, and a statement of the predicted results.
- A summary of computational and statistical skills, in particular:
- Any experience in progamming or scripting languages (e.g., Python, Perl, Praat, R). Even something as trivial as 'I spent a couple of weekends last summer poking around in Python'. It's fine if you haven't got it, but it will make picking up other skills in experimental design much easier.
- Experience in inferential statistical analysis. It's fine if you haven't got it yet, but you'll definitely need to learn it. The following questions, in increasing order of knowledge, give an idea of what sort of expertise I care about:
- Do you know what a p-value is?
- Do you know the difference between a t-test and an ANOVA?
- Do you know the difference between linear and logistic regression?
- Do you know what mixed-effects (or hierarchical) regression models are?
- Do you know the difference between Bayesian statistics and null-hypothesis significance testing?
I teach or contribute to teaching on
- Experimental Design and Data Analysis (ENGLANG 4063/ENGLANG 5092)
- Psycholinguistics (ENGLANG 4059/ENGLANG 5109)
- Introductory Phonetics (ENGLANG 4048/ENGLANG 5099)
- Advanced Phonetics (ENGLANG 4049/ ENGLANG 5107)
- Topics in Phonetics (ENGLANG 5110)
- Methods in Phonetics (ENGLANG 5103)
- Level 2B: Language, Mind, & Expression (ENGLANG 2005)
- PGT Research Training Course (ENGLANG 5091)
I also convene the first year introductory Level 1 sequence