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Department of Linguistics
McGill University
1085 Dr. Penfield
Montreal, Quebec
Canada. H3A 1A7

Tel: (514) 398-4222  
Fax: (514) 398-7088


Current Research Grants

    • Title: Perspectives neurocognitives sur l'acquisition, la perte et le traitement du langage (Neurocognitive perspectives on the acquisition, loss and processing of language)
      Investigators: Lydia White (PI), Fred Genesee, Heather Goad,
      Yuriko Oshima-Takane, Phaedra Royle, Karsten Steinhauer, Elin Thordardottir
      Duration of grant: 2015-2019
      Granting agency: FRQSC Team Grant

      Project Description
      The overall objective of this research program is to investigate neurocognitive underpinnings of language acquisition and use amongst learners who are bilinguals, early or late L2 learners, or learners with language impairment. The approach is interdisciplinary, embracing different theoretical and methodological perspectives, both linguistic and psycholinguistic. We measure linguistic behaviour, using off-line and on-line measures. We also use neuro-imagining methods in order to examine more directly the neural substrates implicated in, or affected by, language learning, language loss and language processing. A number of projects are planned investigating a variety of linguistic phenomena and involving comparisons between monolinguals and bilinguals, impaired and unimpaired language learners, early and late acquirers of second languages, and learners experiencing language loss at different ages.

       For further information on the work of this team, click here:
    • Title: Phonological effects on grammatical representation and processing
      Investigators: Heather Goad and Lydia White
      Duration of grant: 2015-2020
      Granting agency: SSHRC Insight Grant

      Project Description
      Recent literature in linguistics has witnessed a growing interest in how different components of the grammar formally relate to each other. This research program explores the relationship between phonology and other domains of the grammars of second language learners and bilingual speakers. We are investigating how this relationship accounts for knowledge and use of a second language from a variety of perspectives including: (i) extending our Prosodic Transfer Hypothesis beyond production to include processing as well as various types of functional morphology in different combinations of languages; (ii) extending our work on parsing of ambiguous sentences, focusing on prosodic cues to syntactic constituency in a different range of constructions and a wider variety of languages; (iii) considering the role of prosody in determining how pronouns are (mis)interpreted; (iv) investigating prosodic realization of information structure, especially where the L1 and L2 differ as to whether certain aspects of information structure are realized prosodically or syntactically; and (v) identifying situations where the input available to learners, especially in classroom contexts, is potentially or actually misleading such that prosodic evidence might misguide the learner as to the appropriate representation for the target grammar.