PhD thesis: Using computer applications and robots to measure language learning in children and adults
Using adaptive mobile agents in games based scenarios to facilitate foreign language word learning
Paola Escudero, Omar Mubin, and Muneeb Ahmad. 2015. "Using adaptive mobile agents in games based scenarios to facilitate foreign language word learning". In Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Human-Agent Interaction, 255-257.
Topic: A grammatical description of Kriol
Supervisor: Prof Jane Simpson
Denise Angelo is a PhD candidate with the School of Languages, Literature and Linguistics in CASS at ANU. She is currently working on a grammatical description of northern Australian Kriol. In addition, English-lexified contact varieties —their historical and present day development, their role in language ecologies, the recognition afforded them, and their impact in education and other areas of social justice—are abiding research interests. Denise is also involved in training Aboriginal pre-service teachers at The University of Sydney.
Denise has worked across Queensland with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, educators and community members on describing English-lexified vernaculars and local language ecologies. She has had extensive experience with channeling this language work back into policy development as well as into systems, curriculum and classroom practice. Denise has also undertaken collaborative research into the second language acquisition trajectories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander school students in Queensland who speak English-lexified contact language varieties but who undertake their schooling through English-medium instruction. She is actively engaged in building pre-service and classroom teachers’ capacity to teach their multilingual students. As the first linguist-coordinator of Diwurruwurru-jaru, the Katherine Regional Aboriginal Language Centre, Denise worked to support training, research, documentation, school-based revitalisation programs and resource development in the 30 (traditional) languages of the region. In addition, Denise has worked on raising awareness about the need for services in Kriol, the lingua franca and first language of most Aboriginal residents there, and with colleagues established the first accredited Kriol-English interpreting course in the Northern Territory.
Beware bambai lest it be apprehensive
Angelo, Denise, and Schultze-Berndt, Eva. 2016. "Beware bambai lest it be apprehensive". In Loss and Renewal: Australian Languages since Colonisation, 29-56. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
Same but different: Understanding language contact in Queensland Indigenous Settlements
Mushin, Ilana, Angelo, Denise, and Munro, Jennifer. 2016. "Same but different: Understanding language contact in Queensland Indigenous Settlements". In Land and language in the Cape York Peninsula and Gulf Country, 383-408. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Dodgy data, language invisibility and the implications for social inclusion: A critical analysis of Indigenous student language data in Queensland schools
Sally Dixon, and Denise Angelo. 2014. "Dodgy data, language invisibility and the implications for social inclusion: A critical analysis of Indigenous student language data in Queensland schools." Australian Review of Applied Linguistics. 37 (3): 213-233.
Anomalous data about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander language ecologies
Angelo, Denise, and McIntosh, Sophie. 2014. "Anomalous data about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander language ecologies". In Intersections: Applied Linguistics as a meeting place, 270-293. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
Concepts underpinning innovations to second language proficiency scales inclusive of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander learners: a dynamic process in progress
Catherine Hudson, and Denise Angelo. 2014. "Concepts underpinning innovations to second language proficiency scales inclusive of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander learners: a dynamic process in progress." Papers in Language Testing and Assessment. 3 (1): 44-84.
Topic: TAM Expression in Anindilyakwa
James Bednall is a PhD candidate with the College of Arts and Social Sciences at the ANU. His doctoral research explores the expression of temporal, aspectual and modal categories in Anindilyakwa, a non-Pama-Nyungan language spoken on the Groote Eylandt archipelago in the Northern Territory. Utilising a range of theoretical frameworks and research traditions, including descriptive linguistics (through fieldwork elicitation and corpus work), theoretical and formal linguistics (especially formal semantics and pragmatics), experimental linguistics (e.g. the use of novel elicitation methods in the field), comparative and typological linguistics, discourse analysis, and ethnopragmatics, his research will provide a detailed account of the range of TAM categories and their uses in Anindilyakwa.
James graduated from the University of Western Australia with a BA(Hons) in linguistics in 2011, where he examined variation in form and semantic function of (primarily deontic) mood across a sample of dialects of the Western Desert language (Pama-Nyungan, Wati) for his honours thesis. He worked as a community linguist at the Bundiyarra - Irra Wangga Language Centre (Geraldton, Western Australia) between 2011 to 2014, where he was involved in research on several Pama-Nyungan languages of the Mid-West of Western Australia, concentrating in particular on lexical and grammatical descriptions of the Badimaya and Wajarri languages (Pama-Nyungan, Kartu). In addition to research, his position involved facilitating community and school-based language revitalisation programs, developing language-learning resources, assisting Aboriginal community members in linguistic and language training, and working in collaboration with Aboriginal Australians to deliver language and cultural awareness training.
Katie Bicevskis completed a BA (Visual) at ANU in 2001 a Graduate (2010) and Post Graduate (2012) Diploma in Linguistics at the University of Melbourne. Her Post Graduate Diploma thesis examined incorporation of modifiers in the Gunwinyguan languages of the Northern Territory. She also completed an MA in Linguistics at the University of British Columbia in 2015 and for her MA thesis she conducted experimental research into the integration of visual and tactile speech information in speech perception. During her time in Canada she also worked on Gitksan, an endangered language of the Tsimshianic family traditionally spoken in northwestern British Columbia. Katie has recently begun her PhD at the University of Melbourne and is working on a grammar of Marri Ngarr, an endangered Australian language of the Daly River region in the Northern Territory.
Using authentic language resources to incorporate Indigenous knowledges across the Australian Curriculum
Cathy Bow. 2016. "Using authentic language resources to incorporate Indigenous knowledges across the Australian Curriculum." Learning Communities: International Journal of Learning in Social Contexts. 20 (Special Issue: New Connections in Education Research): 20-39. doi: http://doi.org/10.18793/LCJ2016.20.03..
Australia Loves Language Puzzles: The Australian Computational and Linguistics Olympiad (OzCLO)
Dominique Estival, Cathy Bow, John Henderson, Barbara F. Kelly, Mary Laughren, Elisabeth Mayer, Diego Mollá, Colette Mrowa-Hopkins, Rachel Nordlinger, Verna Rieschild, Andrea C. Schalley, Alexander W. Stanley, and Jill Vaughan. December 1, 2014. "Australia Loves Language Puzzles: The Australian Computational and Linguistics Olympiad (OzCLO)." Language and Linguistics Compass. 8 (12): 659-670. doi: 10.1111/lnc3.12096.
Lydia Byrne started her PhD in 2015 as part of the Complex and Intelligent Systems research group at The University of Queensland (UQ). Her PhD is exploring the use of visualizations to solve complex problems. In particular, she is looking at how to select or design a visualization to suit a specific audience and analytical problem. As part of her PhD work she is helping to design and build a tool for visualizing linguistic paradigms, using the programming language D3 js. In addition, she has been comparing different visualizations for analysing the dynamics of a conversation, including the Discursis tool developed at UQ. Her hobbies include Mixed Martial Arts, birdwatching, and acclimatising to the humidity in Queensland.
Acquired Codes of Meaning in Data Visualization and Infographics: Beyond Perceptual Primitives
Lydia Byrne, Daniel Angus, and Janet Wiles. 2015. "Acquired Codes of Meaning in Data Visualization and Infographics: Beyond Perceptual Primitives." Visualization and Computer Graphics, IEEE Transaction. (99): 1-1.
Carlo Dalle Ceste
Topic: Reconstructing the mother tongue: new evidence for Proto Oceanic from the languages of Western Melanesia
Supervisor: Bethwyn Evans
Carlo is investigating the Oceanic languages of Western Melanesia, which may constitute a grouping within the Oceanic subgroup of the Austronesian family. His project aims at reconsidering the genetic relationships among Western Melanesian languages, revising the existing phonological and lexical reconstructions of Proto Oceanic (Ross 1988), and attempting grammatical reconstruction. As this project will require extensive data collection, Carlo will use published and unpublished materials, fieldnotes and existing grammars. A strong supporter of the philological approach to historical linguistic studies, Carlo will carefully apply the comparative method integrating both top-down and bottom-up reconstructing works.
Carlo holds a BA (Hons) in Modern languages from the University of Genoa (Italy); he then moved to the University of Pavia (Italy) to pursue his MA in Theoretical and Applied Linguistics. Carlo has been consistently involved with the study of historical linguistics since the inception of his academic path, with a special focus on linguistic reconstruction at the grammatical level. Despite the "(Indo-)Eurocentrism" of his former education, he has developed a keen interest for the Oceanic and Papuan languages of Island Melanesia.
Supervisor: Evan Kidd and Nicholas Evans
Claudia Cialone is a PhD student exploring spatiality in language and culture in Bininj Gunwok (Kunwinjku) communities living in Western Arnhem Land.
Claudia carries on extensive fieldwork with communities living in outstations in Arnhem Land. She is exploring how aspects of spatial cognition and navigation such as orientation, topology and spatial configuration, or spatial memory, are expressed by Bininj Kunwok communities. She analyses environmentally contextualized patterns of spatial language and culture during every day activities and bushwalking around Country.
Claudia completed a BA(Hons) in natural (English, Russian and Spanish) and programming languages from the University of Torvergata in Rome. She holds an Mphil in Russian studies from the University of Cambridge and an MRes(MSc) in Speech, Language and Cognition at University College London (UCL). She worked as a Research Associate for the University of Nottingham Geospatial Institute. She was appointed RA by the University of Bremen (Germany) in collaboration with UCL.
Amongst her interests and skills is spatial cognition and navigation, linguistics (semantics), anthropology, documentary movie-making and editing, ontology and thesauri engineering, Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
I have an Honours degrees in Philosophy and Linguistics, both completed at ANU.
My main research interests are in the philosophy of cognitive science and the philosophy of linguistics. In general, I am interested in the many places that philosophy and linguistics interact (or should interact).
My PhD thesis centres on a proposal about the basic concepts that underlie our cognition, essentially the “atoms of thought”. I suggest that the atoms of thought might be roughly identified with the semantic primes of Natural Semantic Metalanguage (NSM) research, as developed by Anna Wierzbicka and Cliff Goddard. I intend to home in on some of the significant psychological and evolutionary implications of such a proposal. I also want to show how the view compares to the "language of thought" hypothesis in classical cognitive science.
I am a PhD student of the Complex and Intelligent Systems research group at the University of Queensland. My PhD work focuses on using a bio-inspired computational model which can form construals and make predictions from sequential series featuring multi-timescale structures. Forming construals is the process of interpreting and conceptualising the objective world. This ability aids a person to make judgements, inferences and predictions. With a linguistic time series, to construe is to find the syntactic, semantic and pragmatic structures within the sequences. These are key features that determine the grammar, the meanings of the words and the meanings that the words are conveying in a given situation. Being able to construe from a language is central to understanding it, however, the construal problem is poorly modelled in the field of computational linguistics. In my PhD work, I am investigating this challenging area using visual and textual sequences that have inherently complex temporal structure. Furthermore, as a computer scientist, I can contribute to the Technology Threads of the Centre.
During her bachelor and master studies in Linguistics at the University of Leipzig, Tina Gregor became very interested in the linguistic diversity of the world. Linguistic typology and the documentation and description of languages quickly became the focus of her studies. Now, her interest in linguistic diversity has led her to a project in one of the most linguistically diverse regions of the world, the island of New Guinea. The aim of the project is to document and describe Yelmek and Maklew; two closely related non-Austronesian languages in Papua Province, Indonesia. Yelmek (400 speakers) and Maklew (120 speakers) form an isolate language family and are both highly endangered due to language shift to Indonesian. The existing material on them is scarce and essentially all based on work from the 1950s. Her project will result in a description of one language with comparative remarks on the other, an annotated digital corpus and a small dictionary. These can be used as a resource for the speakers themselves and as a basis for further research.
Amanda Hamilton is originally from the United States, and completed her previous studies at Georgetown University (BA in English) and at the University of Hawaii (MA in Linguistics--Endangered Language Documentation and Conservation). In 2010 she assisted with the Alor and Pantar Languages Project, helping collect data for research on the historical relationships among the languages spoken on Alor and Pantar islands in eastern Indonesia. Her involvement with Australian Aboriginal languages began in 2011, when she moved to Port Hedland in northwestern WA to work as a linguist at Wangka Maya Pilbara Aboriginal Language Centre. While she worked with speakers of many of the region’s 31 languages, much of her research there focused on Nyangumarta, one of the most commonly spoken languages in Port and South Hedland. She completed a pilot study on child Nyangumarta, analyzing the differences between it and the language as it is spoken by adults. This sparked her interest in language contact and change, and she plans to pursue these topics through her research at CoEDL.
My graduate research seeks to explore the cognitive foundations and learning mechanisms that underpin humans’ ability to acquire and process spoken language. Throughout my undergraduate studies in developmental psychology (BPsySc. Hons I with Uni Medal) and foreign languages (DipLang) at the University of Queensland, I became fascinated with the burning questions in psycholinguistics concerning how the language we speak shapes both the ways we perceive fluent speech and the ways we represent the world. At the same time, coming from a Chinese-speaking trilingual family, I am always captivated by the sound structures of different languages and regional dialects. Through cross-linguistic experimental methods, I hope to investigate the universal and language-specific influences in speech perception and ultimately address how research findings in this area can provide crucial hints about the human mind and its operations. This year, I am extremely fortunate to be able to begin my PhD at the MARCS Institute under the supervision of Prof. Anne Cutler.
Language-specificity in speakers’ strategies of focus expression
Martin Ip, and Anne Cutler. July 2016. "Language-specificity in speakers’ strategies of focus expression". In Abstracts of Laboratory Phonology, Ithaca, New York.
Cross-language data on five types of prosodic focus
Martin Ip, and Anne Cutler. May 2016. "Cross-language data on five types of prosodic focus". In Proceedings of Speech Prosody 2016, Boston.
Bruno holds a BA (Hons) and a BSc, both from the Australian National University. Bruno has a general background in cognitive science and his Honours thesis, supervised by Kim Sterelny, discussed Chomsky’s saltationist view of language evolution and argued for a gradualist alternative to it. His PhD project concerns the role of theoretical linguistics in language evolution theorising. Bruno has a particular interest in the (present and possible) contribution of so-called generative grammar to evolutionary debates about language.
Topic: Intonation and Prosody in Djambarrpuyŋu Supervisors: Janet Fletcher and Ruth Singer
Kathleen (Katie) Jepson is a PhD candidate in the Phonetics Laboratory at the University of Melbourne. Katie completed a Bachelor of Arts with Honours at the ANU in 2013. In her Honours research, she worked on segmental and intonational phonology and its’ relationship to focus and topic in Torau, an Oceanic language spoken on the east coast of central Bougainville, Papua New Guinea. Her doctoral research is an acoustic phonetic study of prosodic phenomena in Djambarrpuyŋu, a Yolŋu Matha variety spoken in north east Arnhem Land. Using experimental phonetic and laboratory phonology methods, Katie is examining prosodic prominence at the level of the word – i.e. stress – and the phrase – i.e. intonation – and how these acoustic prominences contribute to meaning, such as by encoding information structure. There is also a perception component to investigate how Djambarrpuyŋu people perceive and use these illusive prosodic phenomena in processing speech. The study will be both qualitative and quantitative, to account for what is observed. A particular area of interest is the rising intonation contour which has been anecdotally reported for Djambarrpuyŋu, and is uncommon among the Yolŋu languages, and Australian languages more widely.
Vowel duration and consonant lengthening in Djambarrpuyŋu
Kathleen Jepson, and Hywel Stoakes. 2015. "Vowel duration and consonant lengthening in Djambarrpuyŋu". In Proceedings of the 18th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences,
Ivan (Vanya) Kapitonov is working on a grammatical description of Kunbarlang (a.k.a. Gunbalang), a polysynthetic Gunwinygic language spoken in Australia's Top End. This language exhibits complex morphosyntax with polypersonal agreement, incorporation and heaps of derivational morphology in the verb, which is characteristic of its family and important for linguistic theory. At the same time, it shows features that are unusual for its family, such as coverb constructions and a more rigid word order. Some of them may have developed through contact with its closest neighbour Mawng (Iwaidjan). While the core of the project is extensive fieldwork, it will be well-informed by the contemporary linguistic theory.
Vanya studied at RSUH in Moscow and UCLA in Los Angeles. His background is both in fieldwork (mainly Adyghe, Northwest Caucasian, and Imbabura Quichua, Quechuan language of Northern Ecuador), and formal theories. In his theses he explored the system of indefinite pronouns in Adyghe and semantics of English additive particle too from the point of view of dynamic semantics. He has also done research on syntax and formal semantics of some aspects of Russian.
Donum semanticum: Opera linguistica et logica in honorem Barbarae Partee a discipulis amicisque Rossicis oblata
Peter Arkadiev, Ivan Kapitonov, Sergei Tatevosov, Ekaterina Rackhilina, and Yury Lander. 2015. Donum semanticum: Opera linguistica et logica in honorem Barbarae Partee a discipulis amicisque Rossicis oblata. Moscow : LRC Publishing.
On the quantification of events
Kapitonov, Ivan. 2015. "On the quantification of events". In Donum semanticum: Opera linguistica et logica in honorem Barbarae Partee a discipulis amicisque Rossicis oblata., Moscow: LRC Publishing.
Commencing February 2017
Topic: TMA Expressions in Nafsan (South Efate) from a Typological Perspective
Supervisor: Nick Thieberger and Manfred Krifka (HU Berlin)
Ana Krajinović is a joint PhD student at the University of Melbourne and Humboldt University in Berlin. Her PhD project is supported by the collaboration between the MelaTAMP project (‘A corpus-based contrastive study of tense, aspect, modality and polarity in Austronesian languages of Melanesia’) based at the Humboldt University in Berlin and the Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language.
Her PhD research focuses on TMA expressions in Nafsan, also known as South Efate, spoken on the island of Efate in Vanuatu. The study of TMA in Nafsan gives special attention to mood and aspect, the most prominent categories of its TMA system. Starting from a more detailed description of grammatical encoding of TMA in Nafsan, the main goal of Ana’s PhD project is to show what a mood-prominent language like Nafsan can clarify when put in typological and theoretical debates. This also concerns the discussion about the realis/irrealis distinction and the role of linguistic categories in language description and typology. She also intends to rely on different theoretical frameworks for a deeper semantic and pragmatic analysis of TMA in Nafsan. The main source of language data is the Nafsan corpus collected by Nick Thieberger. Ana will also conduct her own fieldwork in order to answer more specific research questions.
Ana holds a BA in Linguistics and Portuguese language and literature from the University of Zagreb (Croatia), and MA in Linguistics from the University of Lisbon (Portugal). Her MA thesis is a description of the verbal system of Malabar Indo-Portuguese, a moribund Portuguese-based creole in Kerala, India.
One of several philosophers honoured to be a member of CoEDL, Stephen focuses on animal communication and evolutionary dynamics. Connecting the literature on natural signalling systems with wider topics in the philosophy of information, he seeks to understand the various notions of semantic content that play a role in simple communicative interactions. While human language is steeped in pragmatics and changes with the speed and complexity of cultural evolution, animal communication is for the most part purely semantic and has simpler dynamics. He investigates the extent to which evolutionary modelling can inform the study of communication and information in the philosophy of biology. With a background in mathematics, Stephen draws on both empirical biology and computer simulations to support claims about naturalistic approaches to meaning and its evolution. He completed a four-year Master in Science (equivalent to three-year Bachelor's and one-year Master's) in mathematics and philosophy at the University of Bristol (UK) in 2010, before working as a software developer. In 2013 he began a PhD in philosophy at King's College, London, before visiting ANU in 2015 and making the move permanent in 2016.
Making the ESL classroom visible: Indigenous Australian children’s early education
Dixon, Sally, Gawne, Lauren, Morales, Gemma, Poetsch, Susan, and Wigglesworth, Gillian. 2016. "Making the ESL classroom visible: Indigenous Australian children’s early education". In Early Childhood Education in English for Speakers of Other Languages, 111-136. London: British Council.
Kyla Quinn is starting her PhD in 2015. Her PhD will examine syncretism in the world's languages with a view to determining the utility of syncretic patterns as a tool for diagnosing phylogeny and contact relationships between languages. For the past 14 years Kyla has been working for the Australian Government in IT and Engineering related fields. She has experience in the statistical analysis of large datasets, computer programming and scripting in several languages. Most recently, she has been involved in strategic planning. Seven years ago Kyla started studying part time for fun and found a new passion for linguistics. In 2014, she graduated from ANU with a BA(Hons) majoring in Linguistics and Indonesian. Her Honours thesis was based on fieldwork she undertook in Wando Village, located on the Torassi River in Western Province, Papua New Guinea. The thesis outlined the verbal morphology of Thuntai and constituted the first documentation of the language. Kyla volunteers for local wildlife rescue organisation, Wildcare. She is a venomous snake catcher and raptor rehabilitator. She is also gaining experience as a toddler-wrangler, looking after her 18 month old son William.
Topic: Connecting community with Corpora: annotated media resources meet language teaching Supervisors: Assoc Prof Caroline Jones (Principal supervisor), Dr Jennifer MacRitchie, Prof Francesca Merlan
Overview: In 1994 the Katherine Regional Aboriginal Language Centre (later Diwurruwurru-jaru), at the behest of the Elders, the community and the school, initiated a Mangarrayi language-teaching programme within the school curriculum. A small group of key Elders in the community, in partnership with linguists working through the Language Centre, delivered the programme and developed a range of materials and resources. The principal, teachers and Aboriginal Teacher assistants (who had some knowledge of Mangarrayi), actively supported the program. Twenty-two years on, many of these elements no longer obtain. Most crucially, there are critically few fluent speakers left in the community. However, many recordings of fluent speakers of Mangarrayi have been recorded over the years and are stored in archives such as AIATSIS (Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies). My thesis explores the steps that need to be taken to translate this valuable material into useful teaching and learning materials for the Jilkminggan community. The research will include a study of three different modes of delivery for teaching Mangarrayi within a school context: a more traditional communicative-based approach; a song presentation; and an app-based approach.
Research questions: What are the important target themes for learning and teaching Mangarrayi in the eyes of Aboriginal teachers and community members? How can media be extracted from annotated audio-visual corpora to allow teachers in an Aboriginal community to create teaching resources via an app? What role does the mode of delivery play in the experience of teaching and learning Mangarrayi at Jilkminggan school?
Jilkminggan is an Aboriginal community 135 km south-east of Katherine in the Northern Territory. The traditional language of the community is Mangarrayi.
Hand in hand: Tools and techniques for understanding children’s touch with a social robot
Kristyn Hensby, Janet Wiles, Marie Boden, Joshua Riddell, Mark Nielsen, Paul Pounds, Nikodem Rybak, Virginia Slaughter, Michael Smith, Jonathan Taufatofua, Peter Worthy, and Jason Weigel. 2016. "Hand in hand: Tools and techniques for understanding children’s touch with a social robot". In HRI 2016 - 11th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human Robot Interaction, 437-438. Christchurch, NZ.
Social cardboard: Pretotyping a social ethnodroid in the wild.
Janet Wiles, Peter Worthy, Kristyn Hensby, Marie Boden, Scott Heath, Paul Pounds, Nikodem Rybak, Michael Smith, Jonathan Taufatofua, and Jason Weigel. 2016. "Social cardboard: Pretotyping a social ethnodroid in the wild.". In Human-Robot Interaction (HRI), 531-532. Christchurch, NZ.
Carly Steele has started her PhD in 2016 at the University of Melbourne under the supervision of Professor Gillian Wigglesworth. She will be working with Indigenous Kriol speaking children in educational settings. Prior to this, Carly has been employed as a teacher, both Primary and Secondary, in NSW, WA, and QLD and later as a literacy consultant in Cairns. She has worked in Indigenous education in remote WA, Cairns and the Torres Strait. During this time, Carly completed a Master of Arts (Applied Linguistics) at Curtin University. Her Master's thesis investigated whether Indigenous students' literacy levels impact upon the way they process language and, as a consequence, their oral Second Dialect Acquisition (SDA).
Catalina Torres Orjuela
Supervisors: Janet Fletcher and Gillian Wigglesworth
Topic: Bilingual prosody of French and Drehu
Catalina is a PhD candidate working in the Phonetics Laboratory at the University of Melbourne. Her doctoral research focuses on language contact in New Caledonia and the prosodic systems of Drehu, an Oceanic language, and New Caledonian French. A substantial part of her research consists of a detailed description of the acoustic correlates of prosody in both languages. Catalina is interested in bilingualism as a language contact phenomenon and wants to investigate what are the social and psycholinguistic factors influencing bilingual prosody. With her research, she wants to investigate if there exist bi-directional effects related to bilingual prosody acquisition. As part of her project she will visit the University of New Caledonia and conduct fieldwork in Lifou (in the Loyalty Islands).
Catalina holds a BA in French (major) and Portuguese literature and linguistics and a MA in linguistics, both completed at Freie Universität Berlin, Germany. In her Master’s thesis, she studied the intonation contours of yes-no interrogatives by bilingual Portuguese and German speaking children from a two-way immersion school in Berlin.
Topic: The role of affect and infant-directed speech on infants’ early word learning
Supervisors: Paola Escudero, Gabrielle Weidemann, Karen Mulak, and Marina Kalashnikova
Overview: Nicole Traynor is a PhD candidate in psycholinguistics at the MARCS Institute for Brain, Behaviour and Development at Western Sydney University. Nicole completed a Bachelor of Psychology with Honours at Western in 2016. Her Honours research investigated positive affect and its involvement in infants’ early word learning. Nicole’s doctoral research develops this work, with a particular focus on the cognitive resources required to learn, and the effects of task demands. Further, the project will assess affect and infant-directed speech at an individual level.
The role of positive affect in the acquisition of word-object associations
Nicole Traynor, Karen Mulak, R Robbins, G Weidemann, and Paola Escudero. 2016. "The role of positive affect in the acquisition of word-object associations". In Proceedings of the Sixteenth Australasian International Conference on Speech Science and Technology, 9-12. Parramatta.
Topic: Prosody and Syntactic Disambiguation in English and German
Supervisors: Dr Heather Kember, Professor Anne Cutler, and Dr Robert Mailhammer
Overview: Jenny is a PhD candidate in psycholinguistics at the MARCS Institute for Brain, Behaviour and Development at Western Sydney University. Her thesis will compare how English and German speakers use prosody (features of speech such as loudness, pitch, and duration) to understand and produce sentences when word order is ambiguous. Jenny has previously completed a Bachelor of Psychology (Hons) at The University of Sydney in 2015.