Projects in linguistics : a practical guide to researching by Alison Wray; Aileen Bloomer

By Alison Wray; Aileen Bloomer

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Are there transpositions across words, across phrase boundaries, etc.? Relate your findings to those from research into slips of the pen and dysgraphia (see below). asp) to reconstruct the errors that subjects make when typing a passage. 21 Replicate or adapt Griffiths’s (1986) experiment where subjects copied a written passage while observers noted where they paused to look back to the original. He found that pausing was not random, but tended to happen at syntactic (constituent) boundaries. The methodology could be adapted for copying onto a computer.

Remember that it will be your detailed knowledge of this other area of linguistic theory that will justify the model you produce. 27 Investigate experimentally the hypothesis that science students will perform less well on a difficult linguistic task than humanities students. Justifications for this hypothesis might be, for example, that: any individual is either mathematical or linguistic, and people select careers that reflect their strengths; scientists do not get as much practice in language tasks; scientists are less confident in language tasks.

For an account of learning to read, see Oakhill and Cain (2006), and also Kress (1997) on early literacy and Kress (2000) on children’s spelling. The latter stages of language acquisition, including pragmatic development in adolescents, can provide an interesting focus – see Nippold (2006) for an overview. For project ideas, try Peccei (2005). edu/. It is briefly described in Crystal (1997a, 2003b). If you want good-quality data and have not got the resources to collect it yourself, you can use data from CHILDES instead, though you will have to understand the notations that are used.

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