Experimental methods in Construction Grammar

Tutorial at ICCG-10, 19 July 2018

Florent Perek, University of Birmingham (f.b.perek@bham.ac.uk)

Course description

This course will introduce participants to the use of behavioural methods in linguistic research, in the form of controlled experiments tapping into the latent linguistic knowledge of speakers and/or their cognitive processing of language (Gonzalez-Marquez et al. 2007). Traditionally the province of psycholinguistics, such experiments typically measure the effect of certain variables (either language-internal or language-external) on the behaviour of speakers in language production or comprehension, which is meant to reveal aspects of the cognitive representation of language (Garrod 2006). The course will briefly review the use of experiments in linguistics, and describe several common experimental designs, such as self-paced reading, priming, lexical decision, cloze tests, etc., with a particular focus on the kind of problems they can be applied to, the type of data that they produce, and how this data is interpreted. Emphasis will be put on how experiments can be used for research on construction grammar (Goldberg & Bencini 2005). Participants will be taught how to design experiments, and will receive a brief tutorial on the PsychoPy software package (Pierce 2007) for implementing them.

Practical information

Thursday 19 July 2018, 9:00 - 16:30
École Normale Supérieure, rue d'Ulm, Paris

To register for the tutorial, go to this online spreadsheet and add your name and information: https://framacalc.org/ICCG10-PerekTutorial

9:00 - 11:00 Session 1
11:00 - 11:30 Coffee break
11:30 - 13:30 Session 2
13:30 - 14:30 Lunch
14:30 - 16:30 Session 3

More details will be posted on this page as they become available.


Goldberg, A. & Bencini, G. (2005). In Tyler, A., Takada, M., Kim, Y., & Marinova, D. (eds.), Language in Use: Cognitive and Discourse Perspectives on Language and Language Learning (pp. 3-18). Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press.

Garrod, S. (2006). Psycholinguistic Research Methods. In Brown, K. (ed.), Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, 2nd Edition (pp. 251-257). Oxford: Elsevier.

Gonzalez-Marquez, M., Becker, R., & Cutting, J. (2007). An introduction to experimental methods for language researchers. In Gonzalez‐Marquez, M., Mittelberg, I., Coulson, S., & Spivey, M. (eds.), Methods in Cognitive Linguistics (pp. 53-86). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Peirce, J. (2007). PsychoPy - Psychophysics software in Python. Journal of Neuroscience Methods 162(1-2): 8-13.