Experimental Linguistics Lab (2016/2017)

Course code
Name of lecturers
Serena Dal Maso, Chiara Melloni, Maria Vender
Serena Dal Maso
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
NN - -
Language of instruction
Sem. IIB dal Apr 24, 2017 al Jun 10, 2017.

Lesson timetable

Sem. IIB

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Learning outcomes

At the end of the course students are expected:
- to know the theoretical basis of the main on-line and off-line experimental techniques used to investigate the development and processing of morphology. Particular attention will be given to wug test, LDT and masked priming.
- be able to set up an experimental study in all its phases, including the creation of materials, the definition of the experimental variables and of the population concerned
- be able to develop critical judgments about the adequacy of experimental designs, the selection of subjects, the experimental procedures in relation to the goals of linguistic research


- Introduction to Reaction Time Research and discussion on the advantages of reaction time research.
- Focus on Lexical decision task (LDT) and masked priming experiments.
- Designing an experiment: Test items, trials, and stimuli. Prime-target relationships.
- Stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA). Experimental conditions.
- Variables and Design: Independent variables, Dependent variables (Extraneousvariables, Confounding variables, Controlled variables)
- Developing test materials: Counterbalancing items. Latin square design. Matching primes.
- Frequencies and Corpora. Corpus types. Dictionaries
- Running an experiment with DMDX. Writing an item file for dmdx. Carrying out an experiment. Instructions. Before a participant is tested. After the participant is tested
- Analysing data. Dealing with rt results: Incorrect responses. Outliers. Calculating means. Calculating standard deviation. grouping means per participant/per condition.
- Net priming effects.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Jang Nan Conductin Reaction Time Research in Second Language Studies Routledge 2012 978-0-415-87934-7

Assessment methods and criteria

Students should attend at least 80% of classes and present the (homework) assignments in the due time. Late work will not be accepted unless accompanied by a documented emergency reason, or with the advance approval of the Instructor.