- Accentedness, Comprehensibility, and Intelligibility
As the world becomes more globalized, the necessity to speak more than one language is becoming more urgent. It has been estimated that more than 60% of the world’s population is either bilingual or multilingual. One linguistic feature that is generally unavoidable, especially given the multilingual nature of our world, is accentedness. Foreign accented speech is speech that has so-called non-native features associated with it. For instance, if an individual pronounces think [θink] as [tink], they might be identified as a non-native speaker or as an accented speaker. However, accentedness is not only manifested at the segmental level (consonants and vowels). It can occur at the suprasegmental level (stress, intonation, tone, etc.) as well. For some, it could also be related to their word choices or their syntactic structures. What is crucial about accentedness is that it should not necessarily affect one’s perception of speech. So, you would expect high intelligibility levels for accentedness speech. However, when some listeners are asked about their judgments, they many times say that the accented speech was unintelligible. Here, in this research study, we are investigating the extent to which monolingual and bilingual listeners actively and successfully participate in listening to accented English. The results of this research will be published in my PhD dissertation.
- Brainwaves and Visual Processes
Recently, I have had the opportunity to join the Brain, Cognition, and Development Lab at the University of Florida. I will be helping Dr. Lisa Scott and her team in various lab research projects including visual processes with face recognition. For more information about BCD Lab’s research, please visit their website.
- Corpus Linguistics, Bilingualism, First and Second Language Acquisition
One of my more involved side projects is the advancing of my master’s thesis, which was on Turkish-English bilinguals and how they learn and process the form and meaning of ditransitive verb constructions. English has two different structures for ditransitive verbs ((1)I gave my book to Noam. (2) I gave Noam my book.). Turkish, on the other hand, only has a slight word order difference, as Turkish does not have prepositions ((1) I gave my book Noam. (2)I gave Noam my book.). I aim to analyze verb biases and NP-restrictions on Turkish ditransitive verbs by looking at corpora of Turkish learners of English, and observing how Turkish speakers of English make use of ditransitive verb constructions.