Announcement: MSc & PhD positions at McMaster University

The Cognitive Science of Language program at McMaster University (Hamilton, Ontario) is now welcoming applications at the MSc and PhD levels for the academic year 2021–2022. All applications received before or on January 31st, 2021, will be considered.

Based in the Department of Linguistics and Languages, the graduate program is interdisciplinary, including faculty from Humanities, Science, and Health Sciences. The program has a strong research orientation with expertise in cognitive science, corpus linguistics, neurolinguistics, phonetics, psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics, and theoretical linguistics.  The program introduces students to the issues in those fields that form the nexus of, linguistics, cognitive science and cognitive neuroscience, and trains them in the research methods employed to study them. More information about the program can be found at https://academiccalendars.romcmaster.ca/preview_entity.php?catoid=42&ent_oid=5791&returnto=8769, about the department at https://linguistics.humanities.mcmaster.ca and about the application procedure at https://gs.mcmaster.ca/academic-services/how-apply.

It is a good idea to get in touch with a potential thesis supervisor in advance. Supervisors can be found at https://linguistics.humanities.mcmaster.ca/people/faculty/. Many of them are affiliated with the Centre for Advanced Research in Experimental and Applied Linguistics (ARiEAL) that lists their most recent research interests at https://arieal.mcmaster.ca/discover-arieal/arieal-team

Announcement: Doctoral Candidate position – English Linguistics, Language Acquisition, Language Processing

Full time doctoral position at the Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg, 3 year term, to start as soon as possible. The deadline for application is August 31, 2020. The official job announcement can be found here: https://uol.de/stellen/?stelle=67489.

The cluster of excellence Hearing4all and Prof. Dr. Marcel Schlechtweg at the Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg invite applications for a 3-year doctoral position. Candidates with an interest in contributing to the cluster’s first research thread, auditory processing deficits throughout the lifespan, and who are interested in extending that research to include connections with phonetics, phonology, and/or morphology, are particularly welcome.

Requirements:

  • Degree in psycholinguistics, linguistics, or a related discipline
  • Ability to perform excellent scientific work
  • Expertise in psycholinguistics and the following core areas of linguistics: Phonetics, phonology, and/or morphology
  • High working knowledge of English

Desirable competencies:

  • Experience in experimental linguistics and/or psycholinguistics and experimental software (e.g., reaction-time (Eprime), production (Praat), eye-tracking, ERP studies)
  • Experience in statistical analysis
  • Expertise in further core areas of linguistics (e.g., syntax, semantics, pragmatics)

The complete job announcement and application guidelines can be found here: https://uol.de/stellen/?stelle=67489

WORDS IN THE WORLD NEWSLETTER SUMMER 2020

Message from the Director

Dear Colleagues,

I hope you all are keeping safe and well.

So much has changed in the months since our last Words in the World Newsletter. At the same time, I am struck by how periods such as these bring out the importance of community and our shared values. It is clear that in order to support the advancement of the next generation of research leaders, we need to prioritize opportunities for creativity, creating new knowledge, and translating that knowledge to serve the needs of our communities.

Certainly, the past months have highlighted the centrality of communication, our need to work together, and our need to train for the unexpected. It has been a pleasure for me to learn from others during our Open Office Hours, and to see the innovative new applications such as WritLarge developed in the Network. I am very excited to hear about the new work of trainees at our upcoming Words in the World Online Conference. I warmly invite you to encourage trainees within your institutions to submit an abstract at the beginning of August so that they can share their developing work at the online conference in October.

With very best wishes,
Gary Libben 

Good news and opportunities from across the network

Across our network we’ve all experienced, at minimum, a great upheaval of 2020 research plans. All of our in-person training and conference events have been postponed. This includes the 12th International Meeting on the Mental Lexicon which has been rescheduled to October 12-15, 2021. However, we have been encouraged to hear about how our colleagues have quickly adapted to a rapidly changing environment.Open Office Hours

We’re humbled by the response we’ve received from our colleagues regarding our Open Office Hour activities. So far we’ve hosted 8 events with colleagues participating live from more than 15 countries! We are pleased to announce that the next Open Office Hour, Incorporating Neuropsychological Tests into Experimental Research, will be held on July 28 at 12 p.m. EST (GMT -4). For more information, visit http://wordsintheworld.ca/home/open-office-hours/.

If you are interested in hosting an Open Office Hour, we would be happy to hear from you!

WritLarge App Announcement

The Reading Lab at McMaster University is happy to announce the launch of WritLarge (https://akkyro.shinyapps.io/writlarge/).This web-based application is designed to facilitate social mobility and relieve social isolation of older individuals through story-telling, writing, and sharing. This tool will provide older adults with a virtual community and an outlet to voice their experiences and engage with other community members. WritLarge also serves as a research tool for documenting and analyzing experiences and testimonies of living through the COVID-19 pandemic. Feel free to try out the WritLarge app, spread the word about it and send us your feedback. For questions and comments contact Aki-Juhani Kyröläinen (akkyro@gmail.com) or Victor Kuperman (vickup@mcmaster.ca).

Postdoctoral Opportunity Announcement

The Language and Communication Research Lab/McGill University and Jewish Rehabilitation Hospital-Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Rehabilitation and the Mental Lexicon Lab/CRIUGM and University of Montreal are offering a joint postdoctoral position for 1 year, with a possibility of a 1-year extension. The application deadline is August 1, 2020.

Prospective candidates are expected to conduct psycholinguistic and/or neurolinguistic original research not only in the lab, but also in real world environments. The postdoctoral fellow is expected to actively contribute to ongoing Words in the World research in the two labs and to be involved in lab and research centre activities across the two sites.  Primary tasks include conceptualizing, designing, and conducting research projects, and preparing findings for publication.

For more information about the position and how to apply, view the full job posting on the Words in the World website: postdoctoral research position.

Words in the World International Conference 2020

We are looking forward to the virtual Words in the World (WoW) International Conference! This conference will offer a venue for the communication of ideas, intellectual exchange, and networking for trainees and others across the network.

This conference will take place online October 16-18, 2020 and will include scholarly presentations as well as discussion panels. The conference will strive to create presentation opportunities for trainees (e.g., undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, recent graduates and others). We encourage students and postdoctoral fellows from all over the world to present their in-progress or completed work at this conference and engage in conversations with their colleagues on academic and non-academic topics. Papers can, of course, include a mix of trainees and faculty members as authors.

Submissions are currently open. Read the full call for submissions here and the abstract guidelines here.

Questions? You can contact the organizing committee at wordsintheworldconference@gmail.com.

For more information about upcoming opportunities for involvement across the Words in the World network, visit our website at: http://wordsintheworld.ca/announcements-updates/.

Update on Mental Lexicon 2020 & New Words in the World Conference

Dear friends and colleagues,

In view of the COVID-19 related restrictions on public gatherings and travel, we have implemented several changes to the planning and organization of the Twelfth International Meeting on the Mental Lexicon. With these changes, we aim to both ensure the safety and well-being of our colleagues and to enable the continuous and vibrant exchange of ideas. We would like to announce a few updates regarding upcoming conference plans

1. The in-person Mental Lexicon conference is rescheduled for October 12th-15th, 2021 (one year after the original date). It will take place in the same venue, the Queen’s Landing Hotel in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada. We will announce a new deadline for abstract submission in the Fall of 2020, giving you ample time for the preparation and submission of your contributions to the conference. Please monitor this website (https://mentallexicon.artsrn.ualberta.ca/) for further updates on the Mental Lexicon conference. We will be in touch with those of you who have already submitted your abstracts.

2. We recognize that current restrictions on research activities and the cancellation of many training events have affected students particularly strongly. To offer a venue for the communication of ideas, intellectual exchange, and networking for trainees, we are announcing a new virtual Words in the World (WoW) International Conference. This conference will take place online October 16-18, 2020 and will include scholarly presentations as well as discussion panels. The conference will strive to create presentation opportunities for trainees (e.g., undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, recent graduates and others). We encourage students and postdoctoral fellows from all over the world to present their in-progress or completed work at this conference and engage in conversations with their colleagues on academic and non-academic topics. Papers presented can, of course, include a mix of trainees and faculty members.

The deadline for submitting abstracts is August 9, 2020. Decisions of the Scientific Committee will be announced no later than September 1, 2020. All further information about the WoW International Conference will be made available here at http://wordsintheworld.ca/. Details on the format of abstracts and a link for abstract submission will be made available by June 10, 2020. Please spread the word and show your commitment to continuous progress of science and education by supporting this new initiative for trainees!

Open Office Hours – May 12, 2020

Thank you to everyone who has participated in our Open Office Hour series!

Our next Words in the World Open Office Hour will take place on Tuesday, May 12, at 12pm (Eastern Time, GMT -4). Jordan Gallant (Brock  University) will share his expertise using Gitlab and PsychoPy3 in collaborative remote research. Here is his summary:

“The COVID-19 pandemic has forced our research activities out of the lab and into online virtual environments. Not only has this changed the research methods available to us, but it has also fundamentally changed the way the that we work together. However, this office hour is here to say that this change need not be for the worse. Collaborative remote work can offer distinct advantages when paired with the right technology to support it. In this Open Office Hour I will discuss the merits of using online project development platforms such as Gitlab for collaborative research projects. Specifically, I will look at how PsychoPy3 and Gitlab can support the collaborative construction and administering of online experiments. In the process, I hope to instill a sense that, rather than being a quick fix for temporary problems, this is a paradigm worth carrying into the post-COVID future.

Accompanying video tutorials: YouTube

Open Office Hours are delivered using Zoom. Passwords are sent out via email in advance of Open Office Hours. If you would like to join the Open Office Hour mailing list, please sign up here: Open Office Hours Sign-Up Form.

Mental Lexicon 2020 Update

If you are interested in attending the next Mental Lexicon Conference, currently scheduled for October 2020, please be advised that the organizing committee has updated their conference information.

As the present time, no changes or new decisions have been made to the timing of the conference, but organizers are prepared to make alternative arrangements as required to maintain the health and safety of our community.

The deadline for abstracts has been changed to June 1, 2020. Further extensions may take place, as necessary. 

Full information is available at the conference website: https://mentallexicon.artsrn.ualberta.ca/

Open Office Hours: Running chronometric experiments online using PsychoPy3

Our next office hour, hosted by Jordan Gallant, will introduce PsychoPy3, a new experiment development software that uses Javascript to create experiments that can be run on web-browsers.

The first part of the Open Office Hour will be dedicated to the creation of a simple lexical decision experiment. Jordan will demonstrated how it is programmed, hosted, and run using participants recruited through Amazon Mechanical Turk.

The second half will be a Q&A where the limitations/possibilities of PsychoPy3 and online chronometric experimentation in general can be discussed.

Host: Jordan Gallant

Date: Tuesday, March 31, 2020 

Time: 1 p.m. – 2 p.m. EST (GMT -4)

Connect via Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/495738797

Open Office Hour: Non-Chronometric psycholinguistic experiments in Mechanical Turk (Part 2)

We are continuing the Open Office Hours dedicated to programming non-chronometric psycholinguistic experiments in Amazon Mechanical Turk. All materials from the first Office Hour and the follow-up can be found at osf.io/cqa2e. The follow-up Open Hour with Victor Kuperman  will cover additional types of experiments (Cloze predictability, plausibility judgments, Rating and Likert scales). It will take place on Friday March 27 at 1-2 pm (Eastern time for US and Canada, GMT -4).

Meanwhile feel free to send your questions to Victor Kuperman (vickup@mcmaster.ca). Also note that all Open Office hours are recorded and the videos will be made available at a later time.

We hope you can join us this Friday!

Host: Victor Kuperman

Date: Friday, March 27, 2020

Time: 1 p.m. – 2 p.m. EST (GMT -4)

Connect via Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/702938796

COVID-19 & Open Office Hours (online)

Due to the uncertainty surrounding the Coronavirus pandemic, many across the Words in the World network have suspended face-to-face operations including experimentation in traditional laboratory environments. We are therefore making a concerted effort to migrate as many of our research projects to an online format as possible. By moving toward this goal, we are working not only to protect the health and safety of our colleagues and research participants, but also to move forward with the majority of our research endeavours.

With these purposes in mind, we’d like to take this opportunity to introduce a new Words in the World feature: Open Office Hours. The purpose of the Open Office Hour is to provide an accessible online version of the traditional university office hour, in which our research partners hold a brief informal discussion on a topic within their expertise and take questions regarding that topic. Our first Open Office Hours are listed below and focus on online experimentation in Psycholinguistic research.

Update

A follow-up office hour with Dr. Kuperman is scheduled for Friday, March 27, from 1 – 2pm Eastern (GMT -4). See the announcement here: https://bit.ly/33K3Svy

“How to collect psycholinguistic data from home: Introduction to crowdsourcing tools”

Host: Victor Kuperman

Date: Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Time: 1 p.m. – 2 p.m. EST (GMT -4)

Ability to collect experimental data outside of the lab is of great importance for reaching out to populations outside of university convenience subject pools. This importance is even greater when lab testing is undesirable. This first session of “open office hours” will introduce rich possibilities for data collection using crowdsourcing tools like Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (mturk.com). We will cover several basic types of experiments (surveys, collection of ratings, linguistic judgments, and written responses), and discuss practicalities of online testing. Several small experiments will be created and results collected and discussed.

No prior knowledge is expected. The session is designed for 20-30 minutes of an informal presentation, followed by the Q&A. Ideas for experiments are very welcome.

Connect via Zoom: https://bit.ly/394W74o

See the event listing for alternative ways to connect.

“Running chronometric experiments online using PsychoPy3″

Host: Jordan Gallant

Date: Tuesday, March 31, 2020 (GMT -4)

Time: 1 p.m. – 2 p.m. EST

Connect via Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/495738797

Online experiments offer a range of possibilities and benefits that have yet to be fully explored. This office hour will introduce PsychoPy3, a new experiment development software that uses Javascript to create experiments that can be run on web-browsers. In the first half of the office hour, I will demonstrate how a simple lexical decision experiment can be 1) created, 2) hosted online, and 3) run using participants recruited via Mechanical Turk. The second half will be a Q&A where the limitations/possibilities of PsychoPy3 and online chronometric experimentation in general can be discussed.

COVID-19 Update

To all our friends and colleagues:

We hope you are safe in these difficult times.

Following the advice of public health authorities, Words in the World has moved the majority of our operations online. 

The Brock/SHARCNet EEG Analysis Workshop, scheduled for May 11 – 15, 2020, has been cancelled, with the hopes of rescheduling for later in the year. Attendees should receive information directly. 

The organizing committees of STEP2020 (May 25 – May 30, 2020) and the 12th International Conference on the Mental Lexicon (October 6 – 9, 2020) are considering their options in the face of this rapidly evolving situation.

The organizers of STEP2020 have changed the event registration procedures to reflect current global uncertainty and are prepared to cancel the event on short notice. Should STEP be cancelled, there are plans to reschedule at a later date. More information is available here: https://ccp.artsrn.ualberta.ca/portfolio/step/

In the coming weeks, we will be offering a series of Open Office Hours focusing on how to do research while maintaing social distance through the use of online resources. The first session will be about how to use Mechanical Turk, and will offered by Dr. Victor Kuperman (McMaster University) next Tuesday, March 24, from 1pm to 2pm. 

We wish you all well.