SIG Psycholinguistics

The Special Interest Group (SIG) Psycholinguistics brings together members of the department (and the wider UZH community) who are interested in psycholinguistics and language and cognition, broadly construed (including behavioral, psychophysiological and neuroimaging experiments, corpus-based work on adults, children, and studies on animals). 

The SIG Psycholinguistics has three aims:

  1. Create an informal platform to present and get feedback on ideas and plans for new studies. This could involve, e.g., presenting the design, conditions, stimuli and planned analyses for upcoming experiments or the comparisons and analyses for new corpus studies — while the other attendees can provide expert feedback and ask questions. This could help to identify potentially overlooked confounds or to sharpen the research questions.
  2. Host talks by guest speakers that are of general interest to psycholinguists
  3. Provide a space for dry-runs of presentations. 

If you have an upcoming talk and would like to have feedback on your presentation, please get in contact with Sebastian Sauppe and to schedule an on-demand meeting.


Upcoming meetings

Date Room Topic
30 March 2021 @ 16:00-17:30


Meeting ID: 923 5669 3289

Passcode: 978717

Rebecca Tollan (University of Delaware): Wh dependencies in ergative languages


This talk will discuss the ways in which typological asymmetries between subjects and objects in terms of wh-dependency formation possibilities (a.k.a. ‘extraction’) interact with how subjects and objects are case-marked. Some languages, which distinctly mark transitive subjects as ‘ergative’, disallow extraction of those subjects, a hallmark of a phenomenon known as ‘syntactic ergativity’. Other ergative languages, meanwhile, follow nominative-accusative languages in allowing such extraction. I present two case studies: first, a study of processing wh dependencies in Niuean (Polynesian), an ergative language which allows for ergative extraction, which shows that extraction of absolutive arguments is, in fact, easier to process. Second, I focus on languages which exhibit syntactic ergativity, and present an account of syntactic ergativity based on the grammaticalization of a preference for nested as compared to crossing dependencies.

19 April 2021 @ 14:00-15:30   Sandrien van Ommen (University of Geneva): Prosodic segmentation from a cross-linguistic perspective