New Recursion Grant: Tom Roeper and Joonkoo Park (Psychology)

Tom Roeper and Joonkoo Park (Psychology Professor) have received a  $12,000 Seed grant, beginning Sept 1,  from the Developmental Science Initiative (Center for Research on Families) on:

Recursion as an Underlying Mechanism for children’s acquisition of language and mathematics

The grant was developed with assistance from Jaieun Kim, Rong Yin, Michael Wilson, andDiego Lopez (Pyschology Doctoral Candidate) and it will continue acquisition research on connections between different sorts of Self-embedding recurison (PP, Poss, Relative clause, compounds) and the emergence of knowledge of the Successor Principle.  Preliminary evidencesuggests all of these abilities emerge around 5-7yrs.  We will focus on whether they are linked in individuals. The topic is a large one and we hope this Seed Grant will lead to a larger more comprehensive one.

Anyone interested in the grant and/or participating, should let us know!


The eye-tracking set-up in the CSL lab is set up and running participants! We have a tower-mount, as well as a desktop mount, for an Eye-link 1000. We’re currently running reading experiments, but the set-up is well equipped for visual world experiments as well. Come by and check it out!

Jason participating in an experiment!

Look at that minuteman maroon!

More free online CS courses from Stanford

Following the free Stanford online course offerings in the Fall 2011 quarter mentioned in this previous post, there are course offerings again this winter, including: probabilistic graphical models and natural language processing, another installment of machine learning, among other courses (scroll to the bottom of any of the linked courses to peruse more).

2012: Codeyear

The ability to code is a great thing to have in your toolkit no matter what kind of language research you’re up to. If you haven’t gotten around to learning the ins and outs of coding yet, though, you’re in luck! The folks at Codecademy have designated 2012 as a code year. This means if you sign up for their program at, they’ll send you weekly interactive lessons on coding in Javascript. While mostly geared at web applications, it looks like a really useful program for anyone interested in learning the ins and outs of coding. Happy scripting!

(hat tip: Victor Benitez)

Bartlett EEG lab has arrived

Kevin getting ready to show us some P300s

The good folks over at EGI came by this morning to help us set up the EEG lab in the Phonetics Lab in the basement of Bartlett hall this morning. A bunch of folks got a crash course in the system, and we ran our first participant in a visual oddball paradigm. Kevin very graciously agreed to be the first participant in the new system, and after 10 minutes of data recording, we were able to crunch some EEG data and generate our first ERPs: Kevin showed a robust P300 response to oddball targets in a visual task! Data collection and analysis was a snap, and so we can look forward to lots of interesting data coming out of the Bartlett Basement EEG setup in the near future.

Over the next several days there will be a number of other training sessions on various aspects of stimulus presentation, data collection, and data analysis. Come by the Barlett lab to check it out if you’re interested!

Psycho/Syntax lab meetings

The schedule for Psycho/Syntax lab meetings for the fall is all set! We’re going to be meeting Thursday mornings at 9am in the lab suite of 11 Bartlett (size permitting!). Meetings are biweekly, excepting Thanksgiving. All kinds of exciting stuff is lined up for the fall, with the meeting schedule posted below:

9/29: Jason Overfelt, Tigrinya wh-in-situ and visual world eye-tracking

10/13: Meg Grant, Extraction from comparative clauses

10/27: Shayne Sloggett, German case attraction

11/10: Magda Oiry, French wh-in-situ

12/8: Rajesh Bhatt / Brian Dillon, Hindi agreement and Mechanical Turk for judgment experiments

See you there! Meetings will be catered with some as-of-yet undetermined breakfast goodies.


In response to Lyn’s query about possible positional effects for distributive phrases, I thought I’d post a short bit on how that information might be found with tools that are readily available. TGrep2 is a utility that allows you to conduct a regexp-like search of corpus that’s parsed in Penn Treebank style, and it’s really useful for asking these sorts of questions. Doug Roland has very helpfully posted some executables of TGrep2. For people using intel-based Macs, this is the probably the simplest way to install the tool on your computer. Download the executable, name it tgrep2, make sure it has the right permissions with chmod (executable), and put it in /usr/local/bin. If it’s installed correctly, you should be able to type tgrep2 from a command prompt and have it display some help.

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LSA online Courses access

Some of the LSA Summer institute courses have been added to the following worksheet – courtesy of one of the attending students:

Note: Not all of them are public – some are accessible only if you have a CU account.

Stanford machine learning course

For those of you interested in learning more about machine learning, here’s an interesting opportunity. Andrew Ng at Stanford is offering his annual machine learning class in an online, open access format: Machine Learning. Interested folks will be able to sign up online, watch video lectures and notes, and get feedback on their progress. The class runs October 10th to December 16th, and will touch on most of machine learning’s greatest hits. For people who are interested in getting a firmer grip on the basics of machine learning for their own research, it’d definitely be a worthwhile effort.