'The psychological reality of corpus-based measures of formulaic language' - PSYC 396 Undergraduate Research Project Application Form

Supervisor's Name: Debra Titone

Supervisor's Email: dtitone [at] psych.mcgill.ca

Supervisor's Phone: 514-398-1778

Supervisor's Website: www.debratitone.org

Supervisor's department: Psychology

Course number: PSYC 396 (Psychology)

Term: Fall 2013-2014

Project start date: Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Project end date: Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Project title: The psychological reality of corpus-based measures of formulaic language

Project description: This project will investigate the relation between human-based judgements of 54 English idioms and corpus-based statistical measures of word co-occurrences for the same idioms. This work is relevant to recent findings in the psychology of language that suggests that humans are exquisitely sensitive to statistical distributional information of recurring word sequences. Thus, the aim of the project is to obtain a series of human-based judgements known to be important for the on-line comprehension of formulaic language, which include subjective ratings of familiarity, semantic decomposability, literal plausibility, and syntactic flexibility. We will then test which of several corpus-based measures (e.g., mutual information, association strength, etc.) cluster with which of these human dimensions. To the extent that such relationships exist, it would be evidence for the idea that how people represent formulaic sequences of words mirrors the linguistic environment to which humans are exposed, as reflected by corpus-based measures.

Prerequisite: 1 term completed at McGill + CGPA of 3.0 or higher; or permission of instructor.

Grading scheme (The final report must be worth at least 50% of final grade): The grade will be based on performance in the laboratory, and the final write-up of results.

Other project information: The student is perfectly suited to this project because of his linguistics background, his prior enrollment in my advanced psychology of language course, and his general interests. He will gain invaluable exposure to all aspects of psycholinguistic research ranging from stimulus creation to experiment preparation, participant recruitment and testing, data analysis and report preparation.

Project status: This project is taken. The professor has no more '396' projects this term.

How students can apply: N/A; this project is filled.

Ethics, safety, and training: Supervisors are responsible for the ethics and safety compliance of undergraduate students. This project involves human subjects.