Posted on February 20, 2023 by

This week, we will welcome Alice Blumenthal-Dramé (Freiburg) to the LEL seminar. The talk is titled “Is our language processing style attuned to the typology of our language(s)?”, and will take place on Zoom on Tuesday 21st February at 4pm. The talk will be streamed in Simon Building 2.61 for those of us who are on campus.

Is our language processing style attuned to the typology of our language(s)?
Alice Blumenthal-Dramé 

University of Freiburg 

This talk will argue that native speakers of different languages show systematic differences in their language processing styles. I will start by briefly explaining the rationale for my hypothesis on the basis of a comparison of some relevant typological features of English and German. Overall, the differences between these languages suggest that native speakers of English might have a rather ‘top-down’ (i.e., inference-driven) processing style, whereas native speakers of German might be more ‘bottom-up’ (i.e., signal-driven). In the second part of the talk, my hypothesis will be put to the test in a self-paced reading study exploring the extent to which users of different languages do (or do not) rely on explicit coherence markers while reading. The final part will discuss whether my findings might extend to other levels of language processing (e.g., syntax, morphology) and other languages.