Sentence Processing

Our research in sentence processing investigates the cognitive processes that underlie successful language comprehension. We have particular interests in syntactic parsing, linguistic dependency resolution and the role of memory access in successful sentence and discourse comprehension. Much of our research in sentence processing overlaps with our work in Bi-/Multilingualism, and examines language comprehension in different populations of speakers, especially bilinguals and other non-native language users. Our work into the Cognitive Neuroscience of Language also utilises EEG/ERG to investigate the electrophysiology of sentence processing.

The lab is equipped with an SR Research Eyelink 1000 eye-tracker for investigating language comprehension during reading and listening, as well as a portable Tobii X120 eye-tracker. We also have a Brain Products actiCAP EEG system for running ERP experiments, as well as computers and cubicles for behavioural testing.

Representative Publications
González Alonso, J., Cunnings, I., Fujita, H., Miller, D. & Rothman, J. (2021). Gender attraction in sentence comprehension. Glossa: A Journal of General Linguistics, 6, 20.

Cunnings, I. & Fujita, A. (2021). Quantifying individual differences in native and non-native sentence processing. Applied Psycholinguistics, 42, 579-599.

Fujita, H. and Cunnings, I. (2020). Reanalysis and lingering misinterpretation of linguistic dependencies in native and non-native sentence comprehension. Journal of Memory and Language, 115, 104154.

Cunnings, I. and Sturt, P. (2018). Coargumenthood and the processing of pronouns. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 33, 1235-1251.

Cunnings, I. and Sturt, P. (2018). Retrieval interference and semantic interpretation. Journal of Memory and Language, 102, 16-27.

Puig-Mayenco, E., Rothman, J., Cunnings, I., Bayram, F., Miller, D. and Tubau, S. (2018). Language dominance affects early bilingual performance and processing outcomes in adulthood. Frontiers in Psychology, 9, 1199.

Cunnings, I. (2017). Parsing and working memory in bilingual sentence processing. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 20, 659-678.

Cunnings, I., Fotiadou, G. and Tsimpli, I. (2017). Anaphora resolution and reanalysis during L2 sentence processing: evidence from the visual world paradigm. Studies in Second Language Acquisition39, 621-652.

Pliatsikas, C., Johnstone, T. and Marinis, T. (2017). An fMRI study on the processing of long-distance wh-movement in a second language. Glossa: A Journal of General Linguistics, 2, 101.

Cunnings, I., Patterson, C. and Felser, C. (2015). Structural constraints on pronoun binding and coreference: evidence from eye movements during reading. Frontiers in Psychology, 6, 840.

Cunnings, I. & Sturt, P. (2014). Coargumenthood and the processing of reflexives.  Journal of Memory and Language, 75, 117-139.

Cunnings, I., Patterson, C. & Felser (2014). Variable binding and coreference in sentence comprehension: Evidence from eye movements. Journal of Memory and Language, 71, 39-56.