Research Projects

Lexical stress in a non-native language

In a collaboration with Linda Wheeldon, Allison Wetterlin and Megan Crowhurst we are investigating the effects of markedness in lexical stress patterns on the learning of lexical stress systems in a non-native language. We aim to compare speakers of English, Spanish and Norwegian.

Fitness, ageing and bilingualism

We are currently developing a project where Linda Wheeldon, Katrien Segaert, Allison Wetterlin, Hilde Lohne Seiler and Sveinung Berntsen Stølevik will investigate the effects of bilingualism and fitness on language processing in healthy ageing. The project is titled Fitness, Ageing and Bilingualism (FAB): The benefits of regular physical activity and bilingualism for language abilities in healthy ageing.

Representation, processing and articulatory proficiency in English as a second language – PhD project 2018-2020

Malin Mangersnes’ PhD project is supervised by Allison Wetterlin and Linda Wheeldon. This project investigates bilingual word production and language representation. The aim is to relate aspects of first and second language proficiency to experimental measures of language control. The experimental measures include speeded word production and language switching tasks. In addition, objective first and second language proficiency measures are collected along with questionnaire based self-reported proficiency and bilingual profile data. The experimental tasks will be completed in both the speakers’ native language, Norwegian, and their second language, English.

Effects of bilingual profile on word retrieval and sentence planning – Master projects 18/19

This project is designed to relate aspects of bilingual profile and vocabulary to first and second language word and sentence production. Bilinguals experience more tip-of-the-tongue (TOT) states than monolinguals. However, it is not known if this is caused in part by access of representations from both of bilinguals’ languages occurring led frequently than for monolinguals (frequency lag hypothesis), or dual-language activation causing competition between lexical representations in both languages. Bilinguals differ in how they use their languages and in their L1 and L2 proficiency. This project will elicit ToTs in the L1 and L2 of Norwegian-English bilinguals and relate them to aspects of bilingual language use and proficiency. In addition, a picture description experiment will be run to elicit spoken sentences L2 English. The word finding and sentence planning data will also be related to the results of a vocabulary tests and the bilingual profile questionnaire.

Linda Wheeldon, Katrien Segaert and Allison Wetterlin designed these master projects to investigate the effects of bilingual profile on word retrieval and sentence planning. A Birmingham PhD student (Sophie Hardy) helped develop these studies with current UiA Masters students Mikael Andre Albrecht, Susanne Mollestad Avila and Lone Sunnset.

The relationship between self-rated accent proficiency and bilingual profile on objective measures of language proficiency and reading processes  – Master projects 17/18

This project investigated the second language English (L2) proficiency of Native speakers of Norwegian (L1). The research involved a questionnaire study with the aim of eliciting detailed language proficiency ratings and relating them to objective tests of L2 English proficiency. Ratings of accent proficiency were related to tests of phonological and spelling ability as well as English language comprehension. In addition, a sentence reading experiment was run to collect eye-tracking data from the silent reading English sentences by native Norwegian speakers. The aim of this experiment was to determine the persistence of word-form information during L2 reading and its relationship to L2 language proficiency.

The projects were designed by Linda Wheeldon, Allison Wetterlin and Steven Frisson and the research was conducted by UiA MA students Beatrice Zitong Urland, Bjørn Handeland and Dag Haugland. Further data is being collected to complete this data set.

Beatrice, Bjørn and Dag in the Lab