Our Research Focus

The focus of the GAB Lab is to understand the fundamental nature of syntactic processing for people who speak uncommon language structures or more than one language, as well as the nature of grammatical deficits in aphasia (agrammatism or paragrammatism), particularly for these understudied populations. By researching how diverse language experiences affect neural patterns of syntactic processing, we can also understand what processing patterns all speakers have in common. 
 
Language typology and speakers' language background affect their grammatical processing, as does brain damage, such as from stroke or neurogeneration. Most of our understanding about grammar comes from speakers of one language (monolinguals), primarily speakers of English. More than half the global population and at least a quarter of the U.S. population is bilingual, someone who speaks more than one language (to any proficiency level, starting at any age) - and the number of bilingual speakers is growing. Aphasia, a language impairment that can occur after stroke or from neurodegeneration, often affects grammatical processing, resulting in agrammatism (grammatical deficits from omissions) or paragrammatism (grammatical deficits from incorrect insertions). The GAB Lab aims to answer the following questions about grammar in aphasia and bilingualism:

  1. What syntactic processing is common to all speakers and which aspects are unique to speakers of particular languages or backgrounds?

  2. Why are some grammatical structures uncommon across human languages and what do these patterns tell us about the neural basis of syntax?

  3. How do the grammars of bilingual speakers interact?

  4. What is the nature of grammatical deficits in aphasia?

  5. How does bilingualism interact with grammatical deficits in aphasia?

This research can be examined through 3 pillars:

  • Aphasia Research

  • Bilingualism Research

  • Non-English language Processing Research

Our Current Projects

Bilingual Mental Lexicon Research

The Shape of the Bilingual Mental Lexicon: Testing the Diversity of Cognates.

Lexical Overlap Study: A Norming Study for the Spanish-English Listening Study

French-English Listening Study

Russian-English Orthographic Overlap Study

Norming Study for the Bilingual Insights Neuroimaging Study

Grammar in Aphasia Research

Syntactic Acceptability Judgment Task

Spanish Verb Frame Preference Study

Bilingual Agrammatism Studies

Grammatical Acquisition Research

Brazilian Portuguese: L2 Acquisition of Gender and Number

Grammatical Gender and Number Acquisition with HD-tDCS