People

Language

Neil Bermel
My research has centred on variation in grammar and form in Czech and Russian. Currently I am looking at ways of evaluating variation in language, including the use of questionnaires, tests and corpora. We have been comparing corpus data to our experimental results to see what the relationship is between them, people’s acceptability judgements and their actual linguistic production.

Dagmar Divjak
My main research interest is in understanding how our cognitive capacities give rise to the patterns we see in language and how language learners might use these patterns to build up their linguistic knowledge. Because of my background in usage-based cognitive linguistics, frequency in all its guises plays a central role, and my work relies heavily on corpus- and experimental data.

Robyn Orfitelli
My research is focused on the intersection between first language acquisition and generative syntactic theory. I use a variety of corpus and behavioral measures to experimentally analyze children’s acquisition of complex syntactic phenomena.
Recently, I have been interested in understanding the acquisition of a range of A-movement phenomena related to voice, including subject-to-subject raising, passives, and middles. I am working to link patterns in acquisition to systematic cross-linguistic differences in the representation of these structures.

Gareth Walker
I use auditory and acoustic phonetic techniques in combination with Conversation Analysis to analysing recordings of unscripted interaction. This includes analysing visual aspects of interaction (posture, gaze and gesture). I have published work on topics including turn-taking, turn construction, turn continuation, laughter and the signalling of attitude and emotion in conversation. I have studied interactions between adults, and between parents and young children.

Christian Adam
I am currently investigating what insights about linguistic phenomena, in particular grammatical aspect, can be derived from a perspective that is based on the metaphor of artificial communication, combined with insights from learning theory. Conceiving of language as a sequential, discriminative process, my goal is to build a computational model consistent with this view and to verify its predictions using experimental and corpus data.

Holly Dann
My research focusses on language variation in Cornish English. Using sociophonetic methodologies, I examine the effect of factors such as ‘localness’, social class, and local orientation on adolescent language use in Cornwall. Specifically, I combine production and perception methodologies to explore how social meaning emerges through language use.

Music

Nicola Dibben
From an initial focus on how listeners make sense (or not!) of tonal and early atonal music using laboratory-style experiments, my research broadened to look at emotion, meaning and subjectivity in music listening. My co-authored book Music and Mind in Everyday Life (2009) provides a critical discussion of psychological approaches to music. I was inspired to start writing about popular music while a lecturer at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1996, by membership of the Critical Musicology forum (an informal association of British scholars interested in non-formalist approaches to music analysis), and a subsequent British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship. I started investigating popular music’s role in the construction and experience of gender and identity, and, later, on constructions of nature, technology and landscape in popular music. These interests lead to a book on, and work with, Icelandic musician Björk (Björk, 2009), resulting in collaboration on Björk’s ground-breaking app-album Biophilia (2011) – now part of the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and an educational program run by the Nordic Council.

Renee Timmers
My current research projects investigate ensemble performance, cross-modal perception of music, and perception and expression of emotion in music. My aim is to work towards applications of music psychological findings, including investigations of perception of emotion in listeners with hearing impairment, and ways to improve teaching and learning of expressive performance of music.

Shen Li
I am working as a student representative of the Music Department in the Humlab. I am also a third year PhD student studying Psychology of Music. My current project focuses on the perception and production of piano timbre from a performer’s perspective, which covers several interesting issues such as the conceptualization of piano sounds, the mind/body relationship as a pianist, and the possible implications in piano pedagogy.

Philosophy

Luca Barlassina
The main focus of my research concerns the nature of affective states (i.e., what emotions, moods, pains etc. are) and how we are able to attribute these kinds of state to ourselves and to other people (e.g., how we recognize that someone is afraid). Fortunately, however, I am unfocused enough to have many more interests. For example, I have been writing on moral judgment, tense and time, causal reasoning, and other entirely unrelated topics.

Journalism

Petar Milin
My primary research interests are concentrated in areas concerned with understanding how humans process language. I have been particularly active in investigating word or lexical processing, though my recent work extends this focus to the study of sentence processing and meaning as it is expressed in natural communication. Methodologically, my work combines established experimental approaches with robust statistical and computational modelling techniques.