Centre for Research in Applied Linguistics
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Nottingham Psycholinguistics and Language Learning Lab


We are an inter-disciplinary group that shares an interest in language processing and acquisition in a first and second language. 

Our Labs are housed in the School of English in the Trent Building, where we do behavioural and eye-tracking research.


Would you like to take part in language studies in one of our labs?

Sign up here to our Participant Pool and you will be emailed whenever a study is running with details about payment, study type, length, etc.

Current Projects and Research Interests

Multi-word units & formulaic language (MWUs)


What underpins the processing advantage for MWU (e.g. metaphors, idioms, binomials, compounds, collocations, phrasal verbs)?

Irony, emoticons & emotion


How do we use and understand irony and emoticons? What is our emotional response to them?

Interlingual homographs, homophones, and cognates


How does interlingual overlap influence second language processing?


Applying science to literature

Conklin, Guy, Scott, Sotirova

How do readers engage with actual literary texts, e.g. the variants in a text that editions make available?

Incidental language learning


What words do learners acquire simply from reading or watching TV and movies?

Adaptation to accented speech


How do we understand speakers of an unfamiliar accent so rapidly? How do children learn to do this?


Learning from variable input


How do we speak to children? With so many sources of variation in the speech they hear, how do children learn the forms of words?



If you are interested in pursuing one of these projects for a PhD, please email the relevant supervisor(s).

Who we are


 In The Lab

  • EyeLink 1000+ with ExperimentBuilder and DataViewer
  • E-Prime
  • DMDX
  • BioSemi Active-Two Amplifier and EDA & EMG electrodes

PRG - Psycholinguistics Research Group

We are an active group in the Schools of English and Psychology who meet weekly to discuss research and develop research projects across the disciplines of psycholinguistics and first and second language processing.

If you are interested in joining please email for information – or just show up at one of the meetings.

Autumn Semester 2018

Meetings: Tue 14:30-16:00, Trent A49

October 9th
Marianna – paper
October 16th
Fabio – paper
October 23rd Pablo – data
October 30th Giulia – TBA
November 6th Yicheng – TBA
November 13th Meredith – TBA
November 20th Raya – TBA
November 27th
Lucy – TBA
December 4th Meredith – TBA
December 11th
Daniel  –  – TBA

Recent Publications

  • Conklin, K., Hyde, R., & Parente, F. (in press). The concept of transparency in the Consumer Rights Act: A role for reading scores? Legal Studies.

  • Conklin, K., Pellicer-Sánchez, A., & Carrol, G. (2018). An introduction to eye-tracking: A guide for applied linguistics research. Cambridge University Press.

  • Buckler, H., Goy, H., & Johnson, E.K. (2018). What infant-directed speech tells us about the development of compensation for assimilation. Journal of Phonetics66, 45–62.

  • Buckler, H., Oczak-Arsic, S., Siddiqui, N., & Johnson, E.K. (2017). Input matters: Speed of word recognition in 2-year-olds exposed to multiple accents. Journal of experimental child psychology. 164, 87-100.

  • Siyanova-Chanturia, A., Conklin, K., Caffarra, S., Kaan, E., & van Heuven, W.J.B. (2017). Representation and processing of multi-word expressions in the brain. Brain and Language, 175, 111-122.

  • Carrol, G. & Conklin, K. (2017). Cross language priming extends to formulaic units: evidence from eye-tracking suggests that this idea “has legs”. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 20(2), 299-317.

  • Doherty, A. & Conklin, K. (2017). How gender expectancy affects the processing of “them”. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 70(4), 718-735.

  • Allen, D. & Conklin, K. (2017). Naturalistic Reading in the L2 and the Impact of Word Frequency and Cross-Linguistic Similarity.Journal of the Ochanomizu University English Society, 7, 41-57.

  • Buckler, H. & Fikkert, P. (2016). Dutch and German 3-Year-Olds' Representations of Voicing Alternations. Language and speech, 59, 236-265.

  • Buckler, H. & Fikkert, P. (2016). Using Distributional Statistics to Acquire Morphophonological Alternations: Evidence from Production and Perception. Frontiers in Psychology, 7(540), 1-16.

  • Thompson, D. & Filik, R. (2016) Sarcasm in written communication: Emoticons are efficient markers of intention. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 21(2), 105-120.

  • Thompson, D., Leuthold, H., & Filik, R. (2016). Emotional responses to irony and emoticons in written language: Evidence from EDA and facial EMG. Psychophysiology, 53, 1054–1062.

  • Conklin, K. & Pellicer-Sánchez, A. (2016). Using eye-tracking in applied linguistics and second language acquisition research. Second Language Research, 32(3), 453-467.

  • Carrol, G., Conklin, K., & Gyllstad, H. (2016). Found in translation: the influence of L1 on the processing of idioms in L2. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 38(3), 403-443.

  • Guy, J., Scott, R., Carrol, G., & Conklin, K. (2016). Challenges in Editing Late Nineteenth-and Early Twentieth-Century Prose Fiction: What Is Editorial “Completeness”? English Literature in Transition, 1880-1920, 59(4), 435-455.

Recent Events and News

Coming out in March 2018

Eye-tracking: A Guide for Applied Linguistics Research

AAAL (American Association of Applied Linguistics), Chicago USA, March 2018

  • Conklin. Invited Colloquium Discussant. One tool, many applications: Robust eye-tracking research across SLA disciplines.
  • Conklin, Pellicer-Sánchez & Rodgers. The advantage conferred by auditory input while reading multi-modal texts: A comparison of L1 and L2 readers’ eye movements.
  • Vilkaite, Pellicer-Sánchez & Conklin. The effect of pre-reading activities on incidental vocabulary learning from reading: An eye-tracking study.
  • Northbrook & Conklin. Is what you put in what you get out? – Textbook-derived lexical bundle processing in beginner English learners.

Public Engagement: University of the Third Age (U3A), Nottingham UK, January 2018

  • Conklin. Research talk: Words go together like “bread and butter”:  Rapid, automatic learning and processing of word patterns.
  • Thompson. Introducing our laboratories.
  • Thompson, Kyriacou & Neurohr. Demonstration of the equipment in the labs.

What is Literariness Conference, Paris France, October 2017

  • Conklin & Guy. Empirical studies of literariness: Understanding the value of authorial revision.
  • Grisot. Reading difficult narratives: an eye tracking study of Virginia Woolf’s free indirect style.

Lancaster International Conference on Infant and Early Child Development, Lancaster UK, August 2017

  • Buckler & Johnson. The impact of input variability on the earliest stages of lexical acquisition.

Plenary: University of Huddersfield Linguistics Department Third Annual Postgraduate Student Conference, June 2017

  • Conklin. Investigating Literariness using Psycholinguistic Techniques.

Invited Talk: University of Barcelona, June 2017

  • Conklin. What eye-tracking tells us about formulaic language processing in an L1 and L2.

Public Engagement: Pint of Science, Nottingham, May 2017

  • Conklin. Words go together like “bread and butter”: Rapid, automatic learning of patterns of words.
  • Thompson. Sarcasm and emoticons? How useful! ;)

30th Annual CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing, Boston USA, March 2017

  • Conklin & Carrol. Words go together like ‘bread and butter’: The rapid, automatic learning of lexical patterns in natural reading contexts.
  • Thul & Conklin. Understanding the processing of lexical patterns in sentences using techniques from nonlinear dynamics.
  • Kyriacou, Conklin, & Thompson. Syntactic flexibility of idioms: has the wrong tree been barked up? Eye-tracking evidence

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Centre for Research in Applied Linguistics

The University of Nottingham

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5900
fax: +44 (0) 115 951 5924