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Image by Ernests Vaga


Jed Sam Pizarro-Guevara

University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Amherst, Massachusetts


The state of the art in Philippine psycholinguistics

There has been a slow but steady accumulation of psycholinguistic research focusing on typologically diverse languages over the last decade. In this talk, I provide an overview of the psycholinguistic research on Philippine languages at the sentence-level. I first discuss the grammatical features of these languages (e.g., voice morphology, word order flexibility, and the extraction restriction) that figure in existing research. I then identify domains that existing research explores, discuss the research questions in said domains, demonstrate some of the techniques that psycholinguists have used to investigate these questions, and summarize the findings to date. I advance two claims that emerge across these different domains: (i) the processing pressure Agent-First plays a central role in many of the findings; and (ii) patient-primacy/patient voice advantage cannot be reduced to frequency, but instead is best thought of as an emergent property when competing pressures align. Finally, I outline some future directions for Philippine/Austronesian psycholinguistics.


Jed Sam Pizarro-Guevara is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He is supported by the National Science Foundation, under a Behavioral & Economic Sciences Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (NSF SPRF #2204112). He received his PhD in Linguistics in 2020 from the University of California, Santa Cruz, his MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages in 2014 from California State University, Long Beach, and his BA in Linguistics and French in 2010 from the University of California, Berkeley. His research and teaching interests include field- and laboratory-based psycholinguistics, quantitative approaches to linguistics, Austronesian morphosyntax, verb-initial languages, and linguistic variation.

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