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Dr Clay Beckner

Job Title
Assistant Professor
Department
Centre for Applied Linguistics
Research Interests

My interests include experimental psycholinguistics, morphosyntax, mechanisms of language change, iterated learning, and complex systems. My research generally explores a usage-based perspective on language, in which usage and structure interact throughout the lifespan, and diachronic and social processes are essential to understanding language.

Biography

I received my Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico in 2013. In my thesis research, I performed experiments on the dynamic nature of the mental lexicon, with a focus on multi-word 'prefabs' in English. From 2013-2018, I worked at the New Zealand Institute of Language, Brain & Behaviour. My research included studies of interspeaker alignment (i.e., convergence), iterated learning, and human-machine interaction. More recently I studied the effect of ambient exposure on speakers' knowledge of a language, with experiments on English-speaking New Zealanders' knowledge of sound patterns in M?ori.