Linguistics Research Laboratory

Research in ELAL is supported by our Linguistics Research Laboratory, located in rooms G125, G126 and G127 in the Frankland Building. Staff and students in the department undertake data collection using a range of methodologies.

The aim of the lab is to provide a platform for data collection using psycholinguistic methods, but also any other approaches where research projects require elicited data. Our facilities include:

  • Eye-tracking (1 x EyeLink 1000+ desk-mounted eye-tracker; 1 x EyeLink Portable Duo eye-tracker)
  • Reaction time studies (ePrime)
  • Rating studies/ surveys (Qualtrics)
  • Audio / video recording

Staff and postgraduate students (MA by Research and PhD) have benefited from these facilities, providing the opportunity to pilot and refine studies, and collect empirical data for use in published research. Projects have included:

  • Eye-tracking studies to investigate the reading and processing of figurative expressions (Gareth Carrol, Jeannette Littlemore); the processing and learning of formulaic patterns (Gareth Carrol); and the processing of fictive motion sentences (Gareth Carrol, Jeannette Littlemore).
  • Reaction time studies utilising the Stroop task (Jeannette Littlemore); and to investigate judgements of linguistic and gender-based power relations (Bodo Winter, Jeannette Littlemore).
  • Rating studies to collect judgements on the grammaticality of English constructions (Amanda Patten); on metaphor and emotion recognition (Jeannette Littlemore); on moral judgements (Matteo Fuoli); and on native and non-native speaker ratings of properties of figurative expressions (Gareth Carrol, Jeannette Littlemore).
  • Paper and pencil judgment tasks on the topic of language and iconicity (Marcus Perlman, Bodo Winter).
  • Eye-tracking to evaluate viewing patterns on websites, focusing on the use of metaphor in advertising (Jeannette Littlemore, Samantha Ford*)
  • Eye-tracking to investigate the effects of lexical priming during reading (Daisy Collins*, Gareth Carrol, Nicholas Groom)
  • Reaction time, picture matching and audio recording studies to investigate  metaphor understanding in older adults (Jeannette Littlemore, Greg Woodin*).
  • Video recording of participants’ use of gesture in retelling stories (Paulina Poplawska*, Adam Schembri, Gerardo Ortega).

*Indicates postgraduate student and/or Research Assistant


UoB students in the Linguistics Research Laboratory

We collect data throughout the year primarily from undergraduates as part of two modules: Investigating Language (level 1) and Psycholinguistics (level 2), which enables us to introduce students to these methods throughout their programmes. This has enabled several students to learn enough about experimental approaches to language study to utilise them for their own research projects (Language Dissertation and Investigation at level 3). These projects have included:

  • Two cross-modal priming studies utilising lexical decision to investigate the processing of idioms (one of which went on to be published in The Mental Lexicon journal).
  • An eye-tracking while reading study of how people with dyslexia process idiomatic expressions compared to non-dyslexic readers.
  • An eye-tracking while reading study of how people read different kinds of figurative phrase (idioms, metaphors and similes) encountered in story contexts.
  • An eye-tracking study of how people process visual and linguistic elements of advertisements from the beauty industry.
  • A brand name decision task to investigate recognition of English and foreign brand names.

Find out more about the facilities or projects by contacting the Linguistics lab