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It’s been a hectic couple of weeks, friends, and things are only going to speed up, because I’m currently sitting in the San Diego airport, waiting to jet off to the Big Apple for the CUNY conference on sentence processing, the psycholinguistic event of the year.

My view for the next seven-ish hours.

The bad news is that that means there probably won’t be a new post this week (unless you generously count this one). But the good news is that I’ve got a couple of updates from the week that was.

First, the grammar myths article from last weekend got picked up by Visual Thesaurus (subscription-based). The content’s the same as it was here, but the layout’s a little better and it has a nice little picture of my head so that you know that despite being a grad student, I can still pretend to look presentable.

Second, I was interviewed for a piece on redundancy in language by Colleen Ross of the CBC. There’s an audio version of it as well as a text version. They’re more or less the same — although there are small differences — and personally I prefer the audio version. But perhaps that’s just because is no comment section on the audio version, meaning that the bottom half of the page isn’t filled with amateur peevelogists saying that “issues” is a grave plague upon the language.

Lastly, I’m presenting a poster at CUNY on my recent research into uncertainty during reading. We found evidence that readers maintain uncertainty about word order in the parts of a sentence they have already read. For instance, when reading The journalist that the fact surprised …, readers also think that perhaps they read The fact that the journalist surprised (someone) …. (The former is a relative clause, the latter a complement clause.) I intend to go into more depth on this once I get back, but in the meantime, you can check out the poster here and see what the heck it is that a psycholinguist does.

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A lot of people make claims about what "good English" is. Much of what they say is flim-flam, and this blog aims to set the record straight. Its goal is to explain the motivations behind the real grammar of English and to debunk ill-founded claims about what is grammatical and what isn't. Somehow, this was enough to garner a favorable mention in the Wall Street Journal.

About Me

I'm Gabe Doyle, currently a postdoctoral scholar in the Language and Cognition Lab at Stanford University. Before that, I got a doctorate in linguistics from UC San Diego and a bachelor's in math from Princeton.

In my research, I look at how humans manage one of their greatest learning achievements: the acquisition of language. I build computational models of how people can learn language with cognitively-general processes and as few presuppositions as possible. Currently, I'm working on models for acquiring phonology and other constraint-based aspects of cognition.

I also examine how we can use large electronic resources, such as Twitter, to learn about how we speak to each other. Some of my recent work uses Twitter to map dialect regions in the United States.

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