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Sentence planning in bilingual speakers: Incrementality and adaptation in native and non-native language production.

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

How do speakers put thoughts into words? Native speakers normally plan what they are going to say incrementally: they can start speaking having encoded a small part (or increment) of what they want to communicate and they continue planning what they will say next “on the fly” while already speaking without compromising fluency. This process is different in non-native language production: fluent non-native speakers (i.e., bilinguals) are generally less likely to engage in “on-the-fly” planning. Research in this area has only begun to study the ways that non-native linguistic proficiency influences online sentence production (e.g., Konopka, Meyer, & Forest, 2018). This project will investigate the potential and constraints on adaptation and flexibility in non-native sentence planning, providing a new perspective on the relationship between thinking and speaking. The focus will be on sentence planning in bilingual speakers whose native languages do and do not differ from English in grammatical features such as word order requirements and the presence of case marking. The primary methodology is eye-tracking during spontaneous production.

• Apply for Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology
• State name of the lead supervisor as the Name of Proposed Supervisor
• State ‘Self-funded’ as Intended Source of Funding
• State the exact project title on the application form

When applying please ensure all required documents are attached:
• All degree certificates and transcripts (Undergraduate AND Postgraduate MSc-officially translated into English where necessary)
• Detailed CV
• Details of 2 academic referees

Informal inquiries can be made to Dr. Agnieszka Konopka () with a copy of your curriculum vitae and cover letter. All general enquiries should be directed to the Postgraduate Research School ()

Funding Notes

This project is advertised in relation to the research area of the School of Psychology. The successful applicant will be expected to provide the funding for Tuition fees, living expenses and maintenance. Details of the cost of study can be found by visiting View Website. THERE IS NO FUNDING ATTACHED TO THESE PROJECTS.


Konopka, A. E., & Meyer, A. S. (2014). Priming sentence planning. Cognitive Psychology, 73, 1-40.

Konopka, A. E., Meyer, A. S., & Forest, T. A. (2018). Planning to speak in L1 and L2. Cognitive Psychology, 102, 72-104.

Norcliffe, E., Konopka, A. E., Brown, P., & Levinson, S. (2015). Word order affects the time-course of sentence formulation in Tzeltal. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 30, 1187-1208

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