Project: Cognitive representation of multi-word sequences in English: Converging evidence, funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (MCIN/AEI/ 10.13039/501100011033; grant PID2020-118143GA-I00; PI: David Tizón-Couto).


This project seeks to put into perspective and address a number of specific questions as regards the effects of frequency on the production and perception of multi-word sequences, and their reduced phonological variants, by both L1 and proficient L2 speakers. Converging evidence from production (corpora and elicitation experiments) as well as from perception (perception experiments) will be central to the aims of this project. Cutting-edge quantitative methods that can support the multivariate nature of the studies outlined below will also be indispensable: 

  1. the effects of frequency information and phonological reduction on the perception of multi-word sequences by proficient L2 learners (and how their results compare to those previously obtained for L1 speakers; cf. Lorenz & Tizón-Couto 2019). 
  2. the conditioning factors for variation, across native varieties of English, in the cognitive representation of multi-word sequences that allow for alternation (e.g. try to-Vinf vs. try and-Vinf; cf. Tizón-Couto 2022)
  3. language users’ mental representation of items of different frequencies in the semi-modal V-to-Vinf construction (cf. Lorenz & Tizón-Couto 2017) or the SKT construction (sort of, kind of, type of) and their different pronunciation variants in American speech. 


Upcoming events and conference presentations on the topic 

Publications and resources on the topic

Previous conference presentations and talks on the topic 

  • “Learning to predict - second language perception of reduced multi-word sequences”. 5th Variation and Language Processing Conference (VALP 5), University of Copenhagen, 08/2021. 
  • “A multivariate account of particle alternation after bare-form try in native varieties”. The 6th International Conference of the International Society for the Linguistics of English (ISLE 6), University of Eastern Finland, 06/2021.
  • “Let’s try to/and grow a tree: Determinants of particle alternation after base-form try in five ENL varieties”. 8th Biennial International Conference of the Linguistics of Contemporary English, Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg, 09/2019.
  • “What speakers do, what hearers know – Reduction and prediction of 'verb+ to-infinitive' in spoken English”. Linguistics Gastvortrag, Institut für Anglistik/Amerikanistik. Universität Rostock, 05/2019.
  • “Everything matters, or what to do with all those variables”. Workshop The “quantitative crisis”, cumulative science, and English linguistics at The 5th International Conference of the International Society for the Linguistics of English (ISLE 5), University College London, 07/2018. 
  • “Conservative reduction and probabilistic prediction: production and perception of the V-to-Vinf construction”. International Conference “Modelling the Linguistic Architecture of English: Theories and Methods”, Universidade de Vigo, 05/2018.
  • “The V-to-Vinf construction: the role of frequency in the production and processing of reduced and chunked forms”. 7th Biennial International Conference of the Linguistics of Contemporary English, Universidade de Vigo, 09/2017.
  • “The role of frequency information in the perception of reduced words”. The 14th International Cognitive Linguistics Conference (ICLC 14), Tartu Ülikool, 07/2017.
  • “The role of frequency (information) in the production and processing of reduced and coalesced forms: the case of the V-to-Vinf construction”. International Workshop on Frequency Information in Speech Perception, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, 05/2017.
  • “How chunking and reduction affect word recognition” XIII International Symposium of Psycholinguistics. Universidade do Minho, 04/2017.
  • “Chunking and reduction in speech perception”. ExAPP 2016: 3rd Conference on Experimental Approaches to Perception and Production of Language Variation. Universität Wien, 09/2016.
  • “Perception of reduced words: Chunking and predictability”. ExLing 2016: Tutorial and Research Workshop on Experimental Linguistics, International Speech Communication Association (ISCA). St. Petersburg State University, 06/2016.
  • “Coalescence, Reduction, Contraction – some insights from the V to Vinf construction”. Oberseminar, Englisches Seminar, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, 12/2015.
  • “Speech rate and phonological environment as determinants of reduction: ‘havda’ and ‘uzda’ in spoken American English”. Phonetics and Phonology Workshop, University of Edinburgh, 03/2015.
  • “The V-to-Vinf construction and its Realization in American English”. 2014 International Symposium on Verbs, Clauses and Constructions, Universidad de La Rioja, 10/2014.
  • “Reducing ‘have to’ to ‘hafta’: Stored pronunciation variant or on-line reduction?”. 47th Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea, Adam Mickiewicz University Poznan, 09/2014.
  • “What makes a contraction: The import of speech rate on the realization of ‘have to’”. International Conference on Spoken English, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, 06/2014. 

Previous events organized on the topic 

  • Research Seminar "Frequency Effects in Language" (Univ. de Vigo, Dec 2017).
  • Workshop “Constructions and language processing: Performance-driven constraints on perception and production” at the 7th Biennial International Conference of the Linguistics of Contemporary English (Univ. de Vigo, Sep 2017).
  • International Workshop “Frequency Information in Speech Perception” (Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, May 2017).