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The Polinsky Language Sciences Lab at Harvard University is a linguistics lab that examines questions of language structure and its effect on the ways in which people use and process language in real time. We engage in linguistic and interdisciplinary research projects ourselves; offer linguistic research capabilities for undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and visitors; and build relationships with the linguistic communities in which we do our research.

We are interested in a broad range of issues pertaining to syntax, interfaces, and cross-linguistic variation. We place a particular emphasis on novel experimental evidence that facilitates the construction of linguistic theory. We have a strong cross-linguistic focus, drawing upon English, Russian, Chinese, Korean, Mayan languages, Basque, Austronesian languages, languages of the Caucasus, and others. We believe that challenging existing theories with data from as broad a range of languages as possible is a crucial component of the successful development of linguistic theory.

We investigate both fluent speakers and heritage speakers—those who grew up hearing or speaking a particular language but who are now more fluent in a different, societally dominant language. Heritage languages, a novel field of linguistic inquiry, are important because they provide new insights into processes of linguistic development and attrition in general, thus increasing our understanding of the human capacity to maintain and acquire language. Understanding language use and processing in real time and how children acquire language helps us improve language study and pedagogy, which in turn improves communication across the globe. Although our lab does not specialize in language acquisition, we have conducted some studies of acquisition of lesser-studied languages and heritage languages, with the purpose of comparing heritage speakers to adults.

Dataverse administrator: Keith Plaster
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1 to 10 of 16 Results
Aug 21, 2015
Boon, Erin, 2014, "Heritage Welsh", doi:10.7910/DVN/24415, Harvard Dataverse, V2
Transcriptions of Heritage Welsh narratives, with native Welsh controls.
Jan 5, 2015
Parra, Maria-Luisa; Plaster, Keith; Polinsky, Maria, 2015, "Heritage Spanish Narratives", doi:10.7910/DVN/28602, Harvard Dataverse, V3
This research was supported by the Faculty of Arts & Sciences at Harvard University, the Observatory of the Spanish Language in the USA (Harvard University), and the National Heritage Language Resource Center (UCLA).
Jan 5, 2015
Parra, Maria-Luisa; Gomez Gallo, Carlos; Plaster, Keith, 2012, "Heritage Spanish", hdl:1902.1/18834, Harvard Dataverse, V12
This research was supported by the Faculty of Arts & Sciences at Harvard University, the Observatory of the Spanish Language in the USA (Harvard University), the Center for Advanced Study of Language at the University of Maryland, and the National Heritage Language Resource Cente...
May 30, 2014
Denisova-Schmidt, Elena, 2014, "Heritage Russian - Germany", doi:10.7910/DVN/26350, Harvard Dataverse, V1
Transcriptions of spoken Heritage Russian in Germany
Apr 26, 2014
Mateo Pedro, Pedro, 2012, "Chuj Child Language Acquisition", hdl:1902.1/18482, Harvard Dataverse, V5
This research was supported by the Documenting Endangered Languages (DEL) program at NEH/NSF (http://www.neh.gov/grants/preservation/documenting-endangered-languages) and the DRCLAS center at Harvard (http://www.drclas.harvard.edu/).
Apr 26, 2014
Lau, 2014, "Ryukyuan field recordings", doi:10.7910/DVN/25609, Harvard Dataverse, V1
Ryukyuan field recordings
Oct 21, 2013
Ivanova-Sullivan, Tanya, 2013, "Heritage Russian", hdl:1902.1/19792, Harvard Dataverse, V2
Sep 12, 2013
Scontras. Gregory; Polinsky, Maria; Fuchs, Zuzanna, 2013, "Agreement mismatches in Spanish", hdl:1902.1/21954, Harvard Dataverse, V3
Agreement mismatches in Spanish
Sep 12, 2013
Hisagi Miwako; Plaster, Keith; Polinsky, Maria, 2012, "Heritage Japanese", hdl:1902.1/19303, Harvard Dataverse, V4
This research was supported by the Center for Advanced Study of Language at the University of Maryland, the Faculty of Arts & Sciences at Harvard University, and the National Heritage Language Resource Center.
Jun 19, 2013
2012, "Supplemental Study-related Materials", hdl:1902.1/18669, Harvard Dataverse, V6
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