Aleksander Główka

PhD Candidate

Department of Linguistics

Stanford University

I am a PhD Candidate in the Department of Linguistics at Stanford University. I am a member of the Phonetics Lab, the Spoken Syntax Lab at the Center for the Study of Language and Information, and a trainee at the Stanford Center for Mind, Brain & Computation. At Stanford, I work mainly with Joan Bresnan and Meghan Sumner. Before coming to Stanford, I completed a BA(Hons) in Italian & Linguistics at St Peter's College, Oxford under the supervision of Aditi Lahiri.

I am interested in psycho- and neurolinguistic aspects of language production and comprehension, primarily in the context of prosodic and morphosyntactic variation. My research is motivated by the growing body of evidence showing that planning and understanding linguistic utterances is a flexible process characterized by meaningful variation that involves online choices among competing forms. However, how language processing interfaces with the rest of cognition to yield such variation is less well understood. My long-term research goal is to understand how the neurophysiology of memory, cognitive control, and motor control contribute to predictable, surface-interpretable patterns of variation in the grammatical system and in the speech signal. I focus on cognitive interference phenomena triggered by competing prosodic and morphosyntactic representations, and on the phonetic reflexes of the competition in the speech signal. To this end, I combine acoustic analysis with a variety of experimental and computational methods such as mental chronometry (RTs), eye-tracking, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), cognitive and statistical modeling.