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The Center for Language Science is comprised of research groups from a number of different departments with interests in a range of topics.

On the following pages you may view information on the groups including their fields of research, current members, and a brief description about the lab (research goals, technology used, etc.)

You may find it advantageous to search through the labs sorted by department or field. If you would like to see a list of all labs at once, click here.


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Communication Sciences and Disorders
Researchers in Communication Sciences and Disorders use a wide variety of methods to investigate a very broad range of research questions related to speech, language, and hearing.
Qualitative, observational, and experimental designs are employed, and methods include behavioral tasks, standardized tests, surveys, and electrophysiological measures.
Some topics currently being investigated include language and literacy development in monolingual and bilingual speakers, and in atypical learners; lexical and phonological representation in bilinguals; cognitive mechanisms underlying language development and language disorders; and dialectal variations in monolingual and bilingual phonological development.
For further information, please visit the departmental website.
Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures
The Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures offers a wide range of courses in the fields of linguistics and applied linguistics. Graduate students in the Ph.D. option in Germanic linguistics and applied linguistics are required to take foundational courses in German syntax and phonology, alongside seminars focusing on topics relevant to both German scholars and the broader language science community at Penn State. Recent seminars include First language acquisition of German and Dutch, The Gothic language, and Introduction to German applied linguistics.
To complement the learning that goes on in the classroom, students from both inside and outside the department are also encouraged to work with faculty members on current research projects, which approach issues in bilingualism from a variety of perspectives. Specifically, Carrie Jackson’s work utilizes psycholinguistic research methods to explore the cognitive underpinnings of adult second language acquisition. Richard Page’s fieldwork examining Pennsylvania German in nearby Big Valley addresses larger issues of language contact and language change in bilingual communities.
For further information, please visit the departmental website.
Department of Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese
The Department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese at The Pennsylvania State University is committed to excellence in innovative and interdisciplinary approaches to the study and understanding of languages, literatures and cultures.
The Department’s Spanish Program has a long tradition of advancing diverse and interdisciplinary studies that intersect with broader transnational and transatlantic discourses.
The Department’s Italian Program offers a vibrant undergraduate experience that includes three major options and very popular minor. With a core faculty nationally recognized for their research and team of highly trained and dedicated instructors, the program provides a rigorous but flexible curriculum in Italian language, literature, and culture. Many of our students effectively incorporate summer or semester abroad programs in Italy. Our majors and minors have gone on to graduate programs and careers in fields such as medicine, law, education, business, and the performing arts. The Department also houses a Hispanic Linguistics Program considered one of the top in the nation. Scholars in the Linguistics Program play a central role in the cross-disciplinary Center for Language Science, and the increasing methodological sophistication of the program’s experimental research provides a transformative model for Hispanic Linguistics programs.
For further information, please visit the departmental website.
The Department of Psychology includes more than 40 full-time faculty members and more than 100 graduate students. There are a wide variety of courses offered in the topics of cognitive science and language. A dual title program is available in Cognitive Psychology and Language Science.
Department of Psychology faculty are involved in interdisciplinary research on a variety of topics including: Cross-linguistic transfer effects, Cognitive mechanisms of language processing and production, cognitive mechanisms of code-switching & organization of mental lexicon.
For further information, please visit the departmental website