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Institute for the Empirical Study of Language

Mission Statement

The goal of the Institute for the Empirical Study of Language is to enhance research on the processes of perception, production, and acquisition of language. The use of language is one of the most significant activities distinguishing human beings from other species.

A proper understanding of language use is a major goal in cognitive science, and progress toward that goal will have both theoretical and applied results. Ohio University has a growing number of faculty and graduate students who are involved in empirical investigations of language use.

We have joined together as an Institute to earn the benefits of collaborative research and shared facilities. Our members come from the College of Arts & Sciences (Linguistics, Modern Languages, Psychology), and the College of Health Sciences and Professions (School of Hearing, Speech, and Language Sciences).

Unique Value of the Institute

The concept of an institute for the empirical study of language is unique in Ohio, though similar kinds of groups exist in other parts of the United States. Bringing faculty, students, and laboratories into a collaborative unit permits research that is not possible for an individual investigator.

The institute increases the visibility of language research at Ohio University and increases opportunities for external funding. Schools and departments are also able to use the institute to assist in recruiting new faculty and graduate students because of the opportunity to work collaboratively with faculty and graduate students from several disciplines.

Research Areas

  • Development of the ability to recognize differences among languages
  • Speech perception
  • Word recognition
  • Assessment of speech and language disorders
  • Remediation of speech and language disorders
  • Second language acquisition
  • Bilingualism
  • Discourse analysis
  • Pragmatics