My research investigates the relationship between reading and syntactic processing in spoken language.
Healthy adults show considerable variability in their knowledge and processing of ‘core’ syntactic structures. Individual differences in L1 syntactic proficiency have previously been linked to education. However, as a close correlate of education, literacy experience may be an underlying source of the variance observed.
Supervised by Professors Falk Huettig and Antje Meyer, my PhD project aims to examine literacy experience as a predictor of individual differences in syntactic processing in the healthy adult population. To this end, we recruited a large sample of L1 Dutch speakers from diverse educational backgrounds and assessed their literacy experience using a range of direct and indirect measures. With the same participants, we apply behavioural methods to tap into syntactic knowledge and processing in the spoken domain and examine the extent to which literacy experience accounts for the individual variability we observe.
Working title of dissertation: "Does literacy experience predict individual differences in the representation and processing of syntactic information?"