ANC Workshop - Richard Shillcock


Speaker: Richard Shillcock


Title: Implications of a new type of behavioural data from eye movements in reading



(Work with Ruomeng Zhu and Mateo Obregón)

I will describe our exploration of a previously unreported type of eye movement data—small temporal asynchronies between the two eyes at the start and end of fixations. These are observed in our large corpus of binocular multiline reading in several languages.

We interpret the data in terms of ocular prevalence—the prioritising of one eye’s input over the other even after binocular fusion has occurred. The data speak to the fluid transfer of processing priority from one eye to the other as the reader traverses the page.

The pattern of data is complex but falls very cleanly into place given the hypothesis that one eye needs to prioritised over the other not just in sighting tasks but in normal vision.

Bonus feature: Our study of right-to-left languages like Arabic and Hebrew also suggests a cognitive rationale for differences between right-to-left and left-to-right orthographies.



Speaker: Richard Shillcock


Title: Understanding systematicity in language behaviours; crucial insights from Korean



(Work with Hana Jee and Monica Tamariz)

The last decade has seen a lot of interest in the discovery that there is a systematic relationship between the meaning of words and their pronunciation—words that sound the same tend to mean the same. This phenomenon has been explored most extensively in European languages.

Such systematicity is very small but significant. In Korean it is substantially larger. Why, and what can it tell us about the nature of this systematicity?

I will describe the special features of Korean that allowed us to investigate phonosemantic systematicity in different subsets of a sample of words from a very large corpus of Korean internet usage. Tellingly, the systematicity is pervasive across all the subsets. This fact suggests a novel explanation of phonosemantic systematicity based on effort.

I will briefly defend concentrating on the category ‘effort’ in terms of a theory of universals in explanation.















May 04 2021 -

ANC Workshop - Richard Shillcock

Tuesday, 4th May 2021