Friday, August 17, 2007

It's official!

Well, after almost two months of unofficial-ness, it's now official: my three-year NSF grant has been awarded! It's still a bit overwhelming, but it's mainly very exciting...funding for three years of psycholinguistic research on Hebrew and Maltese. I'm very happy, and look forward to being able to report many interesting results.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


A quick update on morphological family size statistics: additional regression analyses seem to continue supporting a facilitatory role for two factors in Hebrew lexical access: related family size, and word frequency, though apparently word frequency is only significantly facilitatory when taken as a linear measure rather than a log measure. Interesting. Additionally, unrelated family size has an inhibitory effect. This pretty much replicates the results from Moscoso del Prado-Martin's 2005 study but no one's ever done it in the auditory domain before our experiment. Also, there's never been a word frequency effect documented for Hebrew in the auditory domain, and interestingly, the frequency measures are based on a printed corpus and still have a significant effect in spoken word recognition. Neat!

The current goal is to figure out how to model this using mixed-effects modeling, which requires learning some more about R. To this end, Mike Hammond, Andy Wedel, and I plan to begin a reading group this semester to focus on learning how to use R. Based on a couple hours of work with the software yesterday, I clearly need such a group: I can't even get R to read my data file at the moment! There's nothing like being humbled by a command-line interface, that's for sure. Sigh.

Progress, progress everywhere

Well, the work on the new 4th Ave underpass is coming along well! Lots of utility re-positioning is taking place these days, with Toole Ave and Congress St completely torn up. I've gained a new appreciation for the underpass and the ease with which it gets me to and from the office on my bike or by foot, since I've had to find a new route. The new route takes me a couple blocks west, to the 6th Ave underpass, which is not bad at all and only adds a couple of extra minutes to my daily bike ride. Today, I got to see the design specs for the planned new underpass and they look great - very modern while at the same time quite respectful of the historic nature of the underpass being replaced.