Dr Jane Klavan writes about her week in the “Out of Our Minds” team.
Over the years I have had the pleasure to collaborate with Professor Dagmar Divjak on a number of studies. Having received a research grant from the Estonian Research Council (PUT1358 “The Making and Breaking of Models: Experimentally Validating Classification Models in Linguistics”), it seemed natural that my collaboration with her continued, since we both share the same understanding of what language is and how we should go about investigating it.
My one-week stay with the Ooominds as a visiting researcher in November 2017 was short but sweet. I was engaged in the work of the group on a daily basis and had the opportunity to participate in the various group meetings. In addition, various members of the group were kind enough to meet with me individually to discuss my own project with them and to let me benefit from their expertise. I enjoyed brainstorming a range of psycholinguistic experiments on Estonian morpho-syntactic alternations with Dr Petar Milin. Dr Srdan Medimorec provided a hands-on tutorial on how to set up psycholinguistic experiments using the OpenSesame software and Dr Tania Allard showed me how to set up my own GitHub repository. For me personally, highlights of the week were the guest lecture I gave on combining corpus-linguistic and experimental methods for the study of constructional alternations – my first invited talk! Plus, I found the headspace to write up my book proposal!
It was an honour and an immense pleasure to be able to visit the Ooominds team and to witness how a successful research group functions in a friendly and productive atmosphere. I am very grateful for the opportunity and I am keeping my fingers crossed for another visit to the breathtaking peaks of Sheffield.