Pre-Workshop Tutorials

The workshop on experimental approaches to East Asian linguistics offers pre-workshop tutorials by three of the invited speakers of the event, Prof. Chigusa Kurumada, Prof. Jon Sprouse, and Prof. Peng Zhou. The tutorials take place on May 18, 2016, in the conference room in Center for Korean Studies. Please see below for the schedule and descriptions of the tutorials.

The tutorials are free, and all the workshop presenters, UHM graduate students and UHM faculty members are eligible to participate. Since we can only accommodate 25 participants for each tutorial due to the room capacity, however, we ask you to register to secure your seat in the tutorials. If you sign up after the slots are filled, you will be put on the waiting list.

Click here to register for the pre-workshop tutorials.

(You have to register separately for the workshop itself.)

Tutorial 1: 9:30-11:00am

Designing a child experiment using the Truth Value Judgement Task

Prof. Peng Zhou (Macquarie University)

The goal of this tutorial is to introduce students to the Truth Value Judgement Task (TVJT), a methodology that was designed to test children’s knowledge of linguistic constraints and to test whether or not children could access both meanings associated with ambiguous sentences (Crain & McKee, 1985; Crain & Thornton, 1998). The task is widely used today in its original format but it has also been adapted to solve new issues and to meet the demands of cross-linguistic data. In this tutorial, I will discuss several virtues of this task, as compared to others, as well as describing how the task is administered. We will consider ways in which the TVJT can be adapted to address specific topics in child language. To make the tutorial more engaging and interactive, we will go through some specific linguistic phenomena (e.g., VP-ellipsis, double negation, interpretation of wh-words) and discuss how we can design an experiment to test children’s knowledge of the phenomena. I will also provide some experimental stimuli and we will design some experiments together.

Tutorial 2: 12:30-2:00pm

Designing and analyzing an acceptability judgment experiment

Prof. Jon Sprouse (University of Connecticut)

The goal of this tutorial is to introduce students to the design and analysis of acceptability judgment experiments in syntax. I will come with lecture slides, example data, and R scripts that cover every step of the process. There is no way to cover everything in 1.5 hours, so the tutorial will be interactive. We’ll spend more or less time on different topics based on the needs of the students in attendance. I will also make all of the slides and scripts available online for students to work through after the tutorial as a foundation for future experiments.

It is possible that we will work through some of the scripts together during the workshop, so I recommend bringing a laptop with R pre-installed. I will make a website available before the workshop with more explicit instructions.

Tutorial 3: 2:15-3:45pm

Running psycholinguistic experiments online: Using survey websites to conduct comprehension studies

Prof. Chigusa Kurumada and Amanda Pogue (University of Rochester)

This tutorial is for those who are interested in conducting experiments using Amazon Mechanical Turk. While running experiments on the internet is getting more and more popular among linguists and psycholinguists, programming an experiment is not everybody’s cup of tea. I will talk about how to collect psycholinguistic data *without* any programming background. We will go over basics about Amazon Mechanical Turk, good practices for excluding inattentive and uncooperative participants, and how to effectively randomize and present your stimuli. We use a survey website called Qualtrics (

Participants are encouraged to create a free account before the tutorial. We will focus on tasks in which we collect judgment responses based on visual (pictures and videos) and audio stimuli. Participants are also encouraged to submit questions in advance (