I do research on the psychology of language, with a focus on the on-line processes of language comprehension and production. Much of my research focuses on the speaker’s choice between referring expressions (e.g., ‘she’ vs. ‘the woman’), and how listeners integrate information from a variety of sources to understand them. Speakers tend to use reduced expressions (like pronouns, or reduced pronunciations) when a referent is highly accessible in the context, and listeners find it easier to understand references to accessible referents. My research aims to understand how and why things become accessible, and how accessibility interacts with other constraints during reference production and comprehension. Much of my current work examines how acoustic variation results from the ease or difficulty in speaking, in addition to the structure and information status of the intended message. Most of my research is with typically-developing adults, but I have done a few studies on the development of processing mechanisms in typically-developing children, and children and adolescents with autism.
Selected Recent Publications:
- Arnold, J.E., Kahn, J. & Pancani, G. (2012). Audience Design Affects Acoustic Reduction Via Production Facilitation. Psychological Bulletin and Review, 19, 505-512. VIDEO
- Arnold, J.E., Bennetto, L., & Diehl, J. J. (2009). Reference Production in Young Speakers with and without Autism: Effects of Discourse Status and Processing Constraints. Cognition, 110, 131-146.
- Arnold, J.E., & Griffin, Z. (2007). The Effect of Additional Characters on Choice of Referring Expression: Everyone Competes. Journal of Memory and Language.
- Arnold, J. E., Altmann, R., Fagnano, M., & Tanenhaus, M. K. (2004). The Old and Thee, uh, New. Psychological Science. 578-582.