Topics for MA/MSc/PhD supervision

I am happy to supervise research projects primarily in the areas of sentence and discourse processing, and in experimental syntax. I particularly welcome projects that investigate language processing in bi- or multilingual adults, and experimental syntax projects on linguistic phenomena which display gradience or variability. An empirical research project will typically involve a psycholinguistic study of some aspect of language representation or processing such as the resolution of syntactic ambiguities or referential dependencies. I will also consider research proposals in the areas of theoretical and descriptive syntax.

Masters students interested in doing a research project on language processing or experimental syntax will normally be expected to undertake experimental work of their own and should thus have a solid background in empirical research methods (incl. experiment design and statistics). For students who lack relevant methodological skills, a Masters thesis in the form of an up-to-date literature review might be an alternative option. For a PhD project, you will need to undertake an original empirical, theoretical or descriptive study - a mere literature review is not sufficient.

Drawing up a research plan

Students who would like to carry out experimental work for their Masters or PhD project should consider the following questions when preparing their research proposal:

  • What linguistic phenomenon or set of phenomena would you like to investigate, and in what language(s)?
  • What research question(s) would you like to address in your study?
  • What kind of people would you like to test, and how are you planning to recruit them?
  • What experimental method(s) do you want to use?
  • How are you going to collect your data?
  • When are you planning to collect and analyse your data and write up your research? Draw up a rough preliminary schedule.

>> Dr. Claudia Felser