Texas Tech University

Dr. James Lee

Jeanne Charnier Qualia Professor of Applied Linguistics

james3.lee@ttu.edu

I am privileged to be the Jeanne Charnier Qualia Professor of Applied Linguistics and an affiliated faculty with Spanish and Portuguese. Up front, my research always has a linguistic target and it also always examines second language learners. This population is defined by possessing an incomplete linguistic system; their development is ongoing. I document how this incredible population manages to process linguistic structures. Earlier in my career, I researched second language reading comprehension and input processing of linguistic structres as separate constructs. Fortunately, I found ways to research them as interrelated constructs. Most recently, my work on the second language acquisition of linguistic structures has been driven by online measures (online meaning, the concurrent exposure to and processing of a linguistic structure): eye-tracking, self-paced reading, think-alouds, and reaction times.

I am the Director of the CMLL Eye-Tracking Research Laboratory for Language Processing. Linguistic analysis is the core tool of my work. Most recently,my linguistic target is the Spanish ser passive. Why the passive? In an active sentence, the word order is Agent-Verb-Patient. In a passive sentence, the order is Patient-Verb-Agent. The reverse. How does a second language learner's cognitive mechanisms process this reversal? Their eye movements are revealing! Check out my current favorite piece of research: Native and non-native processing of active and passive sentences: The effects of processing instruction on the allocation of visual attention. (DOI link)

Lee