- Associate Professor of Second Language Studies
- Adjunct Associate Professor of Linguistics
- Associate Member, Cognitive Science Program
- Associate Member, East Asian Studies Program
- Ph.D. 2005. Linguistics, University of Durham, UK
- M.A. 1998. Language Acquisition, University of Durham, UK
- B.A. Hons. 1991. Hispanic Studies, University of Manchester, UK
office: Memorial Hall 310
phone: (812) 855-5992
First and second language acquisition; L2 syntax, morphology, and lexical semantics; L2 attrition; World Englishes
My research is mainly concerned with the question of how universal elements of meaning determine grammatical form in human languages. Of particular interest is how semantic elements in lexical items may be reassembled in different configurations while learning a second language, and how such feature reassembly affects syntax.
I focus primarily on learning environments that involve the interaction of English with languages of East Asia (especially Japanese), Romance (especially French), and South Asia (where crosslinguistic influence generally involves multiple languages). However, in the study of language universals, all combinations of first and second languages are potentially revealing.
I investigate the acquisition of semantics-syntax correspondences in diverse populations, including children acquiring a first language, adults acquiring a second language through formal instruction, and users of English for purposes of daily interaction in postcolonial societies. Current collaborative research includes work with Kathleen Bardovi-Harlig in the area of second language attrition. My research methodology is generally experimental, involving elicited production and judgment tasks, although recent work also makes use of corpus linguistic technology.
More generally, my research interests extend to all formal aspects of first and second language syntax.
Links to Materials
I enjoy the creative aspects of experimental design. Here are four examples of audiovisual materials used to elicit production data as well as judgment data in studies of the linguistic realization of motion events. They were all designed for use with young children as well as adults. These materials may be copied or adapted with appropriate citations.
Aladdin Animation: These animated slides were originally used with linguistic stimuli in embedded sound files. The linguistic stimuli have been removed so as to make the default presentation easier to adapt. See supplementary notes. Original article (with no images reproduced): Stringer, D. Burghardt, B., Seo, H.K., and Wang, Y-T. (2011). Straight on through to Universal Grammar: Spatial modifiers in second language acquisition. Second Language Research 27 (3): 289-311.
Dr. Doodle and Charlie: These figures were created to elicit descriptions involving the expression of Manner and Change of State in locative motion events. Original source of images: Stringer, D. (2012). The lexical interface in L1 acquisition: What children have to say about radical concept nativism. First Language, 32(1-2): 116-136.
Toto the Robot: This figure was created so that children could give grammaticality judgments by interacting with a puppet rather than talking directly to an experimenter. Original source for description (with no images reproduced): Stringer, D. (2005). Paths in First Language Acquisition: Motion through Space in English, French and Japanese. Doctoral dissertation, University of Durham.
Monkey Book: These pictorial stimuli are monochrome sketch versions of colour originals in an A4-size book (lamination made direct scanning impossible). Each stimulus page represents both Manner and Path. Original source of images: Stringer, D. (2005). Paths in First Language Acquisition: Motion through Space in English, French and Japanese. Doctoral dissertation, University of Durham.
Courses Recently TaughtAt IU Bloomington (2006~)
S511: Second Language Syntax
S531: Child Second Language Development
S532: Models of Second Language Acquisition
S622: World Englishes
S600: Topics in SLS: Acquisition of Adjectives and Adverbs
S600: Topics in SLS: L2 Lexical Semantics
S600: Topics in SLS: The Bilingual Mental Lexicon I
S690: Independent Readings in Second Language Studies:
The PP domain in SLA: Prepositions, postpositions and particles
T101: Writing English Sentences
T501: Academic Writing for International Graduate Students
I360: Introduction to Second Language Acquisition (Independent Majors Program tutorial)
Stringer, D. (under review). Embedded wh-questions in L2 English in India: Inversion as a main clause phenomenon. Unublished manuscript, Indiana University.
Stringer, D. (in press). Modifying the teaching of modifiers: A lesson from Universal Grammar. In Whong, M., Gil, K-H., & Marsden, H. (eds.), Universal Grammar and the Second Language Classroom. Dordrecht: Springer.
Bardovi-Harlig, K. & Stringer, D. (2013). The lexicon in second language attrition: What happens when the cat's got your tongue? In J. Altarriba and L. Isurin (Eds.), Memory, Language, and Bilingualism: Theoretical and Applied Approaches, pp. 291-308. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Stringer, D. (2012). a) Acquisition of motion expressions (pp. 4-5); b) Attrition (pp. 48-51); c) World Englishes (pp. 699-703). In P. Robinson (Ed.), The Routledge encylopedia of second language acquisition. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis/Routledge.
Stringer, D. (2012). Spatial feature assembly in first and second language acquisition
Spatial Cognition and Computation, 12(4): 252-274.
Stringer, D. (2012). The lexical interface in L1 acquisition: What children have to say about radical concept nativism. First Language, 32(1-2): 116-136. Prepublication version.
Stringer, D. (2011). Phonomimesis and directional predication in the acquisition of L1 Japanese and L2 English. Japanese and Korean Linguistics 18: 16-27.
Stringer, D., Burghardt, B., Seo, H.K., and Wang, Y-T. (2011). Straight on through to Universal Grammar: Spatial modifiers in second language acquisition. Second Language Research, 27 (3): 289-311.
Stringer, D. (2010). The gloss trap. In Z-H Han and T. Cadierno (eds.) Linguistic Relativity in SLA: Thinking for Speaking, 102-124. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
Bardovi-Harlig, K. & Stringer, D. (2010). Variables in second language attrition: Advancing the state of the art. Studies in Second Language Acquisition. 32 (1): 1-45.
Stringer, D., Burghardt, B., Seo, H.K. & Wang, Y-T. (2009). L2 acquisition of P-modifiers: Fine-tuning the linguistic expression of trajectories. In J. Chandlee, M. Franchini, S. Lord, & M. Rheiner (Eds.), BUCLD 33: Proceedings supplement of the 33rd annual Boston University Conference on Language Development: 1-13.
Ludwig, J., Fu, D., Bardovi-Harlig, K., & Stringer, D. (2009). Serious games for second language retention. Proceedings of the Industry/Interservice, Training, Simulation & Education Conference (I/ITSEC 2009): 1-10.
Stringer, D. (2008). What else transfers? In R. Slabakova, J. Rothman, P. Kempchinsky and E. Gavruseva (eds.), GASLA 9: Proceedings of the 9th Generative Approaches to Second Language Acquisition Conference, 233-241. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla.
Stringer, D. (2007). Motion events in L2 acquisition: A lexicalist account. In H. Caunt-Nulton, S. Kulatilake and IH. Woo (eds.), BUCLD 31: Proceedings of the 31st annual Boston University Conference on Language Development, Vol. II: 585-596. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla.
Stringer, D. (2007). Extending the PP hierarchy: The role of bare nominals in spatial predication. In T. Scheffler, J. Tauberer, A. Eliam, and L. Mayol (eds.), Penn Working Papers in Linguistics (PWPL) Vol.13.1: Proceedings of the 30th Annual Penn Linguistics Colloquium: 379-392.
Stringer, D. (2006). Coming and Going, Toing and Froing: VP/PP Parallels in L1 Acquisition. In Y. Ostu (ed.), Proceedings of the Seventh Tokyo Conference on Psycholinguistics, 247-271. Tokyo: Hitsuji Shobo.
Stringer, D. (2006). Lexical mismatches as a source of errors in comparative linguistic analysis. Philologia 37: 137-160.
Stringer, D. (2006). The development of PATHS: Spatial complexity and the multiple predicate strategy. In S. Unsworth, T. Parodi, A. Sorace, and M. Young-Scholten (eds.), Paths of Development in L1 and L2 Acquisition, 135-160. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Stringer, D. (2006). Typological tendencies and universal grammar in the acquisition of adpositions. In P. Saint-Dizier (ed.), Syntax and Semantics of Prepositions, 57-68. Dordrecht: Springer.
Hattori, N., Ayano, S., Herrick, D., Stringer, D., and Sugisaki, K. (2006). Topics in Child Japanese. In Y. Ostu (ed.), Proceedings of the Seventh Tokyo Conference on Psycholinguistics, 103-119. Tokyo: Hitsuji Shobo.
Stringer, D. (2005). Children’s structuring of motion events: Syntactic universals and lexical variation. In Y. Ostu (ed.), Proceedings of the Sixth Tokyo Conference on Psycholinguistics, 319-343. Tokyo: Hitsuji Shobo.
Stringer, D. (2005). Paths in First Language Acquisition: Motion through Space in English, French and Japanese. Doctoral dissertation, University of Durham.
Stringer, D. (2003). Acquisitional evidence for a universal syntax of PP. In P. Saint-Dizier (ed.), Proceedings of the ACL-SIGSEM Workshop on The Linguistic Dimensions of Prepositions and their Use in Computational Linguistics Formalisms and Applications, 44-55. Toulouse: IRIT.
Stringer, D. (2003). Splitting the conceptual atom: Acquisitional evidence for semantic decomposition. Durham Working Papers in Linguistics, 9: 81-94.
Stringer, D. (2002). Predication of path in French and Japanese. Durham Working Papers in Linguistics, 8: 153-166.
Stringer, D. (2002). The syntax of paths and boundaries. In M. Andronis, C. Ball, H. Elston and S. Neuvel (eds.), CLS 37: The Panels. Papers from the 37th Meeting of the Chicago Linguistics Society, Vol. 2: 139-154.
Stringer, D. (2001). Syntactic and conceptual mechanisms in argument selection. Durham Working Papers in Linguistics, 7: 111-125.
Stringer, D. (2000). ‘Ground rules’: Locative verbs in first language acquisition. Newcastle and Durham Working Papers in Linguistics, 6: 145-157.