Applied psycho- and sociolinguistic research

Applied Psycho- and Sociolinguistic Research

I. Areas of research

The aim of this research group is to carry out interdisciplinary psycholinguistic and sociolinguistic research based on the analysis of digital resources, experimental studies, and survey results.

Researchers in this field analyze the characteristics of language or language use, changes in the language system related to globalization, and revealing the phenomenon of language/speech diversity-stability; they study the peculiarities of language development in a multicultural or multilingual society, describe the typical development of the language characteristic of Lithuanian and compare it with other languages, which is particularly important in a multilingual society. The researchers aim to assess the impact of globalization, multiculturalism, immigration, and emigration on today’s language situation, change, and development; to investigate and analyze issues related to language policy; to identify and analyze the problems related to multiculturalism and multilingualism in Lithuania, and to study them in the context of the European context. The research group monitors and forecasts trends in language development and provides expert advice to state and other interested institutions (Ministry of Education, Science and Sports, National Education Agency, Lithuanian Speech and Language Therapists’ Association, Special Educators’ Association of Lithuania).

The research topics include, but are not limited to, the following three main areas:

  • Psycholinguistic research. This area includes psycholinguistic research on language in adults and children, focusing on the processes of language formation and perception. Research covers typical and atypical language development, including multilingualism and underdeveloped language.
  • Sociolinguistic research. This field covers the study of spoken language and its varieties, speakers’ attitudes and their changes, language and communicative competence of different social/ethnic groups, and multilingualism. Research is carried out using a variety of methods from the social sciences and humanities.
  • Creation and development of digital spoken language resources, scientifically structured datasets, and interdisciplinary tools. This strand aims to create and develop:
    • spoken language corpora (adult spoken language, monolingual, bilingual children’s language, etc.),
    • language learning, language development assessment, sociolinguistic surveys, etc., experimental tests (to study language development or use),
    • databases (containing the results of experimental studies and surveys).

In order to ensure the representativeness of the language resources and the tools being developed, great attention is paid not only to the extraction of digital data, but also to its validation and management. The collection of digital resources is based on a variety of data collection methods, e.g., longitudinal observation of children’s speech, experimental methods, and semi-structured interviews. Adult spoken language data are collected through observation. Databases containing data for sociolinguistic analysis are collected using quantitative and qualitative survey and semi-structured interview methods. Pilot studies are carried out to develop instruments (tests) to assess language learning and language development, and the reliability of the results is evaluated using statistical analysis methods.

II. Applications of areas of research and experimental development

The fields of application of the research and experimental development are: humanities (linguistics, language policy) and social sciences (pedagogy, speech therapy, psychology).