6º Online Seminars in Psycholinguistics

07/08/2020 09:14
13 de agosto de 2020 @ 13:00

Online Seminars in Psycholinguistics/Seminários Online em Psicolinguística

Live on www.youtube.com/ppgiufsc

Thursday, August 13, 1 pm (Brasília time)


Abbreviations in reading: How Bavarian Is a BMW?

Tim Slattery (Bournemouth University)

Miscommunication occurs frequently and is prevalent with abbreviations as they intentionally obscure meaning in order to reduce text. Informal textisms (e.g. thnks, frendz) can disrupt efficient reading. These abbreviations, however, are more similar to misspelt words than to formal abbreviations. Abbreviation use has been on the rise in formal written communication as well. While highly familiar abbreviations (e.g. BBC) may be treated as words (Brysbaert et al., 2009), it is not clear how novel abbreviations are understood during reading—despite their widespread use. I report the results of eye movement studies of reading that presented passages of text with novel abbreviations which were manipulated to have either higher or lower frequency base words (Extraordinary Science Awards Ceremony vs. Ecological Scholars Algae Convention). I will explore readers’ eye fixation behaviour when they read the abbreviation (ESAC) of these base words later in the text to understand how abbreviations are understood during reading, and whether some types of abbreviations are more efficient than others. Implications for the processing of multiword units will be discussed.



Tim Slattery earned his BSc in Psychology with honors from the University of Buffalo. After graduation, he worked in a residential treatment center for juvenile offenders in New York. This arduous work led him to the realization that he desired a career in scientific research. So, in 2001 he embarked on his PhD in Cognitive Psychology under the supervision of Dr. Alexander Pollatsek at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst where he also earned a minor in Quantitative Analysis. During his PhD studies, he also had the pleasure of completing a summer internship program at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Mountain View California where he worked under the supervision of Dr. Cynthia Null. After earning his PhD, he accepted a Post-Doc position at the University of California at San Diego with Keith Rayner in 2007, where he further honed his skills as an eye movement researcher. In 2011, he accepted a post as an Assistant Professor at the University of South Alabama establishing a new Psycholinguistics lab there and earning an early career research award from the Dean of Arts and Sciences. He joined the Psychology Department of Bournemouth University in August of 2015. His research focuses primarily on eye movements during reading (especially return-sweep saccades), and he is interested in advancing the field of psycholinguistics through the implementation and testing of computational models. He is particularly interested in the processing of abbreviations such as textisms and acronyms as they provide unique opportunities to explore the processing of orthographic, phonological, and semantic representations. Tim is a Psychonomic Society Member, Experimental Psychology Society Member and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Contact him at tslattery@bournemouth.ac.uk.