Centre for Language Evolution | University of Edinburgh
I am a postdoctoral researcher at the CLE within the School of Philosophy, Psychology and Languages Sciences of the University of Edinburgh, working with Jenny Culbertson. I am generally interested in understanding how constraints on language change can explain typology. I use mostly experimental techniques to test how cognitive (perceptual and grammatical) and social factors influence the shape of linguistic systems.
You can download my full CV here.
You can download stimuli, analysis scripts, and data from some of my experiments here.
Hierarchical structure in the noun phrase
We are interested in understanding learners’ biases with regards to the relative ordering of nominal modifiers (specifically demonstratives, numerals, and adjectives). Learners faced with a new artificial language tend to assume orders of these modifiers that correspond to the linguistic typology. We test the robustness of this effect by examining diverse linguistic populations in an attempt to understand if these preferences derive from an underlying cognitive bias, or are rather transfer effects from learners’ L1.
Learning biases for phonetically natural rules
The aim of these studies is to examine different parameters that come into play during the learning of different kinds of phonological rules (specifically phonetically natural and typologically abundant rules compared to unnatural, unattested ones), and the different levels at which a learning bias can be observed. We explore this “naturality” effect in different tasks (based both in perception and production), and different populations, and by modulating variability in the input, and exploring differential effects of memory consolidation after sleep. We also study the role of bias in transmission over time with the help of computer simulations.
Phonological emergence in language contact
As phonological contrasts can be lost over time, so too can they emerge. This project focusses on a current emergence in Dutch (namely /ɡ/) with the specific aim of exploring the different levels at which phonological emergence can occur (perception, production, the lexicon), and what social (foreign language knowledge/use, education, region) and linguistic (phonological and phonetic specificities of the language) factors may be at play.
Perceptual asymmetries in phonological processing
This project focusses on asymmetrical processing of phonological features during speech perception, both in prelexical phonological processing, and in word recognition. Its goal is to tease apart lexical bias from low-level acoustic bias. It includes a computational component focussing on measuring lexical
Looking at the classic bouba-kiki effect, we explored the role of different segment types (specifically consonants vs. vowels) on sound–shape associations in adults. We found that in line with research on lexical access, consonants seem to have a much more important role in these associations. We also explored the effect in prelexical infants and found that 5–6 month-olds were not sensitive to such sound symbolism.
Martin, A., Ratitamkul, T., Abels, K., Adger, D., & Culbertson, J. (in press). Cross-linguistic evidence for cognitive universals in the noun phrase. Linguistics Vanguard.
Martin, A., & Peperkamp, S. (2017). Assessing the distinctiveness of phonological features in word recognition: prelexical and lexical influences. Journal of Phonetics, 62, 1–11.
Martin, A., & Peperkamp, S. (2015). Asymmetries in the exploitation of phonetic features for word recognition. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 137(4), EL303–EL317.
Fort, M., Martin, A., & Peperkamp, S. (2015). Consonants are more important than vowels in the bouba-kiki effect. Language and Speech, 58(2), 247–266.
Martin, A., Abels, K., Adger, D., & Culbertson, J. (2019). Do learners’ word order preferences reflect hierarchical language structure?. In: A. C. Goel, C. M. Seifart, & C. Freksa (Eds.) Proceedings of the 41st Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 2303–2309). Montreal, QB: Cognitive Science Society.
White, J., Kager., R., Linzen, T., Markopoulos, G., Martin, A., Nevins, A., Peperkamp, S., Polgárdi, K., Topintzi, N. & van de Vijver, R. (2018). Preference for locality is affected by the prefix/suffix asymmetry: Evidence from artificial language learning. In: S. Hucklebridge & M. Nelson (Eds.) Proceedings of NELS 48, Vol. 3 (pp.207–220). Amherst, MA: GLSA.
Fort, M., Weiss, A., Martin, A., & Peperkamp, S. (2013). Looking for the bouba-kiki effect in prelexical infants. In: S. Ouni, F. Berthommier & A. Jesse (Eds.) Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Auditory-Visual Speech Processing (pp. 71–76). Lyon, France: INRIA.
You can find more information on my publications at Google scholar.