Laura Kertz

Assistant Professor
(401) 863-2616
Office Location: 
Metcalf 241
Research Focus: 
Language processing, information structure, syntax/pragmatics interface

I joined Brown in 2010 following completion of my PhD at the University of California, San Diego, where I was a pre-doctoral fellow affiliated with the Center for Research in Language.

Research Summary:

An Expectation-Based Model of Discourse Processing

Research into sentence-level processing has consistently shown that readers do not wait until they have all of the information needed to construct the perceived meaning of the sentence. Rather they use the information at their disposal to generate predictions about likely meanings. Relevant cues can include probabilistic information about the types of structures licensed by the grammar and their relative frequencies, semantic cues, and fine-grained statistical information. This study will test the proposal that an expectation-based processing model can be extended to explain how readers construct meanings of larger works, by using self-paced reading time and visual world paradigms to test predictions against those of a priming based model, which is blind to discourse structure.