Professor Alissa Melinger

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I am a graduate of the Department of Linguistics and the Center for Cognitive Science at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York. My dissertation was an experimental study of the representation of morphological information in the mental lexicon. After completing my degree, I took up a three-year post-doctoral position working with Willem Levelt, from the Production Group, and Sotaro Kita, in the Gesture Project, at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in the Netherlands. I also spent three years as a Post-doctoral researcher and lecturer in Psycholinguistics at Saarland University in Germany working with Matthew Crocker. I joined the School of Psychology at the University of Dundee in 2006.


My research combines linguistic theory, psychological models, and experimental methodology into a line of research that investigates what speakers know about words. Specifically, I conduct research on the nature and organization of lexical representations, focusing on the nature of different types of semantic relations (e.g., a comparison of effects arising from the relationship between dog and horse and the relationship between horse and saddle) as well as on sociolinguistic factors like dialectal lexical variations. I've developed novel variants of well-known experimental paradigms, specifically Rasha Abdel Rahman and I developed a multiple word variant of picture-word interference paradigm to investigate the relationships between different types of distractor effects.

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  • Language processing (Level 2)
  • Language (Level 3)
  • Gesture, Cognition, and Communication (Level 4 and Msc)

Media availability

I am available for media commentary on my research.

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Areas of expertise

  • Education
  • Psychology

PhD Projects

Principal supervisor