Centre for Language Evolution Studies

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Researching computer-mediated communication from a psycholinguistic perspective

Agreement number Source Programme
Principal Investigator Years
UMO-2019/33/N/HS2/00541 National Science Centre (www.ncn.gov.pl) Preludium 17
Marek Placiński 2020–2022

About the project

The present research project lies in the area of psycholinguistics, conversation analysis, and computer-mediated communication (henceforth CMC). From this perspective, the project aims at addressing the two “big” questions below:

  • does the Interactive Alignment Model explain how dialgoue is processed in CMC?
  • is the “shape” of dialogues in CMC a result of dialogue processing pressures?

These two questions are going to be answered from the perspective of a psycholinguistic model of dialogue processing, the interactive alignment model (Pickering and Garrod 2004). The model describes how interlocutors engage in a “successful” dialogue if all of them reach a common communicative goal. This, in the model’s view, is achieved when all interlocutors’ representations are aligned. Interlocutors align their representations at all levels: from the low-level of lexis to the higher-level of situation models. The state is achieved via a largely resource-free priming mechanism. The reason for choosing the interactive alignment model is that it is one of the most widely discussed models of dialogue processing in psycholinguistics (with approximately 2400 citations). The two grand questions are going to be answered by investigating syntax, lexemes, turn-taking, information structure in CMC dialogues from the perspective of the interactive alignment model. The project also assumes a comparative study which will measure the degree of syntactic alignment in CMC and in face-to-face communication.


  • natural language processing;
  • eye tracking;
  • corpus linguistics.

Planned outcomes

  • publications in leading journals;
  • attending conferences;
  • integrating the results as a part of PhD thesis.