The Language Production Laboratory at the Beckman Institute

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Publications | Projects | Members | Contacts | Affiliations | Mascot

Our work focuses on how people turn thoughts into speech. There are three questions behind much of the research. One is how the features of ideas affect language forms. A prospective graduate student might say either "The application took forever to fill out" or "It took forever to fill out the application". What determines which kind of sentence is used? A second question has to do with the cognitive processes that control how words are arranged. Speakers begin with ideas or scenes whose components may be present to the eye -- or the mind's eye -- all at once. But the words to communicate these mental pictures have to be spoken one at a time. If a mental picture is worth a thousand words, I ask: Which words? In what order? How does the speaker manage the flow of information? A third issue in my research involves what goes wrong when speakers make errors in selecting or arranging words. If you say "I have a room in my phone" when you mean "I have a phone in my room", what slipped? And why? The answers to these questions draw on theories about language and about cognitive processes, and emerge from new experimental techniques for examining language production. -- Kathryn Bock


Several ongoing projects and approaches are described here, with representative citations for each project.

We're also looking for people to act as paid experimental subjects, and for undergraduate Psychology students interested in working in the lab as 290's. Please contact Matt Rambert for more information.


A color-coded list of recent publications by lab members.


Lists, and links to personal web pages, of faculty, students, and staff at the Language Production Lab.

Contact Information

To contact us, please contact Dr. Bock or Dr. Dell directly, or contact:

Bock's Lab:
Language Production Lab
1432 Beckman Institute
405 N. Matthews Ave.
Urbana, IL 61801

(217) 244-5494

Lab Research Coordinator: Matt Rambert
Dell's Lab:
Language Production Lab
1412 Beckman Institute
405 N. Matthews Ave.
Urbana, IL 61801

(217) 244-5609



About our Lab Mascot.

Webmaster: Matt Rambert <>
Last modified: July 2004
Thanks to the Real-Time Systems Laboratory for theft of their design.