Our research


In our lab we run a variety of research projects. Here you can get a glimpse of what we are doing:

Dr. Dinah Baer-Henney

My primary interest has always been how linguistic units below the word level are acquired, learned and processed by children and adults. I look at phonetic, graphematic, phonological and morphological phenomena in German, English, Mandarin, Spanish,… and artificial languages. These turned out to be a useful tool for my research utilizing artificial language learning paradigms. Methodologically I rely on behavioural techniques including the visual world paradigm and mouse tracking but I also plan to dive into electrophysiological data. Recent research utilizes neural networks to simulate learning behaviour.

Erdin Mujezinović, M.A.

I primarily focus on phonetic, phonological and morphophonological learning. I approach all three from a discriminative error-driven learning perspective. For my PhD-project, I investigate the learning mechanisms behind phonetic category acquisition (phonetics), behind sound pattern acquisition (phonology) and behind form-meaning associations (morphophonology). I use computational and experimental methods to answer these questions.
By investigating the learning mechanisms, I hope to gain a better understanding of how children acquire language and eventually learn to internalize and use the sound system of their language productively.

Dr. Jessica Nieder

I am primarily interested in the interaction of morphology and phonology, with a special focus on Semitic morphology, and the consequences this interaction has for the comprehension, production and processing of complex word forms. My research methods include behavioural experiments, corpus studies, statistical analyses and computational modelling.

Dr. Jasmin Pfeifer

My research is about Congenital Amusia, a neuro-developmental perception disorder. It is an innate disorder that negatively affects auditory perception.

So far, most research has investigated its influence on music perception. People with congenital amusia (amusics) face lifelong impairments in the musical domain – music can even cause discomfort to them.

Only few studies have looked at the influence of congenital amusia on speech perception and even these have only investigated the discrimination of pitch differences. 

If you think that you are unmusical, I am always looking for participants!  Possible symptoms of congenital amusia can be an:

  • inability to recognize familiar melodies without lyrics 
  • inability to recognize out-of-tune singing
  • inability to differentiate notes of various pitches/timbres
  • inability to reproduce a tone  or melody correctly
  • inability to discriminate or reproduce rhythmic patterns 

If you think that you might be amusic or you wnat to know more about amusia, then you can send an e-mail to pfeifer(at)phil.hhu.de. There is also an online test that you can take. To get the log-in details, also send an e-mail to pfeifer(at)phil.hhu.de.