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Matthew Carlson

Associate Professor of Spanish and Linguistics

Office Phone: (814) 865-0104


I am Associate Professor of Spanish and Linguistics in the department of Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese. I completed my Ph.D. in Spanish Linguistics here at Penn State in 2007, with the option in Applied Linguistics. I then worked as a postdoc at the University of Chicago under the mentorship of Susan Goldin-Meadow and Susan Levine, followed by an appointment as Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Texas at El Paso before returning to Penn State. I am interested in bilingualism and second language acquisition across the lifespan. My primary research focus is on phonology and morphology in the bilingual mental lexicon. Using a variety of behavioral methods, phonetic analysis, and eye-tracking, I am currently investigating how bilinguals dynamically rely on their two language systems, and how those systems interact under varying conditions. I apply similar methods as well as computational modeling of the lexicon as a complex network to explore how structured knowledge of the lexicon impacts the learning and processing of words by children and adults. My other research interests include bilingualism and cognitive function, and gesture.