Much of the research in AcqVA is based on empirical data, corpora and experiments, and both NTNU and UiT have labs for data collection.
The LAVA Lab was established in 2008 and conducts experiments with children and adults in order to investigate various grammar phenomena, e.g. word order in wh-questions, embedded clauses, etc. Many of our experiments are elicited production.
Getting children to produce specific clause types is often quite a challenge, and our experiments are carefully designed and tested in pilot studies before the actual investigation starts. We often elicit sentences from the children with the help of hand puppets. A typical set-up is that the hand puppet is too shy to talk to adults, and we ask the child to help us communicate with it.
In 2014 we purchased an eye tracker to the lab (funded by the HSL faculty), an SMI RED 500. With the eye tracker, we have for example run experiments that target the processing of gender markers in Norwegian and children’s understanding of spatial information in speech. In our eye tracking experiments, we use child friendly images combined with simple verbal stimuli. We then measure how different linguistic cues trigger the children to focus their attention to relevant parts of the images.
The ØyeLab was started at NTNU in 2016. Research in the lab uses experimental methods to understand the role of grammatical knowledge in language processing, as well as to understand grammatical variation cross-linguistically. We use a number of different methodologies. Ongoing projects in the lab use our EyeLink 1000 eyetracker to record participants’ eye movements during reading. We also conduct a variety of behavioral studies that people can take part in ‘remotely’ over the internet. These studies typically require participants to provide judgments or to read text and answer questions.