Portrait by Gary Kautto

Portrait by Gary Kautto

Adam Ussishkin

Associate Professor

Department of Linguistics/PsyCoL Lab

University of Arizona

PO Box 210028

Tucson, AZ 85701




My research interests center around the structure of the lexicon, and involve the application of psycholinguistic techniques to study lexical organization and processing. The languages that form the basis for this research are primarily Semitic languages, most notably Maltese and Modern Hebrew, and together with doctoral students I've also been involved in work on Amharic, Sana'ani Arabic, Moroccan Arabic, Jordanian Arabic, and Khalka Mongolian. My recent NSF-funded research on Hebrew and Maltese tested the psycholinguistic reality of traditional elements of Semitic grammar such as the triconsonantal root and the word pattern.

I use the auditory masked priming technique in order to investigate the extent to which language processing involves early and automatic parsing of these elements. In my lab, my students and I are also applying this methodology investigating English spoken word recognition to explore the parameters and limits of this technique. This work is connected with several collaborative corpus-building projects, in which I am building corpora and testing corpus representativeness as well as correlations between corpus measures and psycholinguistic behavior.

Within formal linguistics, my principal area of interest is the intersection between phonology and morphology. My early training is in phonological theory, and within this domain, most of my work focused on prosodic morphology, or the interaction between word formation and prosodic restrictions.