Vedran Dronjic-Modern Languages - Carnegie Mellon University

Vedran Dronjic

AW Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Humanites

Carnegie Mellon University
Baker Hall 259
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
Office: BH A60J


I am interested in how the human brain/mind copes with the challenge of acquiring and processing language throughout the lifespan and what types of mental representations it builds in the course of accomplishing these tasks. Of principal interest to me is what repertoire of cognitive abilities (types of memory, executive function, attention, awareness, etc.) humans draw on when they attempt to acquire or process language in spoken or written form and how this repertoire varies with regard to age, cognitive ability, the number and type of languages spoken, and task requirements. I see bilinguals and second language learners as a particularly interesting testing ground for the types of questions I ask.

My research focuses on the following areas: (1) morphological processing in bilingual and monolingual speakers and its dependence on different types of memory, language background, and task requirements; (2) the organization of the mental lexicon in L2 and L1 speakers and its implications for lexical testing; and (3) the development of reading ability in L1 and L2 speakers of languages such as Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, and English and the contribution of various cognitive abilities to reading. In my research, I rely on a variety of online and offline psycholinguistic techniques.

 In terms of translational research, I am interested in exploring the potential for computerized online psycholinguistic tasks to be used as tools for morphosyntactic and lexical acquisition, assessment of lexical, morphological, and syntactic knowledge, and measurement of language aptitude.

Another interest I have is language policy and planning, specifically, how different societies resolve the tension between standard and non-standard language varieties and what implications this has for areas such as education and public life.


Ph.D., University of Toronto