Associate Professor of Second Language Acquisition and Chinese Studies
341 Posner Hall
Department of Modern Languages
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
I grew up in small Indiana and Ohio towns, and by kindergarten, I knew I would become an astronaut. By high school, my goal evolved to programmer-astronaut. So in my first semester of college, I took an astronomy class, a programming class, a calculus class, and a Chinese language class. My plan held until two years later, when I studied abroad in China and saw the stars from Inner Mongolia. My time in China completely changed my life. From that moment on I knew I wanted to study languages and linguistics. I ended up spending several years in mainland China and Taiwan and traveling throughout Asia. I returned to Ohio State to get my Ph.D. with the hope to one day inspire other students in the same way that foreign languages helped me find my path. In graduate school, I was trained in linguistic theory, East Asian languages, psycholinguistic methods, and data analysis and statistics. In 2015 I moved to Pittsburgh and established the Language Acquisition, Processing, and Pedagogy Lab (LAPP Lab) at Carnegie Mellon University. Graduate and undergraduate students in the lab help carry out research on the mechanisms and architecture underlying language acquisition and processing. LAPP Lab also aims to develop real-world pedagogical innovations for language instructors and learners. At CMU I teach a variety of courses on second language acquisition, Chinese language, and research methods. Despite all this, I still have not heard from NASA.
Areas of Interest
- Second language acquisition
- Speech perception and production
- Chinese linguistics
- Data analysis and visualization
- 82-888/82-387 Introduction to Linguistic Data Analysis Using R
- 82-286 'Crazy' Linguistically Rich Asian Languages
- 82-888/82-388 Second Language Speech
- 99-520 Experiential Learning through Projects: Language in the time of COVID-19
Selected Awards and Honors
- Innovative Models for Undergraduate Research Faculty Fellow, Carnegie Mellon University, 2020-21
- National Institutes of Health Research Grant, 2019
- Language Learning Early Career Research Grant, 2019
- National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant, 2015
Selected Community, University, and Professional Service
- Academic Review Board, Carnegie Mellon University
- Associate Editor, Applied Psycholinguistics
- Editorial Board Member, Chinese as a Second Language
- Gao, Z., Wiener, S., & MacWhinney, B. (2022). Acquisition of Chinese Verb Separation by Adult L2 Learners. Languages, 7 (3):225.
- Liu, J. & Wiener, S. (2022). Effects of phonological and talker familiarity on second language lexical development. The Mental Lexicon, 17 (1), 132-153.
- Zhang, H., Wiener, S., & Holt, L. L. (2022). Adjustment of cue weighting in speech by speakers and listeners: Evidence from amplitude and duration modifications of Mandarin Chinese tone. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 151 (2), 992-1005.
- Zhu, J., Chen, X., Chen, F., & Wiener, S. (2022). Individuals with Congenital Amusia show degraded speech perception but preserved statistical learning for tone languages. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 65 (1), 53-69.