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Kiel Christianson


Dr. Christianson studies syntactic parsing, sentence comprehension in reading and listening, reading, language production, bilingualism, and morphological processing.

Key Professional Appointments

  • Chair, Educational Psychology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • Professor, Educational Psychology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • Professor, Psychology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • Professor, Linguistics, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • Professor, Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • Director, Second Language Acquisition & Teacher Education (SLATE) Program, School of Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

PhD, Linguistics, Michigan State University, 2002

Awards, Honors, Associations

<span>two-time Fulbright recipient

</span>NSF CAREER Award (2009-2014) </p><p>University of Illinois Campus Award for Excellence in Advising Undergraduate Research (2019)</p><p>Illinois College of Educaiton Distinguished Scholar (2019)</p><p>Illinois Colleg eof Educaiton David Zola Career Teaching Excellence Award (2020)


EdPsych Psycholinguistics Lab Page

Research & Service

bilingualism & SLA


Dempsey, J., Liu, Q., & Christianson, K. (2024). Syntactic adaptation leads to updated knowledge for local structural frequencies. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 77(2), 363-382. Article 174702182311729.  link >

Christianson, K., Dempsey, J., M. Deshaies, S. E., Tsiola, A., & Valderrama, L. P. (2023). Do readers misassign thematic roles? Evidence from a trailing boundary-change paradigm. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 38(6), 872-892.  link >

Dempsey, J., Tsiola, A., & Christianson, K. (2023). Eye-tracking evidence from attachment structures favors a serial model of discourse–sentence interactivity. Discourse Processes, 60(9), 613-633.  link >

Dempsey, J., Tsiola, A., Chantavarin, S., Ferreira, F., & Christianson, K. (2023). Nonce word evidence for the misinterpretation of implausible events. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 35(5), 526-544.  link >

Lim, J. H., & Christianson, K. (2023). Cross-script L1–L2 and L2–L1 masked translation priming and phonological priming: Evidence from unbalanced Korean–English bilinguals. International Journal of Bilingualism, 27(5), 862-881.  link >

Azevedo, R. F. L., Roy, B., Christianson, K., Zhong, Y., & Morrow, D. G. (2022). Affective Distancing Associated with Second Language Use Influences Response to Health Information. Languages, 7(2), Article 120.  link >

Christianson, K., Dempsey, J., Tsiola, A., & Goldshtein, M. (2022). What if they're just not that into you (or your experiment)? On motivation and psycholinguistics. In K. D. Federmeier (Ed.), Psychology of Learning and Motivation - Advances in Research and Theory (pp. 51-88). (Psychology of Learning and Motivation - Advances in Research and Theory; Vol. 76). Academic Press Inc..  link >

Dempsey, J., Christianson, K., & Tanner, D. (2022). Misretrieval but not misrepresentation: A feature misbinding account of post-interpretive effects in number attraction. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 75(9), 1727-1745.  link >

Dempsey, J., & Christianson, K. (2022). Referencing context in sentence processing: A failure to replicate the strong interactive mental models hypothesis. Journal of Memory and Language, 125, Article 104335.  link >

Kang, H. S., Kim, N., & Christianson, K. (2022). Grammatical aspect and world knowledge in second language reading. IRAL - International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching, 60(2), 411-435.  link >

Rattanasak, S., Pongpairoj, N., & Christianson, K. (Accepted/In press). Effects of working memory capacity and distance-based complexity on agreement processing: A crosslinguistic competition account. Applied Linguistics Review.  link >

Brehm, L., Hussey, E., & Christianson, K. (2020). The role of word frequency and morpho-orthography in agreement processing. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 35(1), 58-77.  link >

Bulkes, N. Z., Christianson, K., & Tanner, D. (2020). Semantic constraint, reading control, and the granularity of form-based expectations during semantic processing: Evidence from ERPs. Neuropsychologia, 137, Article 107294.  link >

Christianson, K., & Deshaies, SE. (2020). Learning Languages in Informal Environments: Some Cognitive Considerations. In M. Dressman, & R. W. Sadler (Eds.), The Handbook of Informal Language Learning (pp. 27-37). Wiley-Blackwell.  link >

Dempsey, J., Liu, Q., & Christianson, K. (2020). Convergent probabilistic cues do not trigger syntactic adaptation: Evidence from self-paced reading. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition, 46(10), 1906-1921.  link >

Zhou, P., Garnsey, S. M., & Christianson, K. (2020). ERP data on auditory imagery of native and non-native English speech during silent reading. Data in Brief, 29, Article 105242.  link >

Huang, X., Kim, N., & Christianson, K. (2019). Gesture and Vocabulary Learning in a Second Language. Language Learning, 69(1), 177-197.  link >

Stoops, A., & Christianson, K. (2019). Parafoveal processing of inflectional morphology in Russian: A within-word boundary-change paradigm. Vision Research, 158, 1-10.  link >

Zhou, P., Garnsey, S., & Christianson, K. (2019). Is imagining a voice like listening to it? Evidence from ERPs. Cognition, 182, 227-241.  link >

Luke, S. G., & Christianson, K. (2018). The Provo Corpus: A large eye-tracking corpus with predictability norms. Behavior Research Methods, 50(2), 826-833.  link >

Qian, Z., Garnsey, S., & Christianson, K. (2018). A comparison of online and offline measures of good-enough processing in garden-path sentences. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 33(2), 227-254.  link >

Zhou, P., Yao, Y., & Christianson, K. (2018). When structure competes with semantics: reading Chinese relative clauses. Collabra: Psychology, 4(1), Article 22.  link >

Christianson, K., Zhou, P., Palmer, C., & Raizen, A. (2017). Effects of context and individual differences on the processing of taboo words. Acta Psychologica, 178, 73-86.  link >

Christianson, K. (2017). Psycholinguistics. In M. Aronoff, & J. Rees‐Miller (Eds.), The Handbook of Linguistics (2 ed., pp. 345-369). John Wiley & Sons, Ltd..  link >

Christianson, K., Luke, S. G., Hussey, E. K., & Wochna, K. L. (2017). Why reread? Evidence from garden-path and local coherence structures. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 70(7), 1380-1405.  link >

Hussey, E. K., Christianson, K., Treiman, D. M., Smith, K. A., & Steinmetz, P. N. (2017). Single neuron recordings of bilinguals performing in a continuous recognition memory task. PloS one, 12(8), Article e0181850.  link >

Kim, J. H., & Christianson, K. (2017). Working memory effects on L1 and L2 processing of ambiguous relative clauses by Korean L2 learners of English. Second Language Research, 33(3), 365-388.  link >

Li, Q., Huang, ZJ., & Christianson, K. (2017). Ambiguity tolerance and advertising effectiveness. Annals of Tourism Research, 63, 216-222.  link >

Stoops, A., & Christianson, K. (2017). Parafoveal processing of inflectional morphology on Russian nouns. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 29(6), 653-669.  link >

Bulkes, N., Christianson, K., & Tanner, D. S. (2016). Effects of semantic opacity on prediction during native and nonnative reading. Poster session presented at Boston University Conference on Language Development, Boston, Massachusetts, United States.

Bulkes, N., Christianson, K., & Tanner, D. S. (2016). Reading between the lines: Effects of semantic opacity in comprehension. Poster session presented at 2016 Mental Lexicon Conference, Ottawa, Canada.

Bulkes, N., Christianson, K., & Tanner, D. S. (2016). The influence of semantic opacity on prediction in L1 and L2 language comprehension. Paper presented at 2016 Second Language Research Forum, New York, New York, United States.

Christianson, K. (Ed.) (2016). Good Enough Representations in Language Processing. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 69(5).

Christianson, K. (2016). When language comprehension goes wrong for the right reasons: Good-enough, underspecified, or shallow language processing. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 69(5), 817-828.  link >

den Ouden, D. B., Dickey, M. W., Anderson, C., & Christianson, K. (2016). Neural correlates of early-closure garden-path processing: Effects of prosody and plausibility. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 69(5), 926-949.  link >

Ferreira, F., & Christianson, K. (2016). Is Now-or-Never language processing good enough? The Behavioral and brain sciences, 39, e72.  link >

Kim, S. A., Packard, J., Christianson, K., Anderson, R. C., & Shin, J. A. (2016). Orthographic consistency and individual learner differences in second language literacy acquisition. Reading and Writing, 29(7), 1409-1434.  link >

Li, Q., Huang, Z. J., & Christianson, K. (2016). Visual attention toward tourism photographs with text: An eye-tracking study. Tourism Management, 54, 243-258.  link >

Luke, S. G., & Christianson, K. (2016). Limits on lexical prediction during reading. Cognitive Psychology, 88, 22-60.  link >

Stites, M. C., Federmeier, K. D., & Christianson, K. (2016). Do morphemes matter when reading compound words with transposed letters? Evidence from eye-tracking and event-related potentials. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 31(10), 1299-1319.  link >

Zhou, P., & Christianson, K. (2016). Auditory perceptual simulation: Simulating speech rates or accents? Acta Psychologica, 168, 85-90.  link >

Zhou, P., & Christianson, K. (2016). I “hear” what you’re “saying”: Auditory perceptual simulation, reading speed, and reading comprehension. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 69(5), 972-995.  link >

Hussey, E. K., Ward, N., Christianson, K., & Kramer, A. F. (2015). Language and memory improvements following tDCS of left lateral prefrontal cortex. PloS one, 10(11), Article e0141417.  link >

Kim, S. A., Christianson, K., & Packard, J. (2015). Working memory in L2 character processing: The Case of Learning to Read Chinese. In Z. Wen, M. B. Mota, & A. McNeill (Eds.), Working Memory in Second Language Acquisition and Processing (pp. 85-104). (Second Language Acquisition). Channel View Publications.

Luke, S. G., & Christianson, K. (2015). Predicting inflectional morphology from context. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 30(6), 735-748.  link >

Raizen, A., Vergis, N., & Christianson, K. (2015). Using eye-tracking to examine the reading of texts containing taboo words. In M. Terkourafi, & S. Defibaugh (Eds.), Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Im/politeness (pp. 213-238). (AILA Applied Linguistics Series; Vol. 14). John Benjamins Publishing Company.  link >

Lim, J. H., & Christianson, K. (2014). Second language sensitivity to agreement errors: Evidence from eye movements during comprehension and translation. Applied Psycholinguistics, 36(6), 1283-1315.  link >

Payne, B. R., Grison, S., Gao, X., Christianson, K., Morrow, D. G., & Stine-Morrow, E. A. L. (2014). Aging and individual differences in binding during sentence understanding: Evidence from temporary and global syntactic attachment ambiguities. Cognition, 130(2), 157-173.  link >

Stoops, A., Luke, S. G., & Christianson, K. (2014). Animacy information outweighs morphological cues in Russian. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 29(5), 584-604.  link >

Kim, J. H., & Christianson, K. (2013). Sentence Complexity and Working Memory Effects in Ambiguity Resolution. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 42(5), 393-411.  link >

Lim, J. H., & Christianson, K. (2013). Integrating meaning and structure in L1-L2 and L2-L1 translations. Second Language Research, 29(3), 233-256.  link >

Lim, J. H., & Christianson, K. (2013). Second language sentence processing in reading for comprehension and translation. Bilingualism, 16(3), 518-537.  link >

Luke, S. G., & Christianson, K. (2013). SPaM: A combined self-paced reading and masked-priming paradigm. Behavior Research Methods, 45(1), 143-150.  link >

Luke, S. G., & Christianson, K. (2013). The influence of frequency across the time course of morphological processing: Evidence from the transposed-letter effect. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 25(7), 781-799.  link >

Slattery, T. J., Sturt, P., Christianson, K., Yoshida, M., & Ferreira, F. (2013). Lingering misinterpretations of garden path sentences arise from competing syntactic representations. Journal of Memory and Language, 69(2), 104-120.  link >

Stites, M. C., Luke, S. G., & Christianson, K. (2013). The psychologist said quickly, "Dialogue descriptions modulate reading speed!". Memory and Cognition, 41(1), 137-151.  link >

Christianson, K., Mestre, J. P., & Luke, S. G. (2012). Practice makes (nearly) perfect: Solving 'students-and-professors'-type algebra word problems. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 26(5), 810-822.  link >

Luke, S. G., & Christianson, K. (2012). Semantic predictability eliminates the transposed-letter effect. Memory and Cognition, 40(4), 628-641.  link >

Shin, J. A., & Christianson, K. (2012). Structural Priming and Second Language Learning. Language Learning, 62(3), 931-964.  link >

Christianson, K., & Luke, S. G. (2011). Context strengthens initial misinterpretations of text. Scientific Studies of Reading, 15(2), 136-166.  link >

Lin, T. J., Anderson, R. C., Ku, Y. M., Christianson, K., & Packard, J. L. (2011). Chinese children's concept of word. Writing Systems Research, 3(1), 41-57.  link >

Luke, S. G., & Christianson, K. (2011). Stem and whole-word frequency effects in the processing of inflected verbs in and out of a sentence context. Language and Cognitive Processes, 26(8), 1173-1192.  link >

Christianson, K., Luke, S. G., & Ferreira, F. (2010). Effects of Plausibility on Structural Priming. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition, 36(2), 538-544.  link >

Shin, J., & Christianson, K. (2010). The Status of Dative Constructions in Korean, English and in the Korean-English Bilingual Mind. In H. Yamashita, Y. Hirose, & J. L. Packard (Eds.), Processing and Producing Head-final Structures (pp. 153-169). (Studies in Theoretical Psycholinguistics; Vol. 38). Springer.  link >

Christianson, K., & Cho, H. Y. (2009). Interpreting null pronouns (pro) in isolated sentences. Lingua, 119(7), 989-1008.  link >

Shin, J. A., & Christianson, K. (2009). Syntactic processing in Korean-English bilingual production: Evidence from cross-linguistic structural priming. Cognition, 112(1), 175-180.  link >

Christianson, K. (2008). Sensitivity to syntactic changes in garden path sentences. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 37(6), 391-403.  link >

Schmitt, L. M., Christianson, K., & Gupta, R. (2007). Linguistic computing with UNIX tools. In Natural Language Processing and Text Mining (pp. 221-258). Springer.  link >

Christianson, K., Williams, C. C., Zacks, R. T., & Ferreira, F. (2006). Younger and older adults' "good-enough" interpretations of garden-path sentences. Discourse Processes, 42(2), 205-238.  link >

Christianson, K., & Ferreira, F. (2005). Conceptual accessibility and sentence production in a free word order language (Odawa). Cognition, 98(2), 105-135.  link >

Christianson, K., Johnson, R. L., & Rayner, K. (2005). Letter transpositions within and across morphemes. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition, 31(6), 1327-1339.  link >

Beretta, A., Campbell, C., Carr, T. H., Huang, J., Schmitt, L. M., Christianson, K., & Cao, Y. (2003). An ER-fMRI investigation of morphological inflection in German reveals that the brain makes a distinction between regular and irregular forms. Brain and Language, 85(1), 67-92.  link >

Christianson, K. (2001). Optimality theory in language production: The choice between direct and inverse in Odawa. Linguistica Atlantica, 23, 93-125.

Christianson, K., Hollingworth, A., Halliwell, J. F., & Ferreira, F. (2001). Thematic roles assigned along the garden path linger. Cognitive Psychology, 42(4), 368-407.  link >

Ferreira, F., Christianson, K., & Hollingworth, A. (2001). Misinterpretations of garden-path sentences: Implications for models of sentence processing and re analysis. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 30(1), 3-20.  link >

Schmitt, L. M., & Christianson, K. T. (1998). Pedagogical aspects of a UNIX-based network management system for English instruction. System, 26(4), 567-589.  link >

Bhalla, S., Abramson, H., Christianson, K., Goodwin, J. M., Goodwin, J. R., Sarraille, J., & Schmitt, L. M. (1997). Recognition of Japanese characters by non-native learners through a support database system. In J. P. Marsh, C. L. Nehaniv, & B. Gorayska (Eds.), Humanizing the Information Age (pp. 190-199). IEEE.

Christianson, K. (1997). A text analysis of the English double genitive. IRAL - International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching, 35(2), 99-114.  link >

Christianson, K. (1997). Dictionary Use by EFL Writers: What Really Happens? Journal of Second Language Writing, 6(1), 23-43.  link >


EPSY 398: Thesis (EPSY 398) Prerequisite: Senior standing.

EPSY 401: Child Language and Education (EPSY 401) Provides an overview of current knowledge about children's acquisition of linguistic and communicative competence together with a consideration of the educational import of this developmental process.

EPSY 590: Advanced Seminar in Educational Psychology (EPSY 590) Seminar in educational psychology; topics relate to the areas of specialization represented by the various divisions within the department.