Amy J. Schafer

Associate Professor of Linguistics 

Cooperating Graduate Faculty, Second Language Studies

Associated Faculty, Cognitive Science at the University of Hawai`i

Amy Schafer

Department of Linguistics, Moore Hall
University of Hawai`i at Manoa 
1890 East-West Road 
Honolulu, HI 96822 

Office: Moore 562 
Office phone: (808) 956-3226 
Email: aschafer at hawaii dot edu

Department phone: (808) 956-8602 
Department fax: (808) 956-9166 

General lab telephone: (808) 956-5854 
Phonetics lab telephone: (808) 956-4618 

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Research and teaching laboratories

Language Analysis and Experimentation Labs (LAE Labs) The LAE Labs support research by faculty and students from any unit in the College of LLL. Because our labs are integrated across research areas, they provide rich interaction among students and faculty with distinct yet related research questions. I currently direct the psycholinguistics lab (distributed across multiple physical spaces) and co-direct the eyetracking lab. One of the meanings of the Hawaiian word lae is wisdom.

Students interested in using the psycholinguistics lab are strongly encouraged to take LING 412 (undergrad only) or LING 640Y and LING 632 at the first opportunity; those interested in eyetracking should also take a section of LING 730 or 750Y that focuses on eyetracking.

Research interests

  • Prosody, intonation, and tone (especially the psycholinguistics of suprasegmentals)
  • Adult, child, and non-native sentence and discourse processing, in a range of languages
  • Pragmatics and information structure in sentence and discourse processing; given, new and contrastive information; implied meaning; processing sociolinguistic variation
  • Psycholinguistics in language documentation (field psycholinguistics), including detecting early signs of language endangerment (see the HALA Project) and attrition in heritage speakers

Selected conference presentations

Education and postdoctoral training

External Funding

Teaching at UH 

Publications (pdfs are for personal use only)

Esteve-Gibert, N., Portes, C., Schafer, A., Hemforth, B. & D'Imperio, M. (to appear). Intonation in the processing of contrast meaning in French: An eye-tracking study. Proceedings of Speech Prosody 2016, Boston, MA.

Ling, W. & Schafer, A. J. (to appear). Tone pair similarity and the perception of Mandarin tones by Mandarin and English listeners. Proceedings of the 5th International Tonal Aspects of Language, Buffalo, NY.

Grüter, T., Rohde, H., & Schafer, A. (to appear). Coreference and discourse coherence in L2: The roles of grammatical aspect and referential form. Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism. doi: 10.1075/lab.15011.gru [PDF]

Schafer, A. J., Takeda, A., Camp, A., Rohde, H., & Grüter, T. (2015). Effects of contrastive intonation and grammatical aspect on processing coreference in Mainstream American English. Proceedings of the 18th International Congress of the Phonetic Sciences, Glasgow, Scotland. [PDF] [Soundfiles]

Sato, M., Schafer, A.J., & Bergen, B.K. (2015). Metaphor priming in sentence production: Concrete pictures affect abstract language production. Acta Psychologica, 156, 136-142. doi: 10.1016/j.actpsy.2014.09.010 [PDF]

Grüter, T., Rohde, H., & Schafer, A. (2014). The role of discourse-level expectations in non-native speakers' referential choices. In W. Orman & M. J. Valleau (Eds.) Proceedings of the 38th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (BUCLD). (pp. 179-191). Cascadilla: Somerville, MA. [PDF]

Sato, M., Schafer, A.J., & Bergen, B.K. (2013). One word at a time: Mental representations of object shape change incrementally during sentence processing. Language & Cognition, 5, 345-373. doi 10.1515/langcog-2013-0022 [PDF]

Dennison, H. Y. & Schafer, A. J. (2011). Contrastive focus affects word order in Korean sentence production. In H.-M. Sohh, H. M. Cook, W. O'Grady, L. A. Serafim, & S. Y. Cheon (Eds.) Japanese/Korean Linguistics, 19 (pp. 483-497). CSLI: Stanford, CA.  [PDF]

Speer, S. R., Warren, P., & Schafer, A. J. (2011). Situationally independent prosodic phrasing. Laboratory Phonology, 2, 35-98. doi: 10.1515/labphon.2011.002 [abstract] [PDF] [supplemental material]

Dennison, H. Y. & Schafer, A. J. (2010). Online construction of implicature through contrastive prosody. In Proceedings of Speech Prosody 2010. [abstract] [PDF].

Hwang [Jackson], K., Schafer, A.J., & O’Grady, W. (2010). Contrastive focus facilitates scrambling in Korean sentence processing. In S. Iwasaki, H. Hoji, P.M. Clancy, & S.-O. Sohn (Eds.) Japanese/Korean Linguistics, 17 (pp. 167-181). CSLI: Stanford, CA. [PDF

Hwang, H. & Schafer, A.J. (2009). Constituent length affects prosody and processing for a dative NP ambiguity in Korean. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 38, 151-175. doi : 10.1007/s10936-008-9091-1 [abstract] [PDF]

O’Grady, W., Schafer, A.J., Perla, J., Lee, O.-S., & Wieting, J. (2009). A psycholinguistic tool for the assessment of language loss: The HALA project. Language Documentation and Conservation, 3, 100-112. [abstract & PDF]

Schafer, A. J., O’Grady, W., Lee, O.-S., Perla, J., Wieting, J., & Perdue, K. (2009). On the psycholinguistic assessment of relative language strength in bilinguals: Evidence from Korean heritage speakers. In Proceedings of Mental Architecture for Processing and Learning of Language (MAPLL) 2009. Technical Report of Language and Thought of the Institute of Electronics, Information and Communication Engineers.

Hwang, H., Schafer, A.J., & Anderson, V.B. (2007). Discrimination of English intonation contours by native speakers and second language learners. In Proceedings of the International Congress of Phonetic Sciences XVI (pp. 713-716). Saarbrücken, Germany. [PDF]

Hwang, H. & Schafer, A.J. (2006). Prosodic effects in parsing early vs. late closure sentences by second language learners and native speakers. In Hoffmann, R. & Mixdorff (Eds.), Proceedings of Speech Prosody 2006 (pp. 585-588). Dresden, Germany. [PDF]

Schafer, A.J., Speer, S.R., &  Warren, P. (2005). Prosodic influences on the production and comprehension of syntactic ambiguity in a game-based conversation task. In M. Tanenhaus & J. Trueswell (Eds.) Approaches to Studying World Situated Language Use: Psycholinguistic, Linguistic and Computational Perspectives on Bridging the Product and Action Tradition (pp. 209-225). Cambridge: MIT Press.  [PDF]  [Soundfiles]

Speer, S.R., Warren, P., & Schafer, A.J. (2003). Intonation and sentence processing. In M. J. Solé, D. Recansens, & J. Romero (Eds.), Proceedings of the Fifteenth International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (pp. 95-105).
Warren, P., Speer, S.R., & Schafer, A.J. (2003). Wanna-contraction and prosodic disambiguation in US and NZ English. Wellington Working Papers in Linguistics, 15, 31-49.  [PDF

Schafer, A.J. & Jun, S.-A. (2002). Effects of accentual phrasing on adjective interpretation in Korean. In M. Nakayama (Ed.) Sentence Processing in East Asian Languages (pp. 223-255). Stanford: CSLI Publications.  [PDF]  [Soundfiles]
Schafer, A.J., Carlson, K., Clifton, C., & Frazier, L. (2000). Focus and the interpretation of pitch accent: Disambiguating embedded questions. Language and Speech, 43, 75-105.  [PDF]  [Soundfiles]

Schafer, A.J. & Jun, S.-A. (2000). Prosody in spoken language processing. Journal of the Acoustical Society of Korea, 19, 7-10.
Schafer, A.J., Speer, S.R., Warren, P., & White, S.D. (2000). Intonational disambiguation in sentence production and comprehension. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 29, 169-182.  [PDF]  [Soundfiles]

Schafer, A.J. & Tuttle, S. (2000). Editors, UCLA Working Papers in Phonetics, 99.

Warren, P., Schafer, A.J., Speer, S.R., & White, S.D. (2000). Prosodic resolution of prepositional phrase ambiguity in ambiguous and unambiguous situations. UCLA Working Papers in Phonetics, 99, 5-33.

Speer, S.R., Warren, P., Schafer, A.J., White, S.D., & Kneale, J. (1999). Situational constraints on the prosodic resolution of syntactic ambiguity. In Proceedings of the Fourteenth International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (pp. 1301-1304).
Schafer, A.J. (1998). Bounded projection: The effect of prosodic phrasing on focus interpretation.  In E. Benedicto, M. Romero & S. Tomioka (Eds.) University of Massachusetts Occasional Papers in Linguistics 21: Proceedings of the Workshop on Focus (pp. 227-241). Amherst: GLSA.  [PDF]  [Soundfiles]
Schafer, A.J. (1997). Prosodic Parsing: The Role of Prosody in Sentence Comprehension. University of Massachusetts Doctoral Dissertation.  [PDF]   [Soundfiles]
Schafer, A.J., Carter, J., Clifton, C. & Frazier, L.  (1996). Focus in relative clause construal. Language and Cognitive Processes, 11, 135 - 163.  [PDF]  [Soundfiles]

Schafer, A.J. (1993). Editor, Proceedings of the North East Linguistic Society 23, Amherst: GLSA.

Schafer, A.J. (1993). The syllable structure of Tamil nouns. In T. Sherer, (Ed.) University of Massachusetts Occasional Papers in Linguistics 16: Phonological Representations (pp. 247-274). Amherst: GLSA. 

Ph.D. Students

Yukie Hara, 2014. Ph.D. Dissertation: Sentence Comprehension of Event Structure in English and Japanese: An Evaluation of the Interaction between Grammatical Aspect and Lexical Aspect. First position: Project Associate Fellow, Ochanomizu University, Tokyo. Current position: Project Assistant Professor, Ochanomizu University, Tokyo.

Heeyeon Dennison, 2010. Ph.D. Dissertation: Processing Implied Meaning through Contrastive Prosody. [Soundfiles] This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0921696. First & current position: Defense Language Institute.

Manami Sato, 2010. Ph.D. Dissertation: Message in the "Body": Effects of Simulation in Sentence Production. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0950290. First position: Postdoctoral researcher at Hiroshima University. Current position: Associate Professor, Department of British and English Language and Culture, Okinawa International University.

Kyuseek Hwang Jackson, 2008.  Ph.D. Dissertation: The Effect of Information Structure on Korean Scrambling. (Co-chair with William O'Grady.) First position: Instructor at Kapiolani Community College. Current position: L3-Stratis.

Aya Inoue, 2008. Ph.D. Dissertation: Copula Variability in Hawai‘i Creole Continuum. (Co-chair with Jeff Siegel; supervision led by Andrew Wong.) First position: Researcher at the Charlene Sato Center for Pidgin, Creole and Dialect Studies. Current position: Associate Professor, Music Department, Aichi University of Arts.

Annie Tremblay, 2007, Second Language Studies, Ph.D. Dissertation: Bridging the Gap between Theoretical Linguistics and Psycholinguistics in L2 Phonology: Acquisition and Processing of English Word Stress by French Canadian L2 Learners. (Co-chair with Bonnie Schwartz.) First position: Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois. Current position: Associate Professor, Linguistics, University of Kansas.

Hyekyung Hwang, 2007. Ph.D. Dissertation: Prosodic Phrasing in Sentence Comprehension: Evidence from Native English Speakers and Native Korean-speaking Second Language Learners of English. First position: Postdoctoral researcher at McGill University.

Michiko Nakamura, 2003. Ph.D. Dissertation: Processing of multiple filler-gap dependencies in Japanese.  (Co-chair with William O'Grady.) First position: Postdoc at Nara Institute of Science and Technology. Current position: Associate Professor, School of Systems Information Science, Future University Hakodate, Japan.

Ph.D. committee member for: Hyunwoo Kim (SLS), Jarrod Brown (Philosophy), Yunchuan Chen (EALL), Kelly Lin (SLS), Mari Miyao (SLS), Aya Takeda (SLS), Zhijun Wen (2015, SLS), Daniel Jackson (2013, SLS), Carl Polley (2012), Nian Liu (2012), Apay Tang (2011), Soyoung Kim (2011), Kaori Ueki (2011), Hunter Hatfield (2010), Hye-Young Kwak (2010), Sunyoung Lee (2009), Kyung Sook Shin (2007), Barbara Schulz (2006, SLS), Hi-Sun Kim (2005, EALL), Tomoko Kozasa (2005), Napasri Timyam (2005), P. J. Seymour (2004, Speech-Language-Hearing, U. Kansas).

M.A. Students

Amber Camp, in progress. Final Project: Perception of lexical tones across intonational contexts in Thai.

Amanda Blake, in progress. Final Project: Word order choices in Tagalog.

Dillon Smith, in progress. Final Project: Yes/no question intonational contours in speakers of Hawaii English and continental English.

Sunju Kim, 2013. Final Project: Adverb scope and prosodic phrasing in Korean.

Ryan Bungard
, 2010. Final Project: Effects of NP-type in the Processing of Japanese Embedded Complement Sentences. Current position: Web developer, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, University of Hawaii - Manoa.

Kathleen Looby,  2010. Final Project: Wait "for" it" A case study of syntactic borrowing from English to Maori.

Julia Wieting,  2010. M.A. Thesis: The Effect of Repeated Measures on Bilingual Lexical Access. Current position: PhD candidate in English, University of Hawaii - Manoa.

Bodo Winter,  2010. Final Project: Robustness as a design feature of language. Current position: PhD candidate in Cognitive Science, University of California, Merced.

Katherine R. Perdue,  2009. Final Project: The teaching of linguistic register through pronouns in Thai. Current position: Assistant Systems Librarian, University of Mary Washington.

Jaehoon Jeong,  2007. Final Project: The Role of Prosodic Boundaries in the Comprehension of Korean Pseudocleft Sentences.

Julie Hilliard, 1998. Speech-Language Pathology, University of Kansas. M.A. Thesis: The Perception of Lexical Stress in Auditory Word Recognition.  (Co-chair with Shari Speer and Kim Wilcox.)

M.A. Committee member for: Mari Miyao (2007, SLS), Aya Takeda (2006, SLS), Akira Omaki (2005, SLS), Amanda Jones (2001, UCLA).

Last modified February 2016