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About Meghan Armstrong

I am an Assistant Professor of Hispanic Linguistics at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. My main line of research deals with intonational development - how do children acquire intonational forms and their meanings? What other cues (such as facial gestures) are important in this development process? My dissertation work specifically focused on the pragmatics of yes-no question intonation and the development of yes-no question intonation in Puerto Rican Spanish. My work appeared in the Puerto Rican newspaper El Nuevo Día in an article by fellow linguist Maia Sherwood.
I am interested in yes-no question intonation, its meaning and how children acquire it. I'm currently working on yes-no question intonation in the South, since it seems to be a bit different from the typical fall-rise that linguists tend to talk about for American English. I'm currently investigating how different communities in Northeast Georgia (European Americans, African Americans and L1 Spanish-speakers acquiring Southern English) use and acquire yes-no question intonation.
One of the methodologies applied in my research is eyetracking, and I am currently using this methodology in a collaboration with Pilar Prieto (I-CREA/Universitat Pompeu Fabra), Llorenç Andreu i Barrachina (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya) and Núria Esteve Gibert (Universitat Pompeu Fabra) on a project exploring how children integrate intonational and lexical cues with situational information and world knowledge.
I am a member of the Grup d'Estudis de Prosòdia, directed by Pilar Prieto. This group aims to understand the role of prosody and gestures in human communication, comprehension and language processing and is based at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona.


Present Assistant Professor of Spanish & Portuguese, Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Present Spanish Minor Advising, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Curriculum Vitae


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Contact Information

Herter Hall, Room 419
161 Presidents Drive
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Amherst, MA 01003


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