(mostly) Free tools we use to:

design/norm materials

  • The English Lexicon Project: The English Lexicon Project (supported by the National Science Foundation) affords access to a large set of lexical characteristics, along with behavioral data from visual lexical decision and naming studies of 40,481 words and 40,481 nonwords.
  • The SUBTLEX project at Universiteit Gent. Frequency measures and POS weighting for American English, Dutch and Chinese derived from movie subtitles.
  • Lexique: Developed by Boris New and Christophe Pallier, Lexique is a database and a search tool for norming French lexical stimuli.
  • VIEW (Variation in English Words and Phrases):  Mark Davies’ handy web interface that makes searching the British National Corpus
  • COCA(Corpus of Contemporary American English) also by Mark Davies, with a very similar interface to the VIEW site.
  • ARC Nonword Database: Generates nonword materials that conform to a wide choice of properties. Maintained by Macquarie University.
  • Wuggy: a pseudoword generator particularly geared towards making nonwords for psycholinguistic experiments. Wuggy makes pseudowords in Basque, Dutch, English, French, German, Serbian (Cyrillic and Latin), Spanish, and Vietnamese.By The Center for Reading Research at Ghent.
  • Semantic Space Model Demo: A tool for calculating the number of semantic neighbors a word has as
    deteremined by the frequency distributions of words occuring in the environment of the target word in large corpora. By Scott MacDonald.
  • The MRC Psycholinguistic Database: Great tool for either generating or rating stimulus items based on up to 25 different properties with any of dozens of restrictions.
  • The LSA (Latent Semantic Analysis) interface tool: Hosted at UC Boulder, this tool provides an easy interface to doing LSA.
  • VALEX: a new large valency (subcategorization) lexicon for English verbs which is suitable for (statistical) natural language processing (NLP), linguistic and psycholinguistic use. The lexicon was developed by members of the Natural Language and Information Processing Group at the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory.
  • The Unified Verb Index: a system which merges links and web pages from four different natural language processing projects focused on coding verb valency and argument structure.
  • Speech and Hearing Lab Neighborhood Database: From Washington University in St. Louis.
  • The Word Frequency Lists: Lists of very frequent words in a variety of corpora compiled by Rob Waring.
  • The Phonotactic Probability Calculator: by Mike Vitevitch at the University of Kansas.
  • IPhOD: The Irvine Phonotactic Online Dictionary. A large collection of English words and pseudowords suitable for research on phonological processes.

run experiments

  • DMDX: experiment running software written by Jonathon Foster. DMDX has extremely reliable timing control, making it the best software available for priming experiments, where stimulus duration and ISI are of the utmost importance.  Only runs on Windows.
  • Linger: written by Doug Rohde, based on TCL/Tk this tool is particularly well suited to self-paced reading experiments.

analyse data

report results

  • LaTeX: For document preparation. Especially useful for linguists as it allows tree drawing, ipa fonts, semantic denotation writing, autosegmental phonological representations, perfectly aligned glosses, etc without all the fuss and bother and ugliness of Word. Essex University’s Latex4Linguists page is a great resource for getting started and finding the right packages
  • Google Documents: A great way to collaborate on projects. We use the spreadsheet app to organize subject recruitment, scheduling and running, and the document app for everything from planning classes, to maintaining a tech report on an experiment in progress to collaborating on the final write up. It’s great for grading papers too. Students can just share the document with the instructor, and then access comments at any time – no attachments required.
  • Mendeley: A excellent references management tool. Combines a desktop client with automatic sync with a server to build a database of references that is accessible online as well. Imports from and exports to bibtex format, and uses google scholar metadata to automatically fill in reference fields. Still in beta, but already a powerful and useful tool.

manage information

  • Pathfinder by Cocoatech. Everything Finder.app ought to be and then some. Best file browser/management tool ever. Not actually free, but totally worth every penny. I can’t imagine working without this tool.
  • Default Folder X. Adding even more file finding/managing power. This is another tool that I can’t imagine working without. Makes dealing with attachments and quickly finding recently used files a breeze.
  • Dropbox. It’s hard to believe that until 2009 I was still wasting time manually saving files to a flash drive, or emailing them to myself to transfer them between computers. Dropbox makes such tasks utterly redundant, and doubles as an automatic, offsite backup with versioning to boot. Love it.
  • Notational Velocity on my desktop and laptop computers, plus Simplenote on my iPad and iPhone streamlines note taking and saving and accessing brilliantly. All my notes, on any machine. So useful.