Personal profile


Check out my lab webpage here

I am a graduate of the Department of Linguistics and the Center for Cognitive Science at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York. My dissertation was an experimental study of the representation of morphological information in the mental lexicon. After completing my degree, I took up a three year post-doctoral position working with Willem Levelt, from the Production Group, and Sotaro Kita, in the Gesture Project, at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in the Netherlands. I also spent three years as a Post-doctoral researcher and lecturer in Psycholinguistics at Saarland University in Germany working with Matthew Crocker. I joined the School of Psychology at the University of Dundee in 2006.


My research combines linguistic theory, psychological models, and experimental methodology into a line of research that investigates what speakers know about words. Specifically, I conduct research on the nature and organization of lexical representations, focusing more recently grammatical features in speech production (e.g., subcategorization frames, mass/count features, case features, etc) and the nature of different types of semantic relations (e.g., a comparison of effects arising from the relationship between dog and horse and the relationship between horse and saddle). I've developed novel variants of well-known experimental paradigms such as picture-word interference and syntactic priming to investigate lexical representations and processes. I developed a single word variant of traditional syntactic priming paradigms to investigate the mechanisms underlying word order priming effects. Rasha Abdel Rahman and I also developed a multiple word variant of picture-word interference paradigm to investigate the relationships between different types of distractor effects.


Individual Differences and Personality (Level 1)

Language (Level 3)

Gesture, Cognition, and Communication (Level 4 and Msc)

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

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Research Output 2005 2018

  • 1491 Citations
  • 11 h-Index
  • 20 Article
  • 1 Chapter
  • 1 Abstract
  • 1 Poster

Distinguishing languages from dialects: A litmus test using the picture-word interference task

Melinger, A. Mar 2018 In : Cognition. 172, p. 73-83 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations
Open Access
Executive Function
Control Groups

Semantic Organization Preferences of AAC Users

Lyons, J., Melinger, A. & Waller, A. 12 Sep 2017 p. 52 1 p.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

4 Citations

Holiday or vacation? The processing of variation in vocabulary across dialects

Martin, C. D., Garcia, X., Potter, D., Melinger, A. & Costa, A. 2016 In : Language, Cognition and Neuroscience. 31, 3, p. 375-390 16 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Population Groups

Taxonomic and Thematic Semantic Organization of Adults with Cerebral Palsy

Melinger, A. & Waller, A. 11 Sep 2016 1 p.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster

Open Access

Activities 2017 2017

  • 1 Festival/Exhibition
  • 1 Participation in workshop, seminar, course

Institue of Social Sciences Research Launch

Melinger, A. (Organiser)
13 Jun 2017

Activity: Participation in workshop, seminar, course

Women in Science

Melinger, A. (Speaker), Ross, J. (Speaker), Symeonidou, M. (Speaker), Goncharova, Y. (Speaker)
5 Mar 2017

Activity: Festival/Exhibition

Press / Media

distinguishing dialects from languages

Alissa Melinger


1 item of media coverage

Press/Media: Research


Gaze cues and language in communication

Author: MacDonald, R. G., 2014

Supervisor: Tatler, B. (Supervisor), N. (Supervisor), Melinger, A. (Supervisor) & Murray, W. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy