• 2767 Citations
  • 13 h-Index
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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)

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  • 8 Similar Profiles
Semantics Medicine & Life Sciences
Language Medicine & Life Sciences
semantics Social Sciences
interference Social Sciences
language Social Sciences
Population Groups Medicine & Life Sciences
experiment Social Sciences
dialect Social Sciences

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Projects 2014 2021

Research Output 2005 2019

Semantic processing during language production: an update of the swinging lexical network

Abdel Rahman, R. & Melinger, A., 16 Apr 2019, In : Language, Cognition and Neuroscience. 17 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)
128 Downloads (Pure)

The closer they are, the more they interfere: Semantic similarity of word distractors increases competition in language production

Rose, S. B., Aristei, S., Melinger, A. & Abdel Rahman, R., 1 Apr 2019, In : Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition. 45, 4, p. 753-763 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
1 Citation (Scopus)

To re-tune or not to re-tune: Comments on the flexible criterion

Melinger, A. & Abdel Rahman, R., 6 Jan 2019, In : Cognitive Neuropsychology.

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

1 Citation (Scopus)
120 Downloads (Pure)

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

Melinger, A., 1 Mar 2018, In : Cognition. 172, p. 73-88 16 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
15 Citations (Scopus)
229 Downloads (Pure)
Open Access
Executive Function
Control Groups

Activities 2017 2017

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

Institue of Social Sciences Research Launch

Alissa Melinger (Organiser)
13 Jun 2017

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

Women in Science

Alissa Melinger (Speaker), Josephine Ross (Speaker), Mariel Symeonidou (Speaker), Yaroslava Goncharova (Speaker)
5 Mar 2017

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesFestival/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), Hopkins, N. (Supervisor), Melinger, A. (Supervisor) & Murray, W. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Word representations of bilingual adults and children

Author: Terzopoulos, A., 2018

Supervisor: Duncan, L. G. (Supervisor) & Melinger, A. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy