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Lauren Perrotti

by rjp218 Aug 08, 2017
Lauren Perrotti

2016/17 Rock Ethics Institute Humanities Dissertation Fellow


  1. Ph.D. Spanish and Language Science, The Pennsylvania State University, 2017 (Anticipated)
  2. M.A. Spanish, The Pennsylvania State University, 2014
  3. B.A. Spanish, The Pennsylvania State University, 2012
  4. B.A. Italian, The Pennsylvania State University, 2012
  5. B.A. Global and International Studies, The Pennsylvania State University, 2012


Lauren Perrotti is a fifth year Ph.D. candidate (ABD) in a dual-title program, Spanish and Language Science. Her research interests include an interdisciplinary look at bilingualism, language processing, and language variation. Particularly, Lauren is interested in how language norms in the community intersect with the brain’s ability to utilize linguistic input. Currently, Lauren is working on her dissertation under the advisement of Dr. Giuli Dussias and Dr. Rena Torres Cacoullos investigating variation in New Mexican Spanish-English codeswitching and its effect on language processing. Lauren is a member of the Center for Language Science and Assistant Director for the Ronda, Spain Summer Study Abroad Program. She is both humbled and elated to learn from the Rock Ethics Institute as a Fellow this year.


Lauren’s dissertation entitled “Investigating community norms and linguistic mechanisms in codeswitching: Bridging linguistic theory and psycholinguistic experimentation” takes an interdisciplinary approach to language science by combining sociolinguistic and psycholinguistic techniques. This approach allows her to examine the impact of the bilingual community on the way the mind understands and deals with bilingual language input. Lauren traveled to Albuquerque, New Mexico to collect data from Spanish-English bilinguals who use both languages in their daily life and combine them, often within the same sentence. Mixing languages, codeswitching, is a skilled linguistic technique with community norms and patterns. Lauren uses codeswitching as a tool to better understand the bilingual brain. Bilingualism, and particularly codeswitching, is stigmatized in many ways and in many places within the United States. As a Rock Ethics Institute Fellow, Lauren hopes to foster an ethical conversation on bilingualism and the intersection between community, culture, and language.