Dr Clay Beckner- NZILBB - UC Intranet

Dr Clay Beckner

Clay BecknerPosition

Post-Doctoral Fellow


  • Ph.D. (Linguistics) University of New Mexico (2013)
  • M.A. (Linguistics) University of New Mexico (2005)
  • M.S. (English) Illinois State University (1999)


Room 218, Locke Building
Telephone: +64 3 369 5919 (direct)

Postal address: NZILBB
University of Canterbury
Private Bag 4800
Christchurch 8140
New Zealand

Research Interests

My research investigates language change and the mental lexicon, using evidence from experiments and quantitative corpus analysis. In my dissertation, I studied the retrieval of 'prefabricated' multiword units from memory, and found evidence that complex linguistic units are both gradient and changeable with experience.

More broadly, I have ongoing interests in the cognitive representation of frequency and statistical knowledge; the interrelationship between language use and language structure; and the cognitive and social mechanisms of language change.

These various lines of research are encompassed in my work on the Wordovators project at NZILBB, which examines factors of interest in the learning and propagation of words, including frequency measures and social variables.

  • New Zealand Institute of Language, Brain and Behaviour
    University of Canterbury
    Private Bag 4800, Christchurch
    New Zealand
  • Tel: +64 3 369 5920
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