University of Calgary

Susanne Carroll

  • Professor

Research Interests

About Me:

I studied French, English, political science and philosophy as an undergraduate, and went on to do graduate work in linguistics in the Département de linguistique et de philologie, Université de Montréal. I have conducted research at the Centre franco-ontarien (Ontario Institute for Studies in Education or O.I.S.E.), Université du Québec à Montréal, McGill University & the Modern Language Centre (O.I.S.E.). I have taught at York University, the University of British Columbia, the University of Toronto, O.I.S.E., the Universität Hamburg, and the Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel. From 1994 to 2005, I was Professor of English Studies & Applied Linguistics at the Universität Potsdam, in Potsdam Germany. I returned to Canada to take up the CRC in August 2005.


Current support comes from the S.S.H.R.C.C. In the past, I have been financed by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, the Alexander-von-Humboldt Stiftung, the S.S.H.R.C.C., and the Ministry of Education of Ontario.


My areas of research include second language acquisition (SLA), first language acquisition, language processing, applied linguistics, syntax and semantics. I have worked on English, French and German. My published research in SLA deals with a number of different matters but ultimately, at the right level of abstraction, it all has something to do with “input” to SLA and the psycholinguistic mechanisms which result in linguistic competence. In particular, I focus on the micro-structure of particular learning problems. Currently I am looking at segmentation, trying to sort out the logic and empirical basis behind our ability to hear L2 speech as “words”. My research team is conducting acquisition experiments on this topic in my lab in the Language Research Centre.


I have, over the years, regularly taught courses on second language acquisition, language processing, contact linguistics, applied linguistics and core areas of linguistics (especially syntax and semantics). My focus over the next few years will be on undergraduate and graduate courses in second language syntax (LING 522.05/633.02), language learning theory, contact linguistics (GERM629.05 = Neudeutsch und Global English), and specific issues in the acquisition and processing of French. I expect to offer these courses as part of the new LANG program. Students who have a potential interest in second language acquisition and who would like to gain “hands-on” experience through participation in research projects should consult me.


Shimada, Masako. 2006. Reflexives in competition. M.A. So, Wing. 2006. Container verbs in Chinese-English interlanguage. M.A.

Recent Supervising:

Key, Olivia. 2005. English for Science and Technology (EST) – A needs analysis project at a center for basic research. Magister (M.A.) thesis, Anglistik und Amerikanistik: Sprache und Kultur. Universität Potsdam. Krosanova, Irina. 2003. The acquisition of verb-meaning by children in first language acquisition: A critique of verb-island hypothesis of Michael Tomasello. Magister (M.A.) thesis, Anglistik und Amerikanistik: Sprache und Kultur. Universität Potsdam. Pal, Andrea. 2000. The role of cross-linguistic formal similarity in Hungarian-German bilingual learners of English as a foreign language. D.Phil. Universität Potsdam. Raffke, Gudrun. 2000. Input in an ESL-classroom: An empirical study involving negation in English. Schriftliche Hausarbeit im Rahmen der Ersten Staatsprüfung für das Lehramt Sekundarstufe I/II.


Journal Article


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