Megan Smith,
Assistant Professor


2314 Lee Hall
Department of English
P.O. Box E
Mississippi State, MS   39762

Megan Smith

Professional Bio

Megan Smith is a linguist with an interest in second language (L2) acquisition, and particularly in L2 syntax and psycholinguistics. Her research focuses on whether non-native speakers acquire different features of L2 grammars (e.g., whether non-native Japanese speakers know that case marking in obligatory on nouns in Japanese), and whether they can use this knowledge in online processing of language. Her current research investigates whether non-native Japanese speakers rely on the same grammatical information to process Japanese sentences as native speakers do. In addition to this work, she is working on a project investigating whether there is a relationship between the word order of the input learners receive and the generalizations they make about the target language. This project looks at beginning learners of Latin, and investigates whether learners who are exposed only to SOV word order are more likely acquire Latin case marking.


Ph.D. Second Language Studies, Michigan State University, 2016
M.A. Applied Linguistics, Texas Tech University, 2012
B.A. New York University, Linguistics and East Asian Studies, 2007

Teaching Interests

Second language acquisition, linguistics, psycholinguistics, language teaching methods

Selected Publications

Forthcoming. L2 Learners and the apparent problem of morphology: Evidence from L2 Japanese. To appear in A. Benati and S. Yamashita, (Eds.). Theory, research, and pedagogy in learning and teaching Japanese. London: Palgrave.

2015. Aptitude and the early stages of Japanese as an L2: Parametric variation and case marking. Studies in Second Language Acquisition 37(1), pp. 135-165. With Bill VanPatten.

2014. Instructed SLA as parameter setting: Evidence from earliest-stage learners of Japanese as L2. In A. Benatti, C. Lavale, and M. Arche, (Eds.), The grammar dimension in instructed second language learning: Theory, research and practice (pp. 127-146). London: Bloomsbury Academic Press. With Bill VanPatten.