Iyad Ghanim is a linguist in the school of Communication Disorders & Deafness at Kean University studying bilingual acquisition and development. He comes to the field with an MA in Linguistics from UNC at Chapel Hill, where he primarily studied heritage bilingualism and speech production before continuing with his Ph.D. from Montclair State University. Iyad studies lexical access and sentence processing in bilinguals using priming methods and ERPs, specifically focusing on the role of lexical semantic information and semantic context to aid in processing. Currently, he is continuing to explore how bilinguals use background cues to help in processing when the acoustic input is impoverished. This work modeling the bilingual lexical structure and processing differences aims to help create more strategic approaches to working with bilinguals in the clinic.

The LSA Member Spotlight highlights the interests and accomplishments of a different LSA member each month. Click here to see previous Member Spotlights.

When did you first join the LSA?

I've actually been on board since Summer of 2021 — still quite green!

How have you been involved with the LSA since you joined? 

I joined the First Gen Access and Equity subcommittee and actually created their logo.  I'm also looking forward to presenting at the Annual Meeting and seeing everyone (face-to-face) in January.

What, in your opinion, is the most important service the LSA provides to its members? To the field?  

It's quite easy to be siloed off in our own work, so LSA is really great in bridging those divides and creating opportunities to meet other linguists and other language-related specialists. Being a linguist in the field of communication disorders, I do appreciate the interdisciplinary collaboration both with people who specialize in other linguistic subfields as well as those in tangential fields. I also love reading the Spotlights and award announcements as a reminder of the bigger picture.

What are you currently researching/working on?

I'm continuing a project investigating bilingual sentence processing and the use of congruent semantic context to facilitate it. I'm also working with some partners in speech-language pathology on a new project exploring bilinguals' experiences receiving language-related care and socio-cultural perspectives on seeking treatment for speech and language disorders. 

What is your favorite linguistic article or study? 

Gleitman (1990): Structural Sources of Verb Meanings. It's one of those articles I first read in graduate school and have reread many times since, especially before sitting down for a writing session of my own. Students always love it since it's filled with such interesting and curious bits of information and is so wonderfully and stylistically written.