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Cynthia Berger

2CI New Media Fellow

B.A. in English and Spanish with an emphasis in Creative Writing from University of Arkansas (2003)
M.F.A. in Creative Writing from University of Oregon (2007)
M.A. in Applied Linguistics from Georgia State University (2013)
Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics from Georgia State University (expected 2018)


Applied Linguistics, Natural Language Processing, Lexical Knowledge, Second Language Development


Cynthia Berger is a fourth-year PhD candidate in the Department of Applied Linguistics & ESL at Georgia State University. Her research interests lie in the convergence of corpus linguistics, psycholinguistics, and second language acquisition. She also focuses on the use of natural language processing and new media analysis tools to explore a diverse range of language related phenomena. Cynthia has presented her work at national and international conferences, including the American Association of Applied Linguistics (AAAL) Conference, the American Association for Corpus Linguistics (AACL) Conference, the International Humor Conference, and the International Computer Archive of Modern and Medieval English (ICAME) Conference.

Berger’s recent work has been published in Applied Linguistics, Corpora, and The Journal of Pragmatics. Cynthia’s ongoing work with the Creative Media Industries Institute includes the analysis of a two-hundred-sixty-million word corpus for cross-document narrative alignment, a project investigating toxic language in online gaming, and a proposal to use Wikipedia talk and history pages to facilitate the teaching of literature in translation. Cynthia has a background in language teaching and has taught English at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. She has also led a number of language teacher training workshops at the state and international level, including multiple invitations to train Chinese teachers of English in Guangzhou, China.

In addition to her work in linguistics, Cynthia has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Oregon, where she taught undergraduate creative writing.


Berger, C. M., Crossley, S., & Kyle, K. (in press). Using novel word context measures to predict human ratings of lexical proficiency. Educational Technology & Society.

Berger, C. M., Friginal, E., & Roberts, J. (in press). Representations of immigrants and refugees in U.S. K-12 school-to-home correspondence: An exploratory corpus-assisted discourse study. Corpora, 12(2).

Berger, C. M., Crossley, S., & Kyle, K. (2017). Using native-speaker psycholinguistic norms to predict lexical proficiency and development in second-language productionApplied Linguistics. Advance online publication.

Berger, C. M. (2016). Review of the book Metaphors in Learner English, by S. Nacey. Languages in Contrast, 16(1), 159-163.
Skalicky, S., Berger, C. M., Crossley, S. A. & McNamara, D. S. (2016). Linguistic features of humor in academic writing. Advances in Language and Literary Studies, 7(3), 248-259.

Berger, C. M. (2015). Review of the book Exploring language pedagogy through second language acquisition research, by R. Ellis and N. Shintani. TESOL Quarterly, 49(1), 212-214.

Miller, B., Olive, J., Gopavaram, S., Zhao, Y., Shrestha, A., & Berger, C. (2015). A method for cross-document narrative alignment of a two-hundred-sixty-million word corpus. In 2015 IEEE International Conference on Big Data (pp. 1673-1677). IEEE.

Liu, J., & Berger, C. M. (2015). TESOL: A Guide. London: Bloomsbury Publishing.

Skalicky, S., Berger, C. M., & Bell, N. D. (2015). The functions of “just kidding” in American English. Journal of Pragmatics, 85, 18-31.