Lab Director

Karen Miller My research focuses on two related questions: (1) how does input-type (e.g. variable input, inconsistent input) impact children's acquisition of the morpho-syntax of their native language? And, (2) how do children come to acquire the various factors (e.g. social, linguistic) that constrain variation in their speech community? Comparing the impact of different input-types on acquisition paths and acquisition outcomes can inform our understanding of the initial state of the learner and the process of language acquisition more generally. Testing input-type in real world situations has allowed me to consider the interaction of various factors, including the type of variation (e.g. phonological, morphological, syntactic), the number of variants (e.g. omission of a form vs. two variably occurring overt forms), the factors constraining the variation (e.g. linguistic factors and/or social factors), and the frequency of the variants in the input and quantity of exposure to them (e.g. variation in bilingual v. monolingual contexts).

Postdoctoral Fellow

Cynthia Lukyanenko When adults speak or listen, they spend most of their conscious effort on the content of what is being said, not on the structure of the sentence. But even without paying explicit attention to structure, speakers manage to get the words in the right order and choose the right forms, and listeners unconsciously use the structure the speaker chooses to help them understand the sentence. It's part of what makes language comprehension so fast and effortless. How do children master this system? To help answer this broad question, I study how children learn and use morphosyntactic dependencies such as subject-verb agreement (e.g., Where ARE the catS? vs. Where IS the cat_?). How do children first notice such dependencies, how do they begin using them in their own sentence production and comprehension, and how do they determine what meaning each element carries?

Graduate Students

Chris Champi My research interests include child language development in variable contexts and sociolinguistic variation in Spanish. I mainly work with Dominican Spanish looking at both child language and adult language use to investigate how children come to pattern like adults in their language use with respect to variable subject pronoun use.

Undergraduate Research Assistants and Volunteers

Rachel Painter -

Maggie Featherstone - I am a Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) major and hope to become a speech pathologist after graduate school. I am also minoring in Spanish because of my love for the Spanish language and culture. I hope to work with children one day and be able to help Spanish bilingual students as well.

Alaina Eck - I am currently working towards a degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders along with a minor in Spanish. After graduation, I plan to continue my education and receive a master's in Speech Pathology in order to become a licensed clinician. My specific interests in the field include early intervention and working with bilingual children.

Elizabeth Lincopy - I have a BS in Social Work from the Universidad Academia de Humanismo Cristiano (Chile) and I am interested in studying how social factors impact children's language development (e.g. vocabulary size, expressive language skills, narrative skills). I plan to enter a Master's program in Human Development and Family Studies.

Lab Alumni

Undergraduate Students

Erin Clancy (2010-2011): BS, Fall 2011 (Grad School, UPENN)

Kyra Swick (2010-2011): BS, Fall 2013 (Grad School, University of Maryland)

Angela Chavez (2011-2012): BS, Spring 2012 (Grad School, Temple)

Melissa Magro (2011-2012): BS, Spring 2014

Lauren Tusar (2010-2013): BS, Spring 2014 (Grad School, University of Pittsburgh)

Graduate Students

Astrid Roman-Hernandez: MA, Spring 2012

Melisa Dracos: PhD, Spring 2012 (Assistant Professor of Linguistics, Baylor University)

Alison Eisel Hendricks: PhD, Spring 2014 (Postdoctoral Fellow, University of South Carolina)

Pablo Requena: PhD, Spring 2015 (Assistant Professor of Spanish, University of Montana)