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Project on Children's Language Learning

Researchers in the Project on Children’s Language Learning address fundamental questions about how language is acquired.

Employing a variety of tasks, we examine the acquisition and development of syntactic, semantic, phonological and morphological knowledge in children ranging from 9 months to 6 years of age. Our lab consists of quiet spaces for studies with infants and toddlers and a separate area for stimulus preparation and data analysis. It is equipped with state-of-the-art technology for stimulus preparation, presentation and analysis in several research paradigms. Children and parents enjoy being part of our language studies and often return to participate in additional studies. Children have fun participating (and receive a book or toy in return for helping), and parents enjoy the opportunity to contribute to the development of scientific knowledge about human development.
A large component of our research involves cross-linguistic comparisons. Researchers in the lab are currently examining language acquisition in children learning English, French, Hindi, Japanese, Kannada, Korean, Malayalam, Mandarin and Russian. Our team also examines language acquisition in abnormal development, focusing largely on Williams Syndrome, a genetic developmental disorder.
This work is made possible through a group of dedicated researchers, generous funding through grants from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health and through the continued support and participation of parents and children.