Language is a unique human capacity that enables us to learn, think and communicate about entities and events in the world. Our work seeks to understand how children acquire words in their native language, how they use language to learn about entities they are not experiencing directly, and how they use linguistic and contextual information to understand what speakers mean in conversation.

This line of work involves four main foci: 1) children’s ability to use language to build representations about objects and update existing representations 2) the role of language in shaping children’s logical  reasoning and inference, 3) children’s understanding of common ground and conversational principles, 4) children’s use of verbal testimony and understanding of informants’ reliability. We study these topics using a variety of off-line (e.g., forced choice paradigms, elicited production) and on-line methodologies (e.g., non-invasive eye-tracking technology).

Relevant Publications