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My research interests concern the development of language in infants and young children. My primary focus is the study of word retrieval processes. The questions I ask concern how the emerging lexicon is organized, how it operates, and how it changes with vocabulary growth.
In longitudinal studies of children’s vocabulary acquisition, I have found that naming errors are frequent in the beginning word learner. These errors often involve familiar words for familiar objects and suggest a fragility of processes associated with retrieving words from a rapidly expanding lexicon. This discovery may bring coherence to a set of related phenomena that includes the gap between word comprehension and word production, the onset of the vocabulary spurt, and fast-mapping. I use a dynamic systems framework to show how each of these events is likely to be solvable by the same basic mechanism.
Bold student names indicate a cognitive science standalone student.
|Hanania, Rima||Selective Attention and Attention Shifting in Preschool Children (August 2009)||Smith, L. (Co-Chair), Gershkoff-Stowe, L. (Co-Chair), Goldstone, R., Jones, S.|
|Shayan, Shakila||Emergence of Roles in English Canonical Transitive Construction (June 2008)||Gasser, M. (Co-Chair), Gershkoff-Stowe, L. (Co-Chair), Leake, D., Goldstone, R., Smith, L.|