University of California, Los Angeles
I am an assistant professor in the Department of Linguistics at UCLA. My research specialization is in speech science and speech development, especially among children who receive cochlear implants, including:
- Developmentally. How do children master complex speech patterns during periods of rapid anatomical change?
- Cross-linguistically. How is speech variation encoded across different languages?
- Experientially. How does sensory experience affect speech patterning?
To address these questions, I combine classic methods in linguistic phonetics and psycholinguistics such as in-situ fieldwork, articulatory modeling, and acoustic measurement, with newer approaches such as crowdsourcing, eye-tracking, and the analysis of largescale, natualistic speech databases.
In my work, I often use children as model systems because they undergo tremendous physiological and cognitive changes within a very short period of time, making them ideal testing grounds for theories of phonetic variation, learning, and change.
Learn about our research program for children with cochlear implants, the Learning to Listen Project, and explore our educational library. We frequently partner with local speech-language pathologists, pediatric audiologists, and families of children with hearing loss to create resources that will benefit the community, so please get in touch with me if our research group can provide anything for your clinic or family.
- We have a new paper in Child Development: in an eyetracking study, we find that preschoolers with severe to profound hearing loss who use cochlear implants process familiar words just like children with typical hearing, but the implant's signal limits their sensitivity to mispronounced words.
- My paper "Language exposure predicts children’s phonetic patterning: Evidence from language shift" recently appeared in Language.
- Our research group has a new pre-print available to download. We use more than 700 hours of naturalistic observation of children's everyday lives to characterize the sounds and langauge that preschoolers with and without cochlear implants experience.
- Our first paper with collaborators at the UCSF Children's Communication Center and Seattle Children's Hospital is now under review and available to download. We assess changes in infants' and toddlers' vocal activity pre- and immediately following cochlear implant activation.
Ask me about citizen science!
Want to discover more about how babies learn to talk? Teaching a speech science or phonological development class this semester?
Let your students get some hands-on experience with child language research by helping us annotate thousands of vocalizations from babies all over the world. Follow a simple training module to get started! Contact me for details, or if you have similar data that you'd like to annotate on the platform.