Welcome to the Language Acquisition Lab in the Psychology Department at the University of Illinois. We investigate how infants and children learn to speak and understand their native language. The lab was established in 1989, and our studies have been supported by funds from the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Child Health and Development, and the University of Illinois.

What do we study?

  • How are sounds combined to make words of a language?
  • How are words combined to make sentences in a language?
  • What do sentences mean?
  • ……

We explore how infants and children learn these kinds of knowledge about their native language. We seek both to discover what young children at various ages know about the words and rules of their native language, and the learning mechanisms that make this development possible. Our studies with young children are complemented by studies with adults, and by computational modeling.

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