This past week, I was honored to give a research talk at She Roars – a conference celebrating women at Princeton.
This conference was a unique opportunity to reflect on all the amazing women who have mentored me: Jenny Saffran, Maryellen MacDonald, Melanie Jones, Alexa Romberg, Jessica Willits, Jill Lany, Jess Hay, Jesse Snedeker, Manizeh Kahn, Melissa Kline, Lauren Emberson, Chris Potter, Elise Piazza… The list goes on and on! I’m so fortunate to be surrounded by all of these female scholars.
I left feeling a sense of camaraderie and inspiration, and can’t wait to return to Princeton for the next She Roars conference!
Here is my poster for CogSci 2018.
Our study evaluated whether listeners can use spatial deixis (e.g., this, that, these, and those) to predict the plurality and proximity of a speaker’s referent. In an eye-tracking task, L1 adults, L1 children and L2 adults viewed scenes while listening to deictic sentences (e.g., Look at that beautiful baby) and neutral sentences (e.g., Look at the beautiful baby). We found that L1 adults, L1 children and L2 adults all used deixis to predict the plurality of the referent (e.g., using this to anticipate a singular referent). However, only L1 adults used deixis to predict the proximity of the referent to the speaker (e.g., using this to anticipate a referent proximal to the speaker). Thus, our findings suggest that language processing experience influences verbal prediction. We argue that, beyond determining whether listeners predict, determining how listeners predict is crucial to understand prediction’s role in language processing and learning.
Big thanks to all participant families, to Claire Robertson for her assistance with stimuli, and to Mia Sullivan to her assistance with ongoing data collection and CHILDES coding!
I’m looking forward to spending time at my alma mater and catching up with family and friends in Madison!
Here are my abstracts and posters for ICIS 2018.
Our first study evaluated the developmental emergence of verbal prediction and language comprehension. We find that prediction and comprehension emerge concurrently over the second postnatal year. These findings add to a growing body of literature suggesting that prediction is a language learning mechanism, and further suggest that prediction supports language development from the earliest stages, as infants learn their first words. Here’s the abstract and the poster.
Our second study evaluated whether variation in home language input influences children’s verbal prediction abilities. We found that children who hear more language input from caregivers generate predictions, but children who receive less input do not do so robustly. This pattern of results suggests that the quantity/quality of language experience learners receive influences the extent to which they generate predictions during language processing. Here’s the abstract and the poster.
Looking forward to seeing lots of exciting talks and posters and catching up with old friends from the UW Infant Learning Lab!
Here are my abstract and poster for CUNY 2018.
Our study evaluated whether listeners can use spatial deixis (e.g., this, that) to predict a speaker’s likely referent. Adults and 5-year-olds viewed scenes while listening to deictic sentences (e.g., Look at that beautiful baby) and neutral sentences (e.g., Look at the beautiful baby). We found that both adults and children used deixis to predict the plurality of the referent, but only adults used deixis to predict the proximity of the referent (e.g., using this to anticipate a referents proximal to the speaker). In sum, our findings reveal specific developmental changes in how prediction occurs during language processing.
Looking forward to next year!
Reuter, T., Emberson, L. L., Romberg, A. R., & Lew-Williams, C. (in press). Individual differences in nonverbal prediction and vocabulary size in infancy. Cognition.
Big thanks to my co-authors, Fernanda Fernandez and Jean Bellamy, and all our participant families!
The Princeton Program in Cognitive Science is now funding my research on language processing and prediction via simulation. Thanks to everyone who helped me in formulating these ideas and writing the application, especially Casey Lew-Williams and Jessie Schwab!
Today I was surprised with an invitation to present at the UPenn Common Ground Seminar in Language and Communication Sciences.