PhD in Linguistics, UMD
My current focus of research is on children's acquisition of Principle C, which is the constraint responsible for the fact that sentences like "she's patting Katie" are illicit under the interpretation where the pronoun she is co-referential with Katie (i.e. such sentences cannot have a reflexive interpretation). Previous research has shown that children are able to appropriately pick out the non-reflexive interpretation as young as 30 months of age. My current research follows three main veins: (a) investigation of infants younger than 30 months to determine the earliest timepoint in development when Principle C is active in the grammar; (b) investigation of alternative strategies that could bias children to respond in the same adult-like manner, to determine whether the behavior seen in previous research at 30 months is the result of an adult-like grammar or a non-adultlike heuristic; and (c) investigation of the effects of vocabulary size and processing efficiency on children's ability to demonstrate adult-like behavior in Principle C contexts.