I’m a Ph.D. candidate in Linguistics at the University of California, San Diego. I am a member of the Mayberry Laboratory for Multimodal Language Development. I’m also in the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program of Cognitive Science.
I’m always fascinated by the phenomenon of language learning. Each language is a complex system, and it would take linguists decades to summarize the governing rules, yet almost all young children acquire their mother tongues without much efforts, be it English, Mandarin, Arabic, or American Sign Language. While adults, with much more matured cognitive functions, take longer to learn a second language, and the outcome varies a lot. What are the underlying mechanisms of language learning? How does early language experience shape our brain? Which aspects of language learning are more sensitive to age, and why? These are the questions I kept asking in my research.
Currently I’m working with adolescent first language learners of American Sign Language who only have very limited access to language in their early years. I work on behavioral as well as neural data, with a focus on syntactic development.