I’m a third year graduate student in Linguistics at the University of California, San Diego. My supervisor is Rachel Mayberry and 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 is the underlying mechanism of language learning? How does language exposure from birth shape our brain? Which part of language learning is most sensitive to age, and why? How does language processing change over time within the distributed neural network? 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 (developmental and ultimate attainment, production and comprehension) as well as neural (anatomical, perhaps also functional) data, with a focus on syntactic development.