My research focuses on the acquisition of verb meaning in children from 2 to 6 years of age. I take an embodied perspective which means I am looking at what a child has at her disposal (body parts, objects, emotions, rhythm, familiar places, sequences of actions) and I try to build the case that these are fundamental building blocks of verb meanings in children. As a developmental psychologist I compare younger children, older children and adults on experimental tasks, associations, corpus studies, fmri. I am also doing a collaborative work on the development of early noun networks (by 36 months) and on the automatization of higher-level noun categories from their features.
Body region correlates of concrete and abstract verbs in early child language, Cognition, Brain, Behavior (2011)
Literature on verb acquisition has mainly focused on lightness and concreteness for verb acquisition whereas...
Object Associations of Early-Learned "Light" and "Heavy" English Verbs (with Aarre Laakso and Linda B. Smith), First Language (2011)
Many of the verbs that young children learn early have been characterized as ‘light.’ However,...
The Associative Structure of Language: Contextual Diversity in Early Word Learning (with Thomas T. Hills, Brian Riordan, and Linda B. Smith), Journal of Memory and Language (2010)
Auditory Verb Perception Recruits Motor Systems in the Developing Brain: An fMRI Investigation (with Karin Harman James), Developmental Science (2009)
This study investigated neural activation patterns during verb processing in children, using fMRI (functional Magnetic...
Categorical Structure Among Shared Features in Networks of Early-Learned Nouns (with Thomas T. Hills, Mounir Maouene, Adam Sheya, and Linda B. Smith), Cognition (2009)
The shared features that characterize the noun categories that young children learn ﬁrst are a...
Refereed Published Conference Proceedings
Correlating Body Experiences, Knowledge of Verbs, and the Development of Argument Structure (with Nitya Sethuraman, Karin Harman James, Mounir Maouene, and Linda Smith), 2010 CSDL / ESLP Joint Meeting (2010)
Distribution of Object Types of ‘Light’ and ‘Heavy’ Early-Learned English Verbs (with Aarre Laakso and Linda B. Smith), Proceedings of the Ninth IEEE International Conference on Development and Learning (ICDL-2010) (2010)
An Embodied Account of Argument Structure Development (with N. Sethuraman, Mounir Maouene, and Linda B. Smith), Linguistics Society (BLS) 36 Conference (2010)
Contextual Diversity and the Associative Structure of Adult Language in Early Word Learning (with Thomas Hills, Brian Riordan, and Linda B. Smith), Proceedings of the 31st Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (2009)
Longitudinal Analysis of Early Semantic Networks Preferential Attachment or Preferential Acquisition? (with Thomas Hills, Mounir Maouene, Adam Sheya, and Linda B. Smith), Psychological Science (2009)
Analyses of adult semantic networks suggest a learning mechanism involving preferential attachment: A word is...
Posters Presented with Proceedings
Developing Early Semantic Networks And The Associative Structure Of Child Directed Speech (with Thomas Hills, Brian Riordan, and Linda B. Smith), Proceedings of the 50th Annual Conference of the Psychonomic Society (2009)
Body-Part Categories of Early-Learned Verbs: Different Granularities at Different Points in Development (with Shohei Hidaka and Linda B. Smith), Proceedings of 7th International Conference on Development and Learning (2008)
Developmental Trajectory of the Granularity of Early-Learned Verbs Clustered by Body Parts (with Shohei Hidaka and Linda Smith), Poster presented at the 7th International Conference on Development and Learning (2008)
Conferences and Symposiums
Basic Emotions and Early-learned Verbs (with Megumi Kuwabara, Daniel Freer, and Linda B. Smith), Society for Research in Child Development (2011)
The purpose of this study is to describe the relationships between 102 early-learned verbs and...