Assistant Professor of Cognitive & Linguistic Sciences
B.A., Wellesley College; M.A., Ph.D., University of Massachusetts Amherst
How do humans learn language? This question first led me to study linguistics and still fascinates me today. Thus, much of my research has focused on the phonological acquisition of language, both child language and adult second language acquisition. I have worked on the acquisition of stressed syllables and function words by children learning their first language, and with adults I have studied factors that affect acquisition of a second language. Currently in my lab I am continuing my investigation into the acquisition of phonological stress by adults learning an artificial grammar. I'm also continuing to explore children’s acquisition of stress in multisyllabic monomorphemic words. Another interest is in the phonology of creoles. I am exploring questions of dialect loss and dialect shift among native speakers of Jamaican Creole who live in the United States and other English-speaking countries.
Margaret Clapp ’30 Distinguished Alumna Professor of French and Linguistics
B.A., Wellesley College; M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D., Yale University
I was trained as a linguist, so I am very interested in how languages are structured and how they change over time. My research focuses on how people learn both their first and second languages. My current work centers on the ability of infants to discriminate speech sounds and the age at which infants' vocal productions begin to reflect the speech patterns of the adult speakers around them. I also study the acquisition of speech sounds and native-like prosody by second-language learners.
Inky Sul, Class of 2016
Inky is a Philosophy, and Cognitive and Linguistics double major at Wellesley College. She is interested in philosophy of language, pragmatics, and semantics, specifically in looking at how meaning is conveyed and interpreted differently. While she is also interested in how people interpret and convey words within the same language, she is especially interested in looking at how people interpret and convey words when there are two or more languages at work such as in translated works and multilingualism. Inky is not certain what she would do after graduating Wellesley, but hopes to somehow incorporate her interests to look for graduate programs or jobs.
Previous Research Assistants
Kristine Bundschuh, Class of 2012
Kristine is a Cognitive & Linguistic Sciences and Spanish double-major at Wellesley College. Her linguistic interests lie in phonology and sociolinguistics. During her senior year, Kristine completed a linguistics independent study in which she wrote an article called “D-deletion in Andalusian Spanish: A morpho-phonemic phenomenon with frequency-induced spreading.” This article has recently been published in the Indiana Undergraduate Journal of Cognitive Science.
Laura Dulude, Class of 2013
Laura is a Cognitive & Linguistic Sciences major at Wellesley. Her interests lie in sociolinguistics, phonetics, and language variation/change. A paper she wrote in LING 319 (The Spoken and Written Word) about dyslexia across languages was recently published in the Indiana Undergraduate Journal of Cognitive Science. Currently, she is working with Professor Andrea Levitt on her research about vocal attractiveness.
Shelby Robertson, Class of 2013
Shelby is a Japanese Language and Literature major and History minor at Wellesley College. She is interested in sociolinguistics, and under the Mellon Mays Fellowship during the summer of her sophomore year completed a survey of the sociolinguistic attitudes of French Creoles born in California. Her research interests in Japanese literature lie in the narrative structure and author voice in Heian women's diaries.
Ran Wei, Class of 2013
Ran is a Cognitive & Linguistic Sciences major at Wellesley College. She loves learning different languages and is interested in exploring the meaning of language as a human capacity. Her other interests include literature, art, and music, and she did a comparative research on rhythms in speech and instrumental film music with Professor Levitt during the summer of her sophomore year.
Emily Anderson, Class of 2014
Emily is a Cognitive and Linguistic Sciences major and a Mathematics minor at Wellesley College. Her favorite part of linguistics is phonetics and phonology, and she is particularly interested in child language acquisition and speech sound disorders. She is completing her senior thesis on the way that the phonetic properties of Jamaican’s accents change upon immigration. In the future, Emily hopes to work in education or speech pathology.
Sam Burke, Class of 2014
Sam is a Linguistics and German double major at Wellesley College. Currently, she's interested in combining her majors with another of her passions - environmental activism - to study how the language surrounding environmental issues shapes the responses and actions of politicians, businesses, media and citizens in Germany and the US. She strongly believes that the rigorous analysis of our environmental discourse would beneficially influence environmental policies. She looks forward to her Albright Internship this coming summer as a means to accelerate and inform her exploration of environmental issues and policies across disciplines and nations. She's also considering graduate school in speech pathology.
Morvareed Rezaian, Class of 2014
Morvareed is a Cognitive & Linguistic Sciences major and Psychology minor at Wellesley College. Her interests lie in phonetics/phonology, bilingualism, and invented languages. With Professor Mary Kate McGowan, she has co-authored a philosophy of language paper on silencing which has been submitted for publication. In the future, she hopes to work in research and education, and to have one of her invented languages be used in a work of fiction.
Interested in working as a research assistant in our lab?