• Acquisition of syntactic structures.
  • Relationship between production and comprehension in child language.
  • The effects of processing and working-memory limitations in language development.
  • Word segmentation by monolingual and bilingual infants.
  • Cross-linguistic differences in language acquisition.
  • Bilingualism, code-switching, and heritage languages.
  • Romance languages (particularly Catalan and Spanish).


Winter 2017

  • Class Syllabus: [pdf]
  • Section Syllabus: [pdf]
  • Teaching materials: Course website [Enrolled students only]
  • Description:
    This course is concerned with the question of how children naturally acquire their native language. The primary focus is on children’s development of grammatical knowledge and the various stages that they pass through on the way to adult competence. We will look at development in the various components of grammar- phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics/pragmatics – and we will also discuss some theories of language development. You will be introduced to child language data – what children perceive, say, and comprehend in the course of development – and learn how to analyze that data. We will also look at language acquisition in English and other languages and in special populations and circumstances (e.g. bilingualism, children with SLI, acquisition beyond the “critical period”).

Fall 2016

Class Syllabus: [pdf]
Section Syllabus: [pdf]
Teaching materials: Course website [Enrolled students only]
Description: [see above]


Useful Software/Tools

Amazon’s ‘Mechanical Turk’ – Tool to create surveys and collect data

CLAN (Carnegie Mellon University) – Program to analyze data in CHAT format (CHILDES,  BilingBank, AphasiaBank…)

Google Forms – User-friendly tool to create simple surveys and collect data

IPA keyboard – IPA chart / keyboard

Pixton – User-friendly tool to create visual stimuli for adults or children experiments

Praat (University of Amsterdam) – Free software to analyze speech phonetically

R studio – Free tool for statistical analysis

SPSS – User-friendly(/ier) tool for statistical analysis

TreeForm (UBC) – Software to draw syntactic trees


COCA (Brigham Young University) – Corpus of American English, 1990-2012

TalkBank (Carnegie Mellon University) – Speech databases for L1, L2, bilingual, SLI, or aphasia, a.o.

CHILDES – L1 acquisition corpora (including clinical and bilingual corpora)

BilngBank – Bilingual corpora

SLABank – L2  corpora

Syntactic Structures of the World’s Languages [SSWL] / Terraling (NYU, UCLA)

Other Useful Resources

APA Formatting Style Guide (Purdue University)

Linguist List – THE resource for Linguists (search for jobs, conference calls, support projects, etc.)

Ling Buzz – Archive of linguistic articles (including unpublished manuscripts)

Research Gate – Social networking site for scientists and researchers

Google Scholar – Search peer-reviewed papers, theses, and books.

Collaborators and Departments/Labs

Isabelle Charnavel (Harvard University)

Nina Hyams (UCLA)

Robyn Orfitelli (University of Sheffield, UK)

Megha Sundara (UCLA)

UCLA Department of Linguistics

UCLA Language Lab

Amusing Links

PHDComics (comics about life (or the lack thereof) in academia)

#whatshouldwecallgradschool (a blog about PhD life in gifs)