I am currently a 6th year PhD student in Developmental Psychology at the University of Connecticut. I am a member of the Child Language Lab under the advisement of Letitia Naigles. I am also an associate of IGERT: Language Plasticity – Genes, Brain, Cognition & Computation and an affiliate of CT Institute for the Brain and Cognitive Sciences.
Broadly, my primary research interests are in language development in both typical and atypical populations (i.e., children with autism spectrum disorder; ASD), particularly in the areas of morphosyntax and pragmatics. My interest in morphosyntax focuses on not only how children come to acquire tense/aspect morphology but also on how they learn to make the form-to-function mappings. Within the area of pragmatics, I am interested in better characterizing the nature of pragmatic difficulties in children with ASD to not only inform more targeted interventions but also inform theories regarding how pragmatics, more generally, may be organized.
Through my research, I have worked with a wide variety of data using the following methods: corpus analysis, coding of naturalistic observations, standardized testing, and eye-tracking.
My masters focused on characterizing the tense/aspect development of a child with a history of ASD using a dense corpus captured via the Speechome Recorder. We examined daily caregiver-child interactions to investigate whether atypical development of tense/aspect could be better revealed with multiple measures of acquisition (i.e., frequency, consistency, and productivity) in more densely collected speech samples.
My dissertation focuses on better characterizing the relative strengths and weaknesses in pragmatic abilities in children with ASD — in particular their implicature reasoning. Moreover, I will be investigating to what extent different types of implicatures depend on the same skills and knowledge to equal extents.