Research in the Language Development Lab

In these early years, your child is solving one of the most complex puzzles he or she will ever encounter: the puzzle of language. Considering how difficult it is for an adult to learn a foreign language, we might think it would be difficult indeed for a small child to learn all the detailed facts about language. However, nearly all children by the age of four have learned their native tongue without requiring explicit formal instruction and with very little apparent effort. At the Language Development Laboratory of the University of North Carolina, we study how children manage to learn so much so quickly.

Throughout the year, we conduct a number of individual studies on different aspects of language. The focus of our research concerns how preschool aged children come to understand the meanings of words, how they interpret words and sentences in context, and how they learn to communicate.

Department of Psychology, UNC Chapel Hill

P.I.: Dr. Jennifer Arnold

We specialize in the development of the cognitive mechanisms  that allow children to speak and understand language in real time, as it  occurs. Our primary method is monitoring children's eye movements, either with a head-mounted eyetracker or remote video system.

Dr. Arnold's Recent Findings (under construction)

Department of Linguistics, UNC Chapel Hill

P.I.: Dr. Misha Becker

We specialize in how children develop the grammatical  system of their language.

Dr. Becker's Recent Findings (under construction)

Davie Hall Language Development Lab
Dey Hall Language Development Lab
Click here to find out how to bring your child to participate!
How to participate

Directions to the labs

Dr. Arnold's home page

Dr. Becker's home page

The UNC Language Development Lab