Associate Professor (Language Sciences)
Phone: 812 856 0667
Ph.D., Indiana University 1996 (Developmental Psychology)
My research interests concern the development of language in infants and young children. My primary focus is the study of word retrieval processes. The questions I ask concern how the emerging lexicon is organized, how it operates, and how it changes with vocabulary growth.
In longitudinal studies of children’s vocabulary acquisition, I have found that naming errors are frequent in the beginning word learner. These errors often involve familiar words for familiar objects and suggest a fragility of processes associated with retrieving words from a rapidly expanding lexicon. This discovery may bring coherence to a set of related phenomena that includes the gap between word comprehension and word production, the onset of the vocabulary spurt, and fast-mapping. I use a dynamic systems framework to show how each of these events is likely to be solvable by the same basic mechanism.
Hahn, E. & Gershkoff-Stowe, L. (2010). Children and adults learn actions for objects more readily than labels Language Learning and Development, 6, 283-308.
Gershkoff-Stowe, L. & Hahn, E. (2007). Fast mapping skills in the developing lexicon. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 50(3) ,682-697.