My research focuses on the acquisition of language: how children acquire the meanings of words (lexical semantics) and how they learn to use and understand these words in phrases and sentences (syntax). I study the structure of the adult grammar in order to inform hypotheses about the nature of the target language that the child is acquiring, and I investigate the cognitive biases and learning strategies that children bring to the task of language learning. I make use of computational modeling techniques to formalize my hypotheses about the process of acquisition, and I employ methods of experimental psychology to test these hypotheses.
Downloadable Papers and Presentations
Medina, Tamara Nicol; Hafri, Alon; Trueswell, John; & Gleitman, Lila R. 2010. Propose but Verify: Fast Mapping meets Cross-Situational Word Learning. (ppt) Paper presented at the Boston University Conference on Language Development (BUCLD) Annual Meeting, Boston, MA, Nov. 5.
Medina, Tamara Nicol; Trueswell, John; Snedeker, Jesse; & Gleitman, Lila R. 2009. Using Extra-Linguistic Cues to Identify the Good Word Learning Instances. (ppt) Paper presented at the SRCD Bi-Annual Meeting, Denver, CO, Apr. 2.
Medina, Tamara Nicol; Trueswell, John; Snedeker, Jesse; & Gleitman, Lila R. 2009. Rapid Word Learning Under Realistic Learning Conditions. (ppt) Paper presented at the LSA Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA, Jan. 9.
Medina, Tamara Nicol. 2008. Probabilistically Ranked Constraints: Derivation of the Gradient Grammaticality of Implicit Objects. (ppt) Poster presented at the LSA Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL, Jan. 5.
Medina, Tamara Nicol. 2007. Learning when (and when not) to omit objects in English. (ppt) Invited Talk, presented at the Psicolingüística e Teoria Lingüística: Tentativas de diálogo (Workshop), Departmento de Lingüística, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil. August 13, 2007.
Medina, Tamara Nicol. 2007. Gradient grammaticality of indefinite implicit objects in English. (ppt) Invited Talk, presented at the Departmento de Lingüística, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Campinas, Brazil. August 15, 2007.
Medina, Tamara Nicol. 2007. Learning which verbs allow object omission: Verb semantic selectivity and the implicit object construction. (doc) Dissertation submitted to Johns Hopkins University in conformity with the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.