Curriculum Vitae (Updated March 25, 2021)


I am an eighth year Doctoral Student in Linguistics at the University of Connecticut.

My dissertation title: The predictive power of lexical semantics on the acquisition of passive voice in young children

Broadly, this dissertation asks:

What is the role of evidence, or the language input which must be processed to develop language competence, in the acquisition of complex syntactic structures?

*How might we characterize and quantify evidence?

*How does looking at the evidence differently change the way we perceive the learning problem?

Given that there’s cross-linguistic variation and variation in a child’s input, how do children learn which verbs participate in any given complex syntactic structure (e.g. passives, double-object constructions, etc.).

*How can learning the lexical semantics of a verb be informative for children in such a learning task?

Specifically, this dissertation asks:

What can input frequency and lexical semantic features tell us about how children acquire the English verbal passive?

I used a combination of in-depth corpus analysis, computational modeling, behavioral experiments in order to investigate these questions.


Nguyen, E. (2020).

Can “blick” be passivized? Depends on its meaning: A novel-verb study with English-speaking children. Talk at The 45th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (BUCLD 45). November 5-8, 2020 [Pre-Recorded Video of Talk][Slides]

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(Last updated: March 25, 2021)