Curriculum Vitae (Updated January 1, 2019)


I am a sixth year Doctoral Student in Linguistics at the University of Connecticut.

My dissertation title: How language is learned by children: contributions of lexical semantic features and input to the acquisition of the English verbal passive

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., & Sprouse, J. (2019). ERP satiation of whether-islands impacts scalp distribution, not amplitude. Talk at The 93nd Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America. New York City, NY. January 3-6, 2019. [PDF]

Nguyen, E., & Pearl, L. (2018). Using developmental modeling to specify learning and representation of the passive in English children. Poster at the 42nd Boston University Conference on Language Development, Boston University, Boston. [PDF]

Click through to learn more about me and my work!

(Last updated: January 7, 2019)