This application requests support for an interdisciplinary predoctoral and postdoctoral training program in Language Processes, emphasizing the link between child language acquisition arid adult language comprehension and production. The project is housed in the Department of Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and includes ten training faculty who study a broad range of language comprehension, acquisition, and production processes. The program is motivated by important changes in language research that need to be addressed with a new kind of training. Language comprehension, production, and acquisition research have each traditionally been studied in isolation, but it is becoming crucial to understand the relationships between these subfields. Training practices are lagging behind these cross-cutting new research efforts, and institutional barriers limit the extent to which students are trained in both language acquisition and adult language performance. The highly cohesive group of training program faculty spans these research areas and is committed to training the next generation of researchers in a way that emphasizes the growing connections between these fields. The goal is not to create scholars who will necessarily study both acquisition and processing, but to create researchers who consistently consider issues of both the child and adult state in their chosen area of research. Funds are requested to support five predoctoral and two postdoctoral trainees per year. Training will take place within one of the top-ranked U.S. Psychology Departments and at an institution with outstanding research facilities and resources. Coursework will span departments, and trainees will participate in activities specifically designed to foster integration of theory and research in acquisition and adult processing, as well as integration of research across typical and atypical populations. Postdoctoral trainees will receive training in areas of language research that are distinct from those that were the focus of their predoctoral work.

Public Health Relevance

The proposed training program will facilitate the training of the next generation of language researchers. By integrating the study of language development and adult language processes, and bringing together the study of typical and atypical language trajectories, this training program will support the development of young researchers whose independent research programs address key areas of public health concern.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZHD1-DSR-W (MM))
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Griffin, James
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University of Wisconsin Madison
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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Mahr, Tristan; Edwards, Jan (2018) Using language input and lexical processing to predict vocabulary size. Dev Sci 21:e12685
Gross, Megan; Kaushanskaya, Margarita (2018) Contributions of nonlinguistic task-shifting to language control in bilingual children. Biling (Camb Engl) 21:181-194
Pomper, Ron; Saffran, Jenny R (2018) Familiar Object Salience Affects Novel Word Learning. Child Dev :
Kaushanskaya, Margarita; Gross, Megan; Sheena, Enanna et al. (2017) Novel Morpheme Learning in Monolingual and Bilingual Children. Am J Speech Lang Pathol 26:301-315
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Gangopadhyay, Ishanti; Davidson, Meghan M; Ellis Weismer, Susan et al. (2016) The role of nonverbal working memory in morphosyntactic processing by school-aged monolingual and bilingual children. J Exp Child Psychol 142:171-94
Mahr, Tristan; McMillan, Brianna T M; Saffran, Jenny R et al. (2015) Anticipatory coarticulation facilitates word recognition in toddlers. Cognition 142:345-50
Gross, Megan; Kaushanskaya, Margarita (2015) Voluntary language switching in English-Spanish bilingual children. J Cogn Psychol (Hove) 27:992-1013
Law 2nd, Franzo; Edwards, Jan R (2015) Effects of Vocabulary Size on Online Lexical Processing by Preschoolers. Lang Learn Dev 11:331-355

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