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LAB DIRECTOR

Anna Papafragou is Professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania. She is currently the Director of the interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Language and Communication Sciences and a member of the Psychology Graduate Group at Penn. Anna received her B.A. in Linguistics with highest honors from the University of Athens and her Ph.D. in Linguistics from University College London. She received postdoctoral training at the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Pennsylvania (where she worked with Lila Gleitman at the Institute for Research in Cognitive Science). She previously served on the faculty in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of Delaware with a joint appointment in the Department of Linguistics and Cognitive Science.

Anna has published over 85 articles and chapters and has given over 100 invited talks on how children acquire meanings in language, how language is used and understood, and how language interfaces with human perception and cognition. Her work has been supported by multiple grants from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. Anna is a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science and a recipient of the Young Scholars Award of the Francis Alison Society, one of the highest awards for faculty at UD. She regularly teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on experimental semantics and pragmatics, language acquisition, and the relationship between language and thought. Anna is committed to promoting the cognitive science of language through interdisciplinary research, student training, community outreach, and various professional roles. She is currently the President of the Cognitive Science Society and serves on the U.S. National Committee for Psychological Science/International Union of Psychological Science at the National Academy of Sciences. She is a lifetime member of the Linguistic Society of America, the Association for Psychological Science, and the Society for Philosophy and Psychology. 

  CV        Email

POST DOCS AND STAFF

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Sami Yousif

MindCORE Post Doc

Sami received his PhD in Psychology from Yale University. His primary research interest is spatial cognition -- how we perceive, interact with, and represent the spatial world around us. But in his free time, he works on a broad range of topics across cognitive science, including how people evaluate social testimony, how people think about the purposes and mechanisms of things, whether people are 'intuitively theistic', how people represent events, how they represent agency in language, and more. Chances are that if you are interested in any aspect of cognitive science, you'll have some overlapping interest with Sami!

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Martin Ho Kwan Ip

LDC Researcher

 ILST Initiative

Martin received his PhD in Psychology at the MARCS Institute, Western Sydney University. He is interested in understanding how speech processing can be shaped by both language-universal mechanisms and our experience with our native language. At the Language and Cognition Lab, Martin's research examines different aspects of speech (e.g., foreign accents, prosody) and their social implications from both a cross-linguistic and a developmental perspective.

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Sarah Lee

Post Doc

Sarah received her PhD in Linguistics from the University of Southern California. She uses various experimental methods to examine event representations in language and the mind. How are events represented in the mind? How do mental representations of events relate to linguistic representations of events? Currently, she is specifically interested in the internal temporal structure/complexity of events. She also has broader interests that revolve around meaning and its interfaces - specific topics include evidentiality, subjectivity, comparison classes, and more!

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Tyler Knowlton

MindCORE Post Doc

Tyler earned his PhD in Linguistics from the University of Maryland and his BA in Cognitive Science from Johns Hopkins. His research focuses on the meanings of logical expressions like “every” and “most” and asks: What do their mental representations look like? How do the formal details of those representations affect non-linguistic cognitive systems? And what leads children to connect those particular representations with the relevant pronunciations?

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Andrea Beltrama

MindCORE Post Doc

Andrea earned his PhD in Linguistics from the University of Chicago and held postdoctoral positions at the University of Konstanz and at the Université of Paris 7. His work investigates how the semantic, pragmatic and social dimensions of meaning contribute to determining the content conveyed by linguistic utterances in communication. He pursues this goal through the lens of various linguistic phenomena, including intensification, descriptive (im)precision, subjectivity, discourse markers and alternative-based reasoning. 

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Madison Paron

Lab Manager

Madison earned her B.A. in Cognitive Sciences from the University of Pennsylvania in 2019. She is interested in neurolingistics, specifically evaluating the processes underlying the acquisition of verbal and signed languages. Outside of research, Madison enjoys skiing and spending time with her family.

GRADUATE STUDENTS

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Ugurcan Vurgun

5th Year

Linguistics

Following some time in the industry, Ugurcan received his Master's degree in Linguistics from Bogazici University in Turkey, where he studied the syntax of focus particles in Turkish. He is now a Ph.D. candidate in Linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania. He is interested in event cognition. Outside of research, he enjoys reading about astronomy and spending time with his kids. 

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June Choe

4th Year

Linguistics

June is interested in psycholinguistics and the mechanisms of ambiguity resolution in particular. He earned his B.A. in Linguistics at Northwestern University, where he researched syntactic and semantic reanalysis in garden-path sentences. Outside of linguistics, June is an R enthusiast and enjoys blogging about data visualization.

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Sophie Faircloth

Senior & M.A. student

Linguistics

Sophie is currently pursuing Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Linguistics with a concentration in pragmatics. She is interested in the intersection of sociolinguistics and pragmatics, currently researching the impact of socio-indexical information on the evaluation of socially impactful pragmatic behavior such as sarcasm usage and underinformativeness. Outside of school, she enjoys playing the drums, painting, and performing in UPenn’s musical comedy group, Mask and Wig.

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Jonathan Him Nok Lee

2nd Year

Linguistics

Jonathan is interested in prosody (broadly construed) and its intersections with language acquisition, bilingualism, and clinical applications in psychotherapy and psychiatry. Prior to his study at Penn, he was based at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, where he earned his M.Phil. and B.A. in Chinese Language and Literature, with double minors in French and Philosophy, and worked at the Digital Signal Processing & Speech Technology Lab.

UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS

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Tess Christensen
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Cynthia Gu
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Laura Avilés

Senior

Linguistics, Computer Science

Tess is a first-year Master's in Education student at Penn's Graduate School of Education studying Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). She also attended Penn for undergrad, majoring in Linguistics and Cognitive Science. Tess is interested in the application of language acquisition research to foreign and second language education. In her spare time, she also enjoys running, rock climbing, and playing Dungeons & Dragons.

Senior

Cognitive Science, Linguistics

Cynthia is pursuing a double major in cognitive science and linguistics and a minor in design. She is interested in the intersection of language and cognition — particularly, language acquisition and bilingualism. Outside of school, she enjoys crocheting and brewing coffee. 

Sophomore

Linguistics

Laura is a sophomore from Puerto Rico studying in the College. She is majoring in Linguistics. Her main interests include bilingualism, specifically rules governing code switching between Spanish and English, language acquisition and sociolinguistics. She is interested in combining her knowledge of languages with healthcare. In her spare time she enjoys horseback riding and analyzing movies.

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Jamie Yuen

Junior

Psychology

Jamie is studying psychology in the College. She is interested in psycholinguistics with an emphasis in second language acquisition and bilingualism. In her free time, she enjoys journaling, baking, and going to concerts.

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Olivia Maltz

Senior

Cognitive Science

Olivia Maltz is a junior from Philadelphia. She is earning her B.A. majoring in Cognitive Science and Computer Science at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research interests include language acquisition in early childhood and computational linguistics. Outside of the lab, she enjoys hiking and fostering dogs.  

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