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Catharine H Echols

Associate FacultyPh.D., University of Illinois

Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology, College of Liberal Arts
Catharine H Echols



issues related to the acquisition of language


Dr. Echols received her Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Her research explores a number of issues related to the acquisition of language. The general focus of her research is with two questions fundamental to language development: (a) how infants identify words and other linguistic units in the speech stream and (b) how they associate words to appropriate real world referents. She is investigating the first question by assessing whether infants can use prosodic cues-such as stress, intonation or rhythm to identify words in speech. In relation to the second question, she is investigating whether infants can use linguistic context to determine the meanings of novel words. Additional projects pertain to the acquisition of grammar and children's understanding of various functions of language (e.g., irony and sarcasm). This research is funded through a grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Dr. Echols is in the Developmental and Cognition & Perception areas in Psychology, and is head of the Developmental area.

Selected Publications:

Echols, C. H., Crowhurst, M. J., & Childers, J. B. (1997). The perception of rhythmic units in speech by infants and adults. Journal of Memory and Language, 36, 202-225.

Albin, D. D., & Echols, C. H. (1996). Characteristics of stressed and word-final syllables in infant-directed speech: Implications for word-level segmentation. Infant Behavior and Development, 19, 401-418.

Hura, S. L., & Echols, C. H. (1996). The role of stress and articulatory difficulty in children's earliest productions. Developmental Psychology, 32, 165-176.

Echols, C. H. (1996). A role for stress in early speech segmentation. In J. L. Morgan & K. Demuth (Eds.), Signal to syntax: Bootstrapping from speech to grammar in early acquisition (pp. 151-170). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Echols, C. H. (1993). A perceptually-based model of children's earliest productions. Cognition, 46, 245-296.

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