Welcome to the Phonology & Reading Lab!
All languages—signed and spoken—weave words from patterns of meaningless elements. We contrast dogs and gods and favor blogs to lbogs. We form phonological patterns at birth; like songbirds, we do so spontaneously, even in the absence of an adult model, and we impose phonological design not only on our natural linguistic communication but also on invented cultural technologies—reading and writing.
Why are humans—young and mature—compelled to generate phonological patterns? What system of the mind and brain supports the human capacity for phonological patterning?
Research in the Phonology and Reading lab seeks to address these questions. Our research on the Phonology and Reading of adults examines the design of the mature phonological system and its role in reading ability and disability. Of particular interest is whether the phonological systems of different languages share universal aspects of their design. To determine the source of this convergence—whether it reflects properties of speech, narrowly, or language, broadly—our research on Sign Language Phonology examines whether some of the properties of spoken languages might be shared with signed languages. Finally, our research also explores the developmental trajectory of the phonological mind by examining the phonological system of infants.
Phonology and Reading Lab at the Museum of Science