In the Cognitive Neuroscience Lab at Cornell
University, we aim to produce a comprehensive account of
the evolution, acquisition and processing of language. Our research
is conducted within a unified framework for
understanding language across multiple time-scales: the
time-scale of thousands of years, over which languages
themselves evolve; the time-scale of years, over which children
acquire the language of their community; and the time-scale of
seconds, in which particular utterances are spoken and
understood. We approach language using a variety of
methods, including neuroimaging, eye-tracking, behavioral
experiments, corpus analyses,
and computational modeling as well as with different subject
populations, ranging from infants to adults with and without
M.H. Christiansen (2015, Oct.). The Now-or-Never Bottleneck: A Fundamental
Constraint on Language. Information Science and Cognitive Science colloquium,
Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.
McCauley & M.H. Christiansen (2015, November). Individual Differences in
Experience-based Chunking Predict Online Language Processing. Talk to be
presented at the 56th Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society, Chicago, IL.
I. Arnon, S.M. McCauley & M.H. Christiansen (2015, November). Digging Up
the Building Blocks of Language: Age-of-Acquisition Effects for Multiword
Phrases. Poster to be presented at the 40th Boston University Conference on
Language Development, Boston, MA.
F. Trecca, D. Bleses & M.H. Christiansen (2015, November). When Too Many
Vowels Impede Language Processing: The Case of Danish. Talk/Poster to be
presented at the 40th Boston University Conference on Language Development,
M.H. Christiansen (2016, Feb.) Darwin's Insight: The Cultural Evolution of
Language. Invited speaker in the Alabama Lectures on Life's Evolution series,
University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL.
Christiansen, M.H. & Chater, N. (in press). The Now-or-Never bottleneck: A fundamental constraint on language. Behavioral & Brain Sciences. [target article]
Christiansen, M.H. & Monaghan, P. (in press).
Division of labor in vocabulary structure: Insights from corpus analyses.
Topics in Cognitive Science.
Dediu, D. & Christiansen, M.H. (in press).
Language evolution: Constraints and opportunities from modern genetics.
Topics in Cognitive Science.
Fitneva, S.A. & Christiansen, M.H. (in press). Developmental changes in cross-situational word learning: The inverse effect
of initial accuracy.Cognitive Science.
Vuong, L.C., Meyer, A.S. & Christiansen, M.H. (in press).
Concurrent learning of adjacent and nonadjacent dependencies. Language
Caldwell-Harris, C., Ladd, R., Dediu, D., Biller, A. & Christiansen, M.H.
(2015) Factors influencing sensitivity to lexical tone in an artificial language:
Implications for L2 learning. Studies in Second Language Acquisition,
Christiansen, M.H. & Chater, N. (2015). The language faculty that wasn’t: A usage-based account of natural language recursion. Frontiers in Psychology, 6, 1182. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01182.
Dingemanse, M., Blasi, D., Lupyan, G., Christiansen, M.H. & Monaghan, P.
(2015). Arbitrariness, iconicity
and systematicity in language.Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 19,
Frost, R., Armstrong, B.C., Siegelman, N. & Christiansen, M.H. (2015). Domain generality vs. modality specificity: The paradox of statistical
learning. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 19, 117-125.
McCauley, S.M. & Christiansen, M.H. (2014). Acquiring formulaic language:
A computational model. Mental Lexicon, 9, 419-436.
Monaghan, P., Shillcock, R.C., Christiansen, M.H. & Kirby, S. (2014). How
arbitrary is language? Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society
B: Biological Sciences, 369, 20130299.