Language Acquisition Lab

At the UWM Language Acquisition Lab, we investigate various aspects of first and second language acquisition. Located in Johnston Hall G33, the Language Acquisition Lab is co-directed by Professor Fred Eckman and Assistant Professor Jae Yung Song.

Professor Eckman’s research interests over the last ten years or so have been the investigation of the acquisition of target-language phonemic contrasts by adult language learners.

Professor Song has pursued at least two strands of research in the phonological development in first-language learners. In one line of research, she has focused on the articulatory and acoustic characteristics of children’s early word productions, with the goal of examining how phonological representations develop in children. Another line of her research has focused on the acoustic properties of mothers’ speech to young children in order to investigate how this input might improve speech intelligibility and lexical development in children.

Professors Eckman and Song have collaborated on several recent projects to identify the kinds of general learning mechanisms that are involved in both first- and second-language acquisition.

The Language Acquisition Lab is equipped with state-of-the-art software and recording systems for investigating the speech production of language learners. The lab also includes a Sonosite 180 Plus ultrasound machine, providing a safe and non-invasive procedure for examining tongue movements during speech production.