chatter news

November 2022

  • Marisa Casillas’ paper entitled Language learning in vivo was published in Child Development Perspectives! Read it here.

  • There were several Chatter Lab presentations at the Boston University Conference on Language Development (BUCLD):

    • Marisa Casillas gave an invited symposium talk (Bringing the babylab to the field), and she led the student workshop (Crash course in field methods for studying child language development in rural and small-scale contexts)
    • Isabella di Giovanni gave a talk (Infant-directed communicative acts in a Tseltal Mayan community)
    • Kennedy Casey presented poster (From doggy to dog: Developmental shifts in children’s use of register-specific words)

September 2022

  • Bram Peute’s paper with Marisa Casillas on language input and early consonant production in Tseltal and Yélî Dnye is now out at Glossa! Read it here.
  • The Chatter Lab welcomed three new students!
    • Yuchen Jin joined the lab as a PhD student in the Department of Comparative Human Development.
    • Kimberly Shorter and Jordyn Martin joined the lab as undergraduate honors thesis students.

August 2022

  • Jenny Bo completed her Master’s degree through MAPSS. Congratulations, Jenny!

July 2022

  • The Chatter Lab had an exciting, conference-heavy summer with presentations at ICIS, ISGS, and CogSci. Here’s the full lineup:
    • Children’s everyday language experiences across urban and rural contexts (Invited CogSci talk by Marisa Casillas in the symposium Cognition Across Diverse Populations)
    • Immature vocalizations simplify the speech of Tseltal Mayan and US caregivers (CogSci talk by Steven Elmlinger, with Marisa Casillas)
    • Getting to the root of linguistic alignment: Testing the predictions of Interactive Alignment across developmental and biological variation in language skill (CogSci talk by Ruthe Foushee)
    • Sticks, leaves, buckets, and bowls: Distributional patterns of children’s at-home object handling in two subsistence societies (CogSci talk by Kennedy Casey, with Marisa Casillas and many RA co-authors)
    • From doggy to dog: Developmental shifts in children’s use of register-specific words (CogSci talk by Kennedy Casey)
    • I dunno - I guess - I mean whatever: Children form a many-to-many pragmatic mapping of shrug gestures between early and late childhood (ISGS talk by Natalie Dowling)
    • Nonreferential gestures don’t always flock together (ISGS talk by Natalie Dowling)
    • Bridging ethnographic and quantitative characterizations of Mayan developmental language environments (ICIS talk by Isabella di Giovanni)
    • What counts as verbal input? Implications for studying child language development across populations (ICIS talk by Camila Scaff and Marisa Casillas)
    • Capturing daylong object handling patterns in two small-scale communities (ICIS talk by Kennedy Casey)
    • Using daylong recordings to characterize sleep and speech activities in three subsistence populations (ICIS poster by Camila Scaff)

June 2022

  • Natalie Dowling successfully defended her dissertation: Obviously I Don’t Know but Whatever: Emblematic and Pragmatic Uses of Shrug Gestures in Early Childhood and Adolescence. Congratulations, Dr. Dowling! She will return to the lab as a postdoctoral fellow in the fall.
  • Three new research assistants joined our team for the summer, including Alexander Stern, Sarah Sommer, and Carla Suarez Soto.

February 2022

  • Three abstracts from the lab were accepted for oral presentation at ICIS:
    • Bridging ethnographic and quantitative characterizations of Mayan developmental language environments with Isabella di Giovanni and Marisa Casillas;
    • A talk “What Counts as Verbal Input? Implications for Studying Child Language Development Across Populations” with Camila Scaff leading in the symposium Towards an Ethical and Inclusive Science of Language Development, headed up by Adriana Weisleder; and
    • A talk “Capturing daylong object handling patterns in two small-scale communities” with Kennedy Casey leading our lab group in the symposium Communication includes much more than speech: Everyday, multimodal contexts of infant learning, headed up by Jessica Kosie.

January 2022

  • Bram Peute’s paper with Marisa Casillas on language input and early consonant production in Tseltal and Yélî Dnye was accepted pending minor revisions at Glossa. The preprint is available here.

December 2021

  • Look out for these Chatter Lab presentations at CDS in Madison this coming April!:

    • Kennedy Casey is giving a talk entitled “Children’s shift from CDS to ADS vocabulary across early childhood” which is in the symposium Children’s exposure to and use of socially meaningful variation in language (led by Marisa Casillas)
    • A poster presentation by Natalie Dowling on “I dunno, I guess, I mean whatever: Children form a many-to-many pragmatic mapping of shrug gestures between early and late childhood”
    • A poster presentation by Alyssa Guillu on her work with the Rowe Lab at Harvard
  • The stellar Kennedy Casey’s first journal publication is now online at PLOS ONE, charting the representation of female vs. male protagonists in 60 years of children’s books. Double congratulations to Kennedy! Read it here.

  • Marisa Casillas (project lead), together with colleagues Sharese King, Ruthe Foushee, Adriana Weisleder, and Annette D’Onofrio, was awarded a Neubauer Collegium Faculty Research Fund for their project “Roots of Linguistic Identity”. The project, which will begin in June 2022, will investigate how children from different dialect backgrounds across Chicago learn to recognize variability in the sounds and words of other dialects. Read more here.

November 2021

October 2021

  • We officially kicked off a new project “Object handling and early word learning environments in three cultural contexts”. Our new team of 5 undergraduates includes Anapaula Silva, Mara Duquette, Will Fisher, Lizzie Mickiewicz, and Kimberly Shorter, as well as Mary Elliott and Kennedy Casey. We will annotate many thousands of images taken from children’s perspective during their days at home in three cultural contexts: Papuan, Mayan, and US. This project is made possible by generous funding from the Gianinno family.