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Department of Linguistics

Professor Katherine Demuth

katherine demuth

Formal name: Katherine Demuth

Personal Title: Professor

Telephone: +61 2 9850 8783

Fax: +61 2 9850 9352


Location: AHH 3.520

Web Pages:


Katherine Demuth is a CORE Professor in Linguistics and the Centre for Language Sciences (CLaS) at Macquarie University, where she is Director of the Child Language Lab and a member of the new Centre of Excellence for Cognition and its Disorders (CCD). Demuth's research focuses on Language Acquisition, including studies of both perception and production across languages. She is especially interested in the development of phonological, morphological and syntactic representations, in both typically developing and language-impaired children and L2 learners. Much of her work is crosslinguistic, using insights from the structure of different languages to better understanding the mechanisms underlying the process of language acquisition. Part of this research program also involves a better understanding of the nature of the input (child-directed speech) that language learners hear.

Prof. Demuth is currently recruiting Ph.D. students with a strong quantitative and experimental phonetics background. Much of her current research focuses on better understanding the acoustic and articulatory underpinnings of early speech and the implications this has for phonological and morphological development. She is interested in making predictions about the course of development across languages, and in beginning to construct a developmental model of language planning and production.

Research Interests

The nature of children's developing phonological, morphological and syntactic representations, and how this develops in typical, delayed (SLI, autistic, hearing impaired), bilingual and L2 populations.

Current Research Projects, and Honors/Ph.D. Supervision

Phonological Development (including acoustic and articulatory/ultrasound studies)
Morphological Development (including the effects of prosodic context)
Development at the Prosody/Syntax Interface (intonation, contrastive focus, pronouns)

Current Grants

2011-2018 – ARC Centre of Excellence: Cognition and its Disorders (CCD). (Stephen Crain, Director)
2011-2013 – ARC DP110102479. Phonological effects on the development of inflectional morphology (Felicity Cox, Co-CI)
2008-2013 – NICHD R01 HD057606. Constraints on phonological and morphological development (Stefanie Shattuck-Hufnagel, Co-PI).


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