“My name is Melanie Fish. I graduated with a BA in Linguistics in 2011, and am now a full-time research assistant in Dr. Patricia K. Kuhl’s lab at I-LABS. I first became involved with research at I-LABS as an undergraduate, where I spent several quarters as a LING499 student. During this time, I worked under the direction of postdoctoral fellow Adrian Garcia-Sierra to write my departmental honors thesis. My role in the project was to analyze recordings of caregiver speech in adult-directed and infant-directed contexts, using PRAAT to measure voice onset times (VOT) of initial stop consonants. I later used these measurements to compare VOT across the speech styles, and determined that VOT is lengthened in speech directed to infants as compared to speech directed to adults. As a post-baccalaureate research assistant, I have been expanding this paper to include data for recordings of Spanish-English bilingual caregivers. My goal is to publish it the Journal of Child Language and present the findings of this study at a linguistic conference later this year. My other current projects at the lab include assisting in investigations of speech perception by monolingual and bilingual adults and infants, using event-related potential (ERP) technology.
My time at I-LABS has allowed me to gain valuable hands-on experience with linguistic research, as well as pique my interest in the subfields of language acquisition and neurolinguistics. As a result of my involvement with projects in these areas, feel prepared to pursue related research in graduate school and beyond.”
Lab: Patricia Kuhl Lab at the Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences (I-labs),
working with Adrian Garcia