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Katherine White

Associate Professor; Developmental Research Area Head

Head shot of Dr. Katherine WhiteBA (Cornell), PhD (Brown)

Contact information

Lab for Infant Development and Language website

Research interests

My research explores what infants and toddlers know about language (their own, or language in general) and how they come to know it: What knowledge and abilities do infants bring to the task of language acquisition, and how are they altered by experience with the native language? My work primarily investigates these questions with respect to early perceptual language development (in infants and toddlers aged 6-24 months), with a focus on the acquisition of the speech sound system and early word learning.

Selected publications

  • Weatherhead, D., White, K. S., Friedman, O. (2016). Where are you from? Preschoolers infer background from accent. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 143, 171-178.
  • Weatherhead, D. & White, K. S. (2016). He says potato, she says potahto: Infants track talker-specific accents. Language Learning and Development, 12, 92-103.
  • Orena, A. J. & White, K. S. (2015). I forget what that's called! Children's online processing of disfluencies depends on speaker knowledge. Child Development, 86, 1701-1709.
  • White, K. S., Yee, E., Blumstein, S. E. & Morgan, J. L. (2013). Adults show less sensitivity to phonetic detail in unfamiliar words, too. Journal of Memory and Language, 68, 362-378.
  • Feldman, N. H., Myers, E. B., White, K. S., Griffiths, T. L. & Morgan,  J. L. (2013). Word-level information influences phonetic learning in adults and infants. Cognition, 127, 427-438.
  • White, K. S. & Aslin, R. N. (2011). Adaptation to novel accents by toddlers. Developmental Science, 14, 372-384.
  • Shukla, M., White, K. S. & Aslin, R. N. (2011). Prosody guides the rapid mapping of auditory word forms onto visual objects in 6-mo-old infants. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108, 6038-6043.
  • Kidd, C., White, K. S. & Aslin, R. N. (2011). Toddlers use speech disfluencies to predict speakers' referential intentions. Developmental Science, 14, 925-934.
  • Shukla, M., Wen, J., White, K. S. & Aslin, R. N. (2011). SMART-T: A System for novel fully automated anticipatory eye-tracking paradigms. Behavior Research Methods, 43, 384-398.
  • Kidd, C., White, K. S. & Aslin, R.N. (2009). Children's Use of Disfluencies for Pragmatic Inference in Lexical Development. Proceedings of the 31st Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society.
  • White, K. S. & Morgan, J. L. (2008). Sub-segmental detail in early lexical representations. Journal of Memory and Language, 59, 114-132.
  • White, K. S., Peperkamp, S., Kirk, C. & Morgan, J. L. (2008). Rapid acquisition of phonological alternations by infants. Cognition, 107, 238-265.
  • Singh, L., White, K. S. & Morgan, J. L. (2008). Building a phonological lexicon in the face of variable input: Effects of pitch and amplitude variation on early word recognition. Language Learning and Development, 4, 157-178.
  • Soderstrom, M., White, K. S., Conwell, E. & Morgan, J. L. (2007). Early grammatical knowledge of function and content words. Infancy, 12, 1-29.
  • White, K. S., Morgan, J. L. & Wier, L. (2005). When is a dar a car? Effects of mispronunciation and referential context on sound-meaning mappings. In A. Brugos, M. Clark-Cotton and S. Ha (Eds). Proceedings of the 29th annual Boston University Conference on Language Development. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press.
  • Singh, L., Morgan, J. L. & White, K. S. (2004). Preference and processing: The role of speech affect in early spoken word recognition. Journal of Memory and Language, Vol. 51, 173-189.
  •  Anderson, J., Morgan, J. L. & White, K. S. (2003). A Statistical Basis for Speech Sound Discrimination. Language and Speech, 46, 155-182.
Affiliation: 
University of Waterloo

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