Publications

Grants from the National Institutes of Health have supported Dr. Newport's research at the Learning and Development Lab for the past 35 years. Previous sources of funding include the National Science Foundation, the McDonnell Foundation, and the Packard Foundation.

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

2016-present
  • The effect of Zipfian frequency variations on category formation in adult artificial language learning.

Schuler, K.D., Reeder, P.A., Newport, E.L., & Aslin, R.N. The effect of Zipfian frequency variations on category formation in adult artificial language learning. Language Learning and Development, in press. 

  • Testing the Tolerance Principle: Children form productive rules when it is computationally more efficient to do so.

Schuler, K.D., Yang, C., & Newport, E.L. (2016). Testing the Tolerance Principle: Children form productive rules when it is computationally more efficient to do so.  In Papafragou, A., Grodner, D., Mirman, D., & Trueswell, J.C. (Eds.) Proceedings of the 38th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

  • Aging and the statistucal learning of grammatical form classes.

Schwab, J.F., Schuler, K.D., Stillman, C.M., Newport, E.L., Howard, J.H. & Howard, D.V. (2016). Aging and the statistical learning of grammatical form classes. Psychology and Aging, 31, 481-487.

  • Balancing effort and information transmission during language acquisition: Evidence from word order and case-marking.

Fedzechkina, M., Newport, E.L., & Jaeger, T.F. (2016) Balancing effort and information transmission during language acquisition: Evidence from word order and case-marking.  Cognitive Science, in press.

  • Statistical language learning: Computational, maturational and linguistic constraints.

Newport, E.L. (2016) Statistical language learning: Computational, maturational and linguistic constraints. Language and Cognition, 8, 447-461.

  • The importance of developmental plasticity

Newport, E.L. (2016). The importance of developmental plasticity. In R. J. Sternberg, S.T. Fiske, & D.J. Foss (eds), Scientists making a difference: The greatest living behavioral and brain scientists talk about their most important contributions. Cambridge University Press.

2014-2015

Newman, A.J., Supalla, T., Fernandez, N., Newport, E.L., & and Bavelier. D. (2015).  Neural systems supporting linguistic structure, linguistic experience, and symbolic communication in sign language and gesture.  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,  112, 11684-11689. PMCID: PMC4577150.

Culbertson, J. & Newport, E.L. (2015). Harmonic biases in child learners: In support of language universals.  Cognition, 139, 71-82. PMCID: PMC4397919.

Fedzechkina, M., Newport, E.L. & Jaeger, T.F. (2015). Miniature artificial language learning as a complement to typological data. In A. Tyler, L. Ortega, & M. Uno (eds). Usage-based approaches to language, language learning, and multilingualism. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.

Dromerick, A.W., Edwardson, M., Edwards, D.F., Giannetti, M.L., Barth, J., Brady, K.P., Chan, E., Tan, M.T., Tamboli, I., Chia, R., Orquiza, M., Padilla, R.M., Cheema, A.K., Mapstone, M., Fiandaca, M.S., Federoff, H.J., & Newport, E.L. (2015). Critical Periods after Stroke Study: Translating animal stroke recovery experiments into a clinical trial. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 9, 002231. PMCID: PMC4413691.

Aslin, R.N. & Newport, E.L. (2014) Distributional language learning: Mechanisms and models of category formation. Language Learning, 64, 86-105.

2012-2013

Fedzechkina, M, Jaeger, T.F., & Newport, E.L. (2013). Communicative biases shape structures of newly acquired languages. In M. Knauff, M. Pauen, N., Sebanz, & I. Wachsmuth (Eds.), Proceedings of the 35th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society (pp. 430-435).

Karuza, E.A., Newport, E.L., Aslin, R.N., Starling, S.J., Tivarus, M.E., & Bavelier, D. (2013). The neural correlates of statistical learning in a word segmentation task: An fMRI study. Brain & Language, 127, 46-54. PMCID: PMC3750089.

Reeder, P.A., Newport, E.L., & Aslin, R.N. (2013). From shared contexts to syntactic categories: The role of distributional information in learning linguistic form-classes. Cognitive Psychology, 66, 30-54.

Fedzechkina, M., Jaeger, T.F., & Newport, E.L. (2012). Language learners restructure their input to facilitate efficient communication. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109, 17897-17902. PMCID: PMC3497763.

Tivarus, M.E., Davis, S.J., Newport, E.L., & Langfitt, J.L. (2012). Homotopic language reorganization in the right hemisphere after early left hemisphere injury. Brain and Language, 123, 1-10. PMCID: PMC3443966.

Aslin, R.N. & Newport, E.L (2012). Statistical learning: From learning items to generalizing rules. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 21, 170-176.

2010-2011

Newport, E.L. (2011). The modularity issue in language acquisition: A rapprochement? Comments on Gallistel and Chomsky. Language Learning and Development, 7, 279-286.

Davis, S.J., Newport, E.L., & Aslin, R.N. (2011). Probability learning in 10-month old infants. In L. Carlson, C. Hölscher, & T. Shipley (Eds.), Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

Fedzechkina, M, Jaeger, T.F., & Newport, E.L. (2011). Functional biases in language learning: Evidence from word order and case-marking interaction. In L. Carlson, C. Hölscher, & T. Shipley (Eds.), Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

Finley, S. & Newport, E.L. (2011). Morpheme segmentation in school-aged children. In A. Fine (Ed.) University of Rochester working papers in the language sciences, vol. 6.

Vannest, J., Newport, E.L., Newman, A. & Bavelier, D. (2011). Interplay between morphology and frequency in lexical access: The case of the base frequency effect. Brain Research, 1373, 144-159. PMCID: PMC3038557

Newman, A.J., Supalla, T., Hauser, P., Newport, E.L., & Bavelier, D. (2010). Prosodic and narrative processing in American Sign Language: An fMRI study. NeuroImage, 52, 669-676.

Newport, E.L. (2010). Plus or minus 30 years in the language sciences. Topics in Cognitive Science, 2, 367-373.

Finley, S., & Newport, E.L. (2010). Morpheme segmentation from distributional information. In Chandlee, J., Franich, K., Iserman, K., & Keil, L. (eds), BUCLD 34 Proceedings Supplement, online.

Reeder, P.A., Newport, E.L., & Aslin, R.N. (2010). Novel words in novel contexts: The role of distributional information in form-class category learning. In S. Ohlsson & R. Catrambone (Eds.), Proceedings of the 32nd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

Newman, A.J., Supalla, T., Hauser, P., Newport, E.L., & and Bavelier. D. (2010). Dissociating neural subsystems for grammar by contrasting word order and inflection. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107, 7539-7544.

2008-2009

Hudson Kam, C.L., & Newport, E.L. (2009). Getting it right by getting it wrong: When learners change languages. Cognitive Psychology, 59, 30-66.

Gebhart, A.L., Aslin, R.N, & Newport, E.L. (2009). Changing structures in mid-stream: Learning along the statistical garden path. Cognitive Science, 33, 1087-1116.

Reeder, P.A., Newport, E.L., & Aslin, R.N. The role of distributional information in linguistic category formation. In N. Taatgen and H. van Rijn (eds), Proceedings of the 31st Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, 2009.

Gebhart, A. L., Newport, E. L. and Aslin, R. N. (2009). Statistical learning of adjacent and non-adjacent dependencies among non-linguistic sounds. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 16, 486-490.

Aslin, R.N., & Newport, E.L. (2008) What statistical learning can and can't tell us about language acquisition. In J. Colombo, P. McCardle, and L. Freund (eds.), Infant Pathways to Language: Methods, Models, and Research Directions. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Wonnacott, E., Newport, E.L., & Tanenhaus, M.K. (2008). Acquiring and processing verb argument structure: Distributional learning in a miniature language. Cognitive Psychology, 56, 165-209.

Bavelier, D., Newport, E.L., Hall, M., Supalla, T., & Boutla, M. (2008). Ordered short-term memory differs in signers and speakers: Implications for models of short-term memory. Cognition, 107, 433-459.

SELECTED EARLIER PUBLICATIONS

Thompson, S.P., & Newport, E.L. (2007). Statistical learning of syntax: The role of transitional probability. Language Learning and Development, 3, 1-42.

Bavelier, D., Newport, E.L., Hall, M., Supalla, T., & Boutla, M. (2006). Persistent difference in short-term memory span between sign and speech: Implications for cross-linguistic comparisons. Psychological Science, 17, 1090-1092.

Weiss, D.J. & Newport, E.L. (2006). Mechanisms underlying language acquisition: Benefits from a comparative approach. Infancy, 9, 241-257.

Coppola, M. & Newport, E.L. (2005). Grammatical 'Subjects' in home sign: Abstract linguistic structure in adult primary gesture systems without linguistic input. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 102, 19249-19253. [Supporting materials and methods are available at the PNAS website http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/full/0509306102/DC1

Wonnacott, E., & Newport, E.L. (2005). Novelty and regularization: The effect of novel instances on rule formation. In A. Brugos, M.R. Clark-Cotton, and S. Ha (eds.), BUCLD 29: Proceedings of the 29th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press.

Hudson Kam, C.L., & Newport, E.L. (2005). Regularizing unpredictable variation: The roles of adult and child learners in language formation and change. Language Learning and Development, 1, 151-195.

Singleton, J.L., & Newport, E.L. (2004). When learners surpass their models: The acquisition of American Sign Language from inconsistent input. Cognitive Psychology, 49, 370-407.

Boutla, M., Supalla, T., Newport, E.L., & Bavelier, D. (2004). Short-term memory span: Insights from sign language. Nature Neuroscience, 7, 997-1002.

Creel, S.C., Newport, E.L., & Aslin, R.N. (2004). Distant melodies: Statistical learning of non-adjacent dependencies in tone sequences. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 30, 1119-1130.

Newport, E.L., & Aslin, R.N. (2004). Learning at a distance: I. Statistical learning of non-adjacent dependencies. Cognitive Psychology, 48, 127-162.

Newport, E.L., Hauser, M.D., Spaepen, G., & Aslin, R.N. (2004). Learning at a distance: II. Statistical learning of non-adjacent dependencies in a non-human primate. Cognitive Psychology, 49, 85-117.

Bavelier, D., Newport, E.L., & Supalla, T. (2003). Children need natural languages, signed or spoken. Cerebrum, 5, 19-32.

  •  Tonal profiles of artificial scales: Implications for music learning.

Creel, S.C., & Newport, E.L. (2002). Tonal profiles of artificial scales: Implications for music learning. In C. Stevens, D. Burnham, G. McPherson, E. Schubert and J. Renwick, (Eds.), Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition. Sydney, Australia: Causal Productions, pp. 281-284.

Newport, E.L. (2002). Critical periods in language development. In L. Nadel (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science. London: Macmillan Publishers Ltd./Nature Publishing Group.

Mintz, T.H., Newport, E.L., & Bever, T.G. (2002). The distributional structure of grammatical categories in speech to young children. Cognitive Science, 26, 393-425.

Sanders, L.D., Newport, E.L., & Neville, H.J. (2002). Segmenting nonsense: An event-related potential index of perceived onsets in continuous speech. Nature Neuroscience, 5, 700-703.

Hauser, M., Newport, E.L., & Aslin, R.N. (2001). Segmentation of the speech stream in a non-human primate: Statistical learning in cotton-top tamarins. Cognition, 78, B41-B52.

Newport, E.L., Bavelier, D., & Neville, H.J. (2001). Critical thinking about critical periods: Perspectives on a critical period for language acquisition. In E. Dupoux (Ed.), Language, Brain and Cognitive Development: Essays in Honor of Jacques Mehler. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

  • Perception, Cognition, and Language: Essays in Honor of Henry and Lila Gleitman.

Landau, B., Sabini, J., Jonides, J., & Newport, E.L. (Eds.). (2000). Perception, Cognition, and Language: Essays in Honor of Henry and Lila Gleitman. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Newport, E.L., & Aslin, R.N. (2000). Innately constrained learning: Blending old and new approaches to language acquisition. In S.C. Howell, S.A. Fish, and T. Keith-Lucas (Eds.), Proceedings of the 24th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press.

Newport, E.L., & Supalla, T. (2000). Sign language research at the millennium. In K. Emmorey and H. Lane (Eds.), The Signs of Language Revisited: An Anthology in Honor of Ursula Bellugi and Edward Klima. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Newport, E.L., & Supalla, T. (1999). Sign languages. In R. Wilson & Keil, F. (eds.), The MIT Encyclopedia of the cognitive sciences. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Hudson, C.L., & Newport, E.L. (1999). Creolization: Could adults really have done it all? In A. Greenhill et al. (Eds.), Proceedings of the 23rd Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development: Vol. 1. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press.

Newport, E.L. (1999). Reduced input in the acquisition of signed languages: Contributions to the study of creolization. In M. DeGraff (Ed.), Language Creation and Language Change: Creolization, Diachrony, and Development. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Saffran, J.R., Johnson, E.K., Aslin, R.N., & Newport, E.L. (1999). Statistical learning of tonal sequences by human infants and adults. Cognition, 70, 27-52.

Aslin, R.N., Saffran, J.R., & Newport, E.L. (1998). Computation of conditional probability statistics by 8-month old infants. Psychological Science, 9, 321-324.

  • Nativism, empiricism, and the development of knowledge.

Spelke, E.S., & Newport, E.L. (1998). Nativism, empiricism, and the development of knowledge. In R.M. Lerner (Ed.), Handbook of Child Psychology, Vol. 1: Theoretical Models of Human Development. 5th edition. (Editor-in-Chief: William Damon). New York: Wiley.

Saffran, J.R., Newport, E.L., Aslin, R.N., Tunick, R.A., & Barrueco, S. (1997). Incidental language learning: Listening (and learning) out of the corner of your ear. Psychological Science, 8, 101-105.

  • Argument structure in Nicaraguan Sign Language: The emergence of grammatical devices.

Senghas, A., Coppola, M., Newport, E.L., & Supalla, T. (1997). Argument structure in Nicaraguan Sign Language: The emergence of grammatical devices. In E. Hughes, M. Hughes, and A. Greenhill (Eds.), Proceedings of the 21st Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development: Vol. 2. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press.

Saffran, J.R., Aslin, R.N., & Newport, E.L. (1996). Statistical learning by 8-month old infants. Science, 274, 1926-1928.

Saffran, J.R., Newport, E.L., & Aslin, R.N. (1996). Word segmentation: The role of distributional cues. Journal of Memory and Language, 35, 606-621.

Gleitman, L.R., & Newport, E.L. (1995). The invention of language by children: Environmental and biological influences on the acquisition of language. In L.R. Gleitman and M. Liberman (Eds.), An Invitation to Cognitive Science, Vol. 1: Language. 2nd edition. Cambridge: MIT Press.

  • Modeling the effects of processing limitations on the acquisition of morphology: The less is more hypothesis.

Goldowsky, B.N., & Newport, E.L. (1993). Modeling the effects of processing limitations on the acquisition of morphology: The less is more hypothesis. In J. Mead (ed.), The Proceedings of the 11th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics. Stanford, CA: CSLI.

Newport, E.L. (1990). Maturational constraints on language learning. Cognitive Science, 14, 11-28.

Johnson, J.S., & Newport, E.L. (1989). Critical period effects in second language learning: The influence of maturational state on the acquisition of English as a second language. Cognitive Psychology, 21, 60-99.