School of Communication Sciences and Disorders
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Research - Language Science

Bilingualism Research Laboratory

Directed by D. Kimbrough Oller, Ph.D., and co-directed by Linda Jarmulowicz, Ph.D., this laboratory conducts research on acquisition of language and literacy in bilingual children with specific focus on Spanish and English. The Spanish-speaking population is experiencing rapid growth in the Memphis area, resulting in many non-English speaking children entering school. The current line of research is funded by National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development and extends previous efforts by Oller. The focus is on the confluence of literacy and language skills that immigrant elementary school children must master. Phonological research is extensive within the laboratory, but vocabulary knowledge and a variety of other foundations for reading play a role in the research agenda. Both implicit phonological skills and explicit phonological awareness skills are measured and tracked in early elementary school. In addition, participating children are involved in a pre-literacy training program for 12 weeks during the school year. Dr. Buder also plays a significant role in the laboratory’s function.

Infant Vocalization Laboratory

Directed by D. Kimbrough Oller, Ph.D. and Eugene Buder, Ph.D., this laboratory is dedicated to research in infant vocal development and young child phonology. The laboratory continues a line of work that the primary director, Oller, has pursued for over 30 years under funding from the National Institutes of Deafness and other Communication Disorders (the current primary funding agency for the laboratory), the National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development, and the National Institutes of Mental Health, as well as a variety of private sources including, currently, the Plough Foundation. The laboratory is co-directed by Dr. Buder and is also utilized by Dr. Linda Jarmulowicz.  

Language Acquisition Laboratory

Directed by Linda D. Jarmulowicz, Ph.D., this laboratory explores typical and atypical language development in preschool and school-aged children. The laboratory is located in the Speech and Hearing Annex. Current areas of study include lexical and phonological development and the relationship between oral language and literacy. Of particular interest is the intersection of derivational morphology with lexical, phonological, prosodic, and literacy factors.  

Social Interaction Laboratory

The social interaction laboratory, directed by Eugene H. Buder, Ph.D, is a specialized facility designed to support this focus area by acquiring video, audio, and physiological data from two persons engaged in conversation. The facility can be used for a variety of purposes, and has supported research in conversational management by persons with aphasia and persons who stutter, as well as collaborations in the areas of social psychology and discourse analysis. Buder’s particular interest is in understanding how the dynamics of rhythmic and melodic aspects of speech behaviors support communicative coordination. 

Research Focus Areas

Audiology/Hearing Science
Speech Pathology/Speech Science
Language/Language Science

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Last Updated: 3/20/15