Marilyn Vihman phonological development york baby lab

Staff profile
Phone: (0)1904 323612

Marilyn Vihman

Professor of Linguistics
Marilyn Vihman is a developmental linguist with a primary interest in phonological development. She is best known for her book, Phonological Development: The origins of language in the child, published in 1996. This provides surveys of research on both infant speech perception and early vocal and phonological development. A revised edition, with several new chapters and the new subtitle The first two years, will be published in 2014.

Since coming to the UK in 1996 Marilyn has carried out funded research studies that include observational recordings of children learning British English and Welsh, acoustic analyses of English, Finnish, French, Japanese and Welsh babbling and early words, and experiments using the perceptual Head Turn paradigm. Her current research is primarily focused on the formation and later fading of phonological templates in the first years of life. Marilyn is also known for her work on bilingual language development.

Tamar Keren-Portnoy phonological development york baby lab

Staff profile
Phone: (0)1904 323614

Tamar Keren-Portnoy

Tamar Keren-Portnoy is a developmental psychologist, specialising in the study of first language acquisition. Her main interests are in child phonology and very early syntax. What interests her most is understanding how what a child already knows and is able to do directs their further learning and development. She therefore focuses on investigating mutual effects of production and perception and the way linguistic knowledge develops out of the motoric act of speaking.

Tamar uses naturalistic observation data as well as experimental methods with both infants and toddlers (and a little with adults too).

Mariam Dar phonological development york baby lab

Phone: (0)1904 323619

Mariam Dar

Research Assistant and Laboratory Manager
Mariam is working as Research Assistant and Laboratory Manager on the Effects of Input study and is also a research student, after gaining an MA in Psycholinguistics from our Department (2012). She runs head turn and habituation experiments with infants from 6 to 15 months of age.

Mariam’s doctoral study is testing the hypothesis that infants’ early speech perception abilities can predict later language performance: She is studying infants from English-speaking homes on an Urdu sound contrast that is difficult for English adults and also Urdu-learning infants on English /v/ vs. /w/, which are difficult for Urdu-speaking adults to discriminate.

Marta Szreder phonological development york baby lab


Marta Szreder

Research Assistant
Marta is working as Research Assistant on the Perception Production study. She runs head turn experiments and records infants in the home, to investigate the effects of babies’ own babble on their perception of speech. She also carries out phonetic transcription and linguistic analysis of data. She has previously worked as a Research Assistant on a project investigating the acquisition of passive voice in Polish at the University of Warsaw, Poland, where she obtained her MA in linguistics.

After coming to York in 2009, Marta became interested in cross-disciplinary approaches to language acquisition. Marta received her PhD, Child phonological as a dynamic system, in 2013. In addition, she has carried out case studies of the linguistic development of her own children, investigating their acquisition of syntax and phonology (see, for example, ‘The acquisition of consonant clusters in Polish’, in Vihman & Keren-Portnoy, 2013).