Ailís Cournane = [e’liʃ kuɹ’nan]
Assistant Professor, Department of LinguisticsNew York University (NYU).
Affiliated Professor, Department of Psychology, NYU.

I am interested in how children learn what words and structures mean, and how this learning process relates to the way languages change over time. My experiments and corpus studies focus on linguistic modality (e.g., must, have to, should, maybe), an area of language that expresses uncertain or non-factual information.

I lead the Child Language Lab @ NYU.

I am co-PI, with Valentine Hacquard (UMD), of the NSF-funded project Acquiring the Language of Possibility that uses modals as a testing ground to explore the precise relationships between how languages differ from each other, how languages change over time, and how children learn language.

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