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Elissa L. Newport

Arts, Sciences, and Engineering

Department of Brain And Cognitive Sciences

Areas of expertise: Acquisition of language

Press contact:
Monique Patenaude
(585) 276-3693

Related Links:
Elissa Newport Homepage

In the News

Sign Language Study Shows Multiple Brain Regions Wired for Language
April 30, 2010

ABC News
Why Do We Lose Learning Ability?
March 22, 2010

Los Angeles Daily News
After spacewalk, scientists imagine more
July 18, 2009

Science Daily
On The 40th Anniversary Of The First Manned Moon Landing Today's Scientists Point To New Frontiers
July 15, 2009

More In the News >>

News Releases

'Perfect Pitch' in Humans Far More Prevalent than Expected
August 25, 2008

Investiture Ceremony Celebrates New Dean of the College Faculty
October 23, 2006

Scientists Find Ability for Grammar Hardwired into Humans
February 03, 2006

Dean of Faculty Search Committee Appointed; Newport Named Chair
May 26, 2005

Elissa Newport’s primary research interest is in the acquisition of language, and in the relationship between language acquisition and language structure. She focuses on the language acquisition process, investigating how learners go from linguistic input to knowledge of the grammar of a language. Newport looks at the maturational effects on language learning, comparing children to adults as first and second language learners, and asking why children, who are more limited in most cognitive domains, perform better than adults in language acquisition. These studies involve the acquisition of signed and spoken languages at varying ages.