Prof. Ana T. Perez-Leroux
Professor of Spanish and Linguistics
Office Phone : 416-585-4439
Office Location: NF 320
Office Hours and/or Leave Status: Monday 4–5 p.m.
It was in Kindergarten when she first heard that people in China spoke Chinese. "Even the children?" She asked the teacher. That evening, she told her father that she was worried that those poor children have to think in Spanish but need to learn to speak Chinese to talk to their families. She has been working on the questions of language and thought, and of the effect of bilingualism in children, ever since. Her interest in these questions remain equally strong, so she spends most of her research time working on experiments language acquisition, often in collaboration with colleagues and students.
These studies aim to understand how children learn the distribution and interpretation of the smallest and the silent parts of the grammar of their language. Our experiments target children's interpretation and use of determiners, numbers, tense, mood and aspect, object critics and implicit arguments. More recently they have started to examine the role of the lexicon in the growth of syntactic complexity, and the emergence of recursion in children's language production.