Adele E. Goldberg (she/her)

Principal Investigator

Adele Goldberg is a linguist by training and a psychologist by choice. Her research focuses on the constructionist approach to language, which views language as a product of both form and meaning. Professor Goldberg studies the role of statistical and functional factors in an effort to explain our creative but constrained use of language in typical and atypical populations, and in child and adult learners.

Adele Goldberg has been a professor of psychology and linguistics at Princeton University since 2004. She has previously been a faculty member at the University of Illinois and at UC San Diego and has taught at the LSA Institutes at UIUC, UCSB, Stanford, Berkeley, and MIT/Harvard. She is the author of Constructions: A Construction Grammar Approach to Argument Structure (1995), Constructions at Work: The Nature of Generalization in Language (2006), and Explain Me This: Creativity, Competition, and the Partial Productivity of Constructions (2019).

Arielle Belluck (she/her)

Lab Manager

Arielle graduated from Wellesley College, where she received her B.A. in psychology and researched young children’s relationships, both real and imaginary. Arielle is interested in scientific and mathematical learning in early childhood and the roles that imagination and pretense play in social and cognitive development. When she’s not in lab, Arielle is usually playing board games with friends, looking for new coffee shops, or begging her cat, Fideo, for affection.

Nicole Cuneo (she/her)

Graduate Student

Nicole is a second-year PhD student working with Adele Goldberg and Casey Lew-Williams. Nicole is interested in all things language– how it is learned, how it is used, and how it can be modeled. Currently, Nicole is focusing on learning more about how people on the spectrum use language. Nicole received her B.A. in Cognitive Science at University of Michigan (go blue!). Since then, she has worked as a lab manager for the Gelman Conceptual Development Lab and the Language Learning and Multisensory Brain (LLAMB) Lab, working closely with Susan Gelman, Richard Aslin, and David Lewkowicz. Outside of the lab, Nicole can be found taking long walks with her fur baby (Theo), cooking, or binge watching a series in record time.

Crystal Lee

Graduate Student

Crystal is a fourth-year PhD student working with Adele Goldberg and Casey Lew-Williams. She is interested in how children use various (social, environmental) cues, such as speaker information or visual variability, to learn words. Crystal received her B.S. in Brain and Cognitive Sciences and B.A. in Linguistics at the University of Rochester, and has previously worked in the Language Development Department at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in the Netherlands, the Harvard Lab for Developmental Studies, and Johns Hopkins Laboratory for Child Development. Outside of the lab, she likes to paint and draw, watch stand-up, and bake desserts.

Robert Hawkins

Postdoctoral Researcher

Robert is interested in the cognitive mechanisms that allow people to flexibly communicate, collaborate, and coordinate on social conventions in groups. He works on these problems using interactive multi-player experiments and computational models of communication and social reasoning. Robert is thrilled to be starting as an assistant professor of Psychology at UW-Madison in Fall 2023. He is currently a C.V. Starr Fellow at the Princeton Neuroscience Institute. He defended his dissertation in the Department of Psychology at Stanford in 2019. Previously, Robert graduated from Indiana University in 2014 with degrees in Mathematics and Cognitive Science and spent the summers of 2012 and 2013 as an Edward A. Knapp Undergraduate Fellow at the Santa Fe Institute.

Shahar Shirtz

Visiting Researcher

Shahar Shirtz received his MA in linguistics from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, and his PhD in linguistics from the University of Oregon, Eugene. His interests include constructional models of grammar, linguistic typology, and the expression of discourse functions. His work concentrates primarily on Indo-Iranian languages and the languages of Western Oregon.

Casey Lew-Williams


Professor Casey Lew-Williams studies how babies learn, with a particular focus on language and communication. He is interested in how babies learn and generalize patterns, how toddlers efficiently process what their parents say, how home language experience shapes learning, and why some children learn more easily than others. He studies various populations — including children learning two languages and children growing up in poverty — to ask questions about the foundations and high-stakes consequences of early learning.

Savithry Namboodiripad


Savithry Namboodiripad is an Assistant Professor of Linguistics at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and the director of the Contact, Cognition, & Change Lab. Her research focuses on how language ideologies and use interact in multilingual contexts to shape patterns of language change, and she uses experimental methods to study contact and variation in flexible constituent order.

Catie Parker ’23 (she/her)

Thesis Student

Catie is from Atlanta, Georgia. She is a psychology major with intended certificates in Linguistics, Cognitive Science, and Translation and Intercultural Communication. She is interested in the interaction between language and emotion, especially when it comes to bi/multilingualism. Outside of the lab, Catie is an Associate Head Copy Editor for the Daily Princetonian, a Residential College Advisor for Butler, and a loyal patron of every ice cream establishment on Nassau Street.

Julia Nguyen ’24

Thesis Student

Jazmin Rivera ’25 (she/her)

Research Assistant

Jazmin is from Atlanta, Georgia. She is a prospective Psychology concentrator on the pre-med track seeking certificates in Global Health and Health Policy as well as Latin American Studies. Jazmin hopes to specialize in medical pediatric oncology post medical school. She is interested in understanding the psychology behind children’s optimism and how this can potentially improve their prognosis once they have been diagnosed with a disease. Outside of the lab, Jazmin is involved in the campus blood drive and her residential college council.

Momna Ahmed ’26 (she/her)

Research Assistant

Momna is from Jersey City, NJ. She is currently a freshman prospectively majoring in Psychology with a concentration in Linguistics at Princeton University. She is interested in studying the acquisition of speech in children with speech impediments and hopes to pursue a career in Speech-Language Pathology in the near future. In her free time, she enjoys baking, gardening, and watching movies.

Emmanuel Jamero ’24 (he/him)

Research Assistant

Emmanuel was born in the Philippines and grew up all over the Central Valley of California before settling in Madera. He is currently a Junior in Princeton University’s History department and is pursuing a certificate in Linguistics. He is interested in the study of child development and learning how factors such as neurotype, culture, and class affect development. In his free time, he enjoys playing video games and picking up as many different hobbies as humanly possible.

Sidney Eck ’24

Research Assistant

Julie Wilson ’23

Research Assistant

Jake Lim ’23

Research Assistant

Skylar Schiltz-Rouse

High School Intern

Lab Alumni

Previous Graduate Students, Postdocs, and Visiting Researchers

Larissa Santos Ciríaco; Professor, Federal University of Minas Gerais

Karina Tachihara

Sammy Floyd; Postdoc, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, MIT; Incoming Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Sarah Lawrence College

Libby Barak; Postdoc, Departments of Psychology and Computer Science, Rutgers University.

Giulia Bencini; Associate Professor of Linguistics, University Ca Foscari, Venezia, Italy.

Matt Johnson; Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs at Hult International Business School

Clarice Robenalt; Analytics Engineer at Zipline

Francesca Citron; Permanent Lecturer, Psychology Department, University of Lancaster, UK

Florent Perek; Associate Professor in Cognitive Linguistics (Senior Lecturer), University of Birmingham, UK

Devin Casenhiser; Associate Professor of Audiology and Speech Perception, University of Tennessee

Previous Undergraduate Students

Colin Vega ’22

Cheyenne Zhang ’22

Larissa Oliviera ’21

Grace Grady ’20

Serena Mon ’20

Rebecca Blevins ’19

Ana Patricia Esqueda ’19: Graduate student in developmental psychology at the University of Michigan

Sonia Ann Friscia ’19

Alexia Hernandez ’19: PhD student in linguistics at Stanford University

Noe Claire Kong-Johnson ’19: PhD student in linguistics at the University of Hawaii

Isaac Treves ’19: PhD student in Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT

Sarah Reid ’18

Charlotte Jeppsen ’18: Graduate student in psychology at the University of Iowa

Amy Cutchin Freyberger ’17

Matthew Barouch ’16

Danielle Ellis ’16

Jalisha Braxton ’16

Nick Tippenhauer ’16

David Abugaber ’14:

Lara Klainerman ’11

Jayden Ziegler ’11

Erica Wojcik ’09

Gabriel Doyle ’05