Adele E. Goldberg (she/her)
Principal Investigator (CV)

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 function. Prof Goldberg studies 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 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 learning, curiosity, and motivation 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, looking for new coffee shops, or begging her cat, Fideo, for affection.

nicole cuneo (she/her)
graduate student

Nicole is a third-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. Nicole is focusing on how autistic individuals use language, and how the functions of constructions constrain their combination. Nicole received her B.A. in CogSci at U. of MI (go blue!).

Abby Fergus (she/her)
graduate student

Abby is a first-year PhD student working with Adele Goldberg and Casey Lew-Williams. Abby is interested in how children of all backgrounds and abilities learn their native languages. Abby received her B.S. in Psychology and her B.A. in Linguistics from William & Mary.  

Crystal lee
graduate student

Crystal is a fifth-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 U. Rochester.

robert hawkins

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 PSY at U of Wisc, F ’23, after being a C.V. Starr Fellow at the Princeton Neuroscience Institute.

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.

Julia Nguyen ’24
thesis student

Delaney is from Gloucester Township, NJ. She is majoring in Linguistics with certificates in French Language and Culture and Persian Language and Culture. 

Sarah Gemmell ’24 (she/her)
Thesis Student

Sarah is from Millstone, New Jersey. She is majoring in Psychology with certificates in Cognitive Science and Teacher Preparation.

Momna Ahmed ’26 (she/her)
research assistant

Momna is from Jersey City, NJ. She is a prospective Psychology major with a concentration in Linguistics. 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.

Klea Tryfoni ’25
Thesis Student
Emily Perez ’25
Thesis Student
Hailey Lambert ’25
Thesis Student
Adelaide Asante ’25
Thesis Student
David Heath ’25
Thesis Student

Lab Alumni

Previous Graduate Students, Postdocs, and Visiting Researchers

Shahar Shirtz, Assistant Professor, Arizona State University

Larissa Santos Ciríaco, Professor, Federal University of Minas Gerais

Karina Tachihara, Postdoc with Fernanda Ferreira at UC Davis

Sammy Floyd, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Sarah Lawrence College (previously postdoc

with Ev Fedorenko at Brain and Cognitive Sciences, MIT)

Libby Barak, Assistant Professor at Montclair State 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, Assoc. Prof. of Cognitive Linguistics (Senior Lecturer), University of Birmingham, UK

Devin Casenhiser, Assoc. Prof. of Audiology & Speech Perception, University of Tennessee

Previous Undergraduates

Grace Grady ’20, Masters student at Rutgers University – Camden

Serena Mon ’20, PhD student, Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders, Northwestern University

Ana Patricia Esqueda ’19, PhD student, developmental psychology, University of Michigan

Alexia Hernandez ’19, PhD student, linguistics, Stanford University

Noe Claire Kong-Johnson ’19, grad student in linguistics at the University of Hawaii

Isaac Treves ’19, PhD student, Brain and Cognitive Sciences, MIT

Sarah Reid ’18, Natural Language Processing Engineer,

Charlotte Jeppsen ’18, PhD student, psychology, University of Iowa

Jalisha Braxton ’16, Postdoc, Barnard College

Nick Tippenhauer ’16, PhD, psychology and human development, Vanderbilt University

David Abugaber ’14, Postdoc, neurolinguistics, University of Michigan

Jayden Ziegler ’11, PhD, psychology, Harvard University

Erica Wojcik ’09, Assoc. Prof., psychology, Skidmore College; executive director of the Cognitive Science


Lara Klainerman Hochstein ’08, PhD, linguistics, UCSD

Gabriel Doyle ’05, Assoc. Prof., linguistics, SDSU