Loukia Taxitari

Loukia TaxitariLoukia Taxitari, psycholinguist
Istituto di Linguistica Computazionale - CNR
building B, entrance 21, 1st floor, room 17

I am a post-doctoral researcher at the Institute for Computational Linguistics in CNR, Pisa. I am a psycholinguist, specializing in first language acquisition, that is the way humans acquire language, especially at the early stages of this process. I focus on lexical development, how words acquire their reference and how infants use general knowledge about the world to help in this task, but also in the development of grammar, how children put words together and how they combine smaller pieces of language, morphemes, to form words and express different concepts.

I am also especially interested in how language acquisition proceeds in places with peculiar linguistic situations, such as Cyprus, my home country, where the regional dialect, Cypriot Greek, co-exists with the standard language, Modern Greek. During my post-doctoral research at the University of Cyprus, I adapted the MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventory (CDI) in Cypriot Greek and collected data from Cypriot toddlers. The data are freely available at the Wordbank website.

In Pisa I am involved in the ReadLet project, for which we are working on the development of a computational tool which aims to evaluate young children’s reading ability and provide detailed reading profiles to educators with each child’s strengths and weaknesses.

I have obtained my BA in Greek Philology at the University of Athens, with a specialization in Linguistics. I then went on to study at the University of Oxford, from where I obtained an M.Phil. in General Linguistics and a D.Phil. from the Oxford Babylab, Department of Experimental Psychology, under the supervision of Prof. Kim Plunkett. My doctoral thesis focused on how lexical development and perceptual categorization interact in the early stages of language development.

physiology of communication