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Department of Linguistics

Distinguished Professor Katherine Demuth

Distinguished Professor Katherine Demuth is an Australian Laureate Fellow and CORE Professor in Linguistics and the Centre for Language Sciences (CLaS) at Macquarie University, where she is Director of the Child Language Lab and a Chief Investigator at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Cognition and its Disorders (CCD).

Katherine's research focuses on Language Acquisition, including studies of speech and language perception and production. She is especially interested in the development of phonological and morphological representations, speech planning, and the development of language processing abilities in both typically developing, language-impaired children and hearing-impaired children, as well as bilinguals and L2 learners. Much of her work is cross-linguistic, using acoustic analysis and a wide variety of behavioural and neural techniques to better understand the mechanisms underlying the process of language acquisition. Part of this research program also involves a better understanding of the nature of the input (child-directed speech) that language learners hear.

Distinguished Prof. Demuth is currently recruiting Ph.D. students with a strong quantitative and experimental phonetics background. Much of her current research focuses on better understanding the acoustic and articulatory underpinnings of early speech, and the implications this has for phonological and morphological development, as well as for a developmental model of language planning and production.

Research Interests

The nature of developing phonological, morphological and syntactic representations, and how this develops in typical, SLI, hearing impaired, bilingual and L2 populations.

Current Grants

  • 2015-2019 - NHMRC APP1088931. Predicting language skills from early auditory speech discrimination in infants with hearing loss: implications for early management and intervention (Ching, Rance, Demuth, Van Dun, Dillon, Sharma). $678,192.
  • 2014-2017 - ARC LP140100468. Learning to Talk, Talking to Learn: Effects of an early childhood language program in remote Northern Territory indigenous communities (Jones, Escudero, Mattock, Sharma, Demuth, McMahon, Sunrise Health Service Aboriginal Corporation, The Smith Family). $183,000.
  • 2013-2018 - ARC FL130100014. ARC Laureate Fellowship: Neural and behavioural evidence for children's learning of grammatical morphology. (Katherine Demuth). $2,865,815.
  • 2011-2017 - ARC CE110001021. ARC Centre of Excellence: Cognition and its Disorders (CCD). (Stephen Crain, et al.) $21,000,000.

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  • NHMRC [APP1088931] (2015-2019) "Predicting language skills from early auditory speech discrimination in infants with hearing loss: implications for early management and intervention." Ching, Rance, Demuth, Van Dun, Dillon, Sharma. ($678,192)
  • ARC Laureate Fellowship [FL130100014] (2013 - 2018) "Neural and behavioural evidence for children's learning of grammatical morphology." Demuth, K. ($2,865,815)
  • ARC Centre of Excellence [CE110001021] (2011 - 2017) "ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders." Crain, S., Rhodes, G., Hodges, J., Coltheart, M., Castles, A., Barnier, A., Brock, J., Byrne, B., Demuth, K., Green, M., Langdon, R., Johnson, B., McArthur, G., Miller, L., Nickels, L., Piguet, O., Savage, G., Thompson, W., Thornton, R. et al. ($21,000,000)
  • ARC Linkage Grant [LP140100468] (2014-2017) "Learning to Talk, Talking to Learn: Effects of an early childhood language program in remote Northern Territory indigenous communities." Jones, Escudero, Mattock, Sharma, Demuth, McMahon, Sunrise Health Service Aboriginal Corporation, The Smith Family. ($183,000)
  • Macquarie University Strategic Infrastructure Scheme Grant (2015) "Phonetics laboratory research facilities." Proctor, M., Cox, F., Demuth, K., Cupples, L., Harrison, E., Sharma, M., Mannell, R., Yuen, I., Xu, N., Schmidt, E., Kung, C., Nickels, L., Johnson, B., Palethorpe, S., Biedermann, B., Sowman, P., Kinoshita, S., & Tsukada, K. ($88,650)
  • Macquarie University Strategic Infrastructure Scheme Grant (2014) "Articulograph for speech research." Proctor, M., Biedermann, B., Cox, F., Cupples, L., Demuth, K., Harrison, E., Johnson, B., Kinoshita, S., Lin, S., Mannell, R., Nickels, L., Palethorpe, S., Sharma, M., Sowman, P., Thompson, B., Tsukada, K., Yuen, I., & Xu, N. ($75,915)
  • Macquarie University Faculty of Human Sciences Equipment Grant (2014) "Speech studio equipment." Cox, F., Proctor, M., Demuth, K., Crain, S., Xu, N., Slatyer, H., Kruger, J.-L., Mannell, R., Yuen, I., Palethorpe, S., McMahon, C., Barnes, S., Thornton, R., Cupples, L., & Sharma M. ($9,980)
  • ARC Discovery Project Grant [DP110102506] (2011 - 2013) "Computational models of synergies in human language acquisition." Johnson, M., Demuth, K., & Frank, M. ($368,000)
  • National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) [R01HD057606] (2008 - 2013) "Constraints on phonological and morphological development." Demuth, K., & Shattuck-Hufnagel, S. ($1,595,024)
  • Macquarie University Research Infrastructure Block Grants [9201301063]. (2013) "Tobii eye-tracker and sound level meter for testing infants and young children." Demuth, K., Xu Rattanasone, N., Cox, F., Proctor, M., McMahon, C., & Sharma, M. ($77,661)
  • Macquarie University Research Infrastructure Block (2012 - 2013) "Tobii eye-tracker for testing infants and young children." Demuth, K., Grant, K.-A., McMahon, C., Crain, S., Thornton, R., Sharma, M., Cox, F., Tsukada, K., Zhou, P., & Moscati, V. ($49,150)
  • Macquarie University Research Infrastructure Block Grant (2012 - 2013) "Processing of sounds, words and sentences: An ERP study." Sharma, M., Demuth, K., Kinoshita, S., Cox, F., Peter, V., & Johnson, B. ($43,062)
  • Macquarie University Strategic Infrastructure Scheme Grant (2013) "Magnetic resonance-compatible integrated audio-visual stimulus delivery system." Seymour, K., Woolgar, A., Rich, A.N., Williams, M.A., McMahon, C., Demuth, K., Magnussen, J., Carlson, T., Curby, K., & Zopf, R. ($40,621)
  • Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Research Grant [2011000049] (2012 - 2013) "Understanding the sounds of Kaytetye and how to teach them." Turpin, M., Ross, A., Demuth, K., & Harvey, M. ($24,495)
  • Macquarie University Faculty of Human Sciences Equipment Grant Scheme (2013) "Australian English-speaking child language acquisition database". Cox, F., Palethorpe, S., Demuth, K., & McMahon, C. ($9,267)
  • Macquarie University Research Infrastructure Block Grant Scheme (2012) "Upgrade of child magnetoencephalography (MEG) system." Johnson, B.W., Crain, S., Thornton, R., Demuth, K., Brock, J., Sowman, P., Zhou, P., & Johnson, M. ($100,000)
  • The Centre for Language Sciences (CLaS) Seed Grant (2012) "Investigating young children's sentence processing abilities using EEG." Demuth, K., McMahon, C., Sharma, M., Johnson, B., Peter, V., & Miles, K. ($10,000)
  • Macquarie University Faculty of Human Sciences Seeding Fund (2012) "Exploring children's sensitivity to discourse/prosodic information." Demuth, K., Sharma, M., & Xu Rattanasone, N. ($10,000)

Publications

Recent publications

Holt, C.M., Yuen, I. & Demuth, K. In press. Discourse strategies and the production of prosody by prelingually deaf adolescent cochlear implant users. Ear & Hearing. (accepted 28 June, 2016).

DaviesB., Xu Rattanasone, N., & Demuth, K. (in press). Two-Year-Olds' Sensitivity to Inflectional Plural Morphology: Allomorphic Effects. Language, Learning and Development.

Demuth, K. & Tomas, E. (2016). Understanding the contributions of prosodic phonology to morphological development: Implications for children with SLI, 36, 265-278. First Language. doi: 10.1177/0142723715626066

Ren, Y., Wyver, S., Xu Rattanasone, N., & Demuth, K. (2016). Social competence and language skills in Mandarin-English bilingual preschoolers: The moderation effect of emotion regulation. Early Education and Development, 27, 303-317. doi: 10.1080/10409289.2015.1066639. 

Ren, Y., Xu Rattanasone, N., Wyver, S., Hinton, A., & Demuth, K. (2016). Interpretations of errors made by Mandarin-speaking children on the Preschool Language Scales - 5th Edition Screening Test. Australian Journal of Educational and Developmental Psychology, 15, 24-34.

Naigles, L., Cheng, M., Rattanasone Xu, N., Tek, S., Khetrapal, N., Fein, D., & Demuth, K. (2016). "You're telling me!" Prevalence and predictors of pronoun reversals in children with ASD and typical development. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 27, 11-20.

Miles, K., Yuen, I., Cox, F., & Demuth, K. (2016).  The prosodic licensing of coda consonants in early speech: interactions with vowel length. Journal of Child Language, 43(2), 265-283.

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Research in Language Acquisition

View publications

Miles, K., Yuen, I., Cox, F., & Demuth, K. (2016).  The prosodic licensing of coda consonants in early speech: interactions with vowel length. Journal of Child Language, 43(2), 265-283.

Naigles, L., Cheng, M., Rattanasone Xu, N., Tek, S., Khetrapal, N., Fein, D., & Demuth, K. (2016). "You're telling me!" Prevalence and predictors of pronoun reversals in children with ASD and typical development. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 27, 11-20.

Ching, T.Y.C., Rattanasone Xu, N., Macdonald, G., Zhang, W.V., Button, L., & Demuth, K. (2015). Intelligibility of speech produced by children with hearing loss: conventional amplification versus nonlinear frequency compression in hearing aids. Journal of Communication Disorders, Deaf Studies & Hearing Aids, 3(3), 1000135.

Demuth, K. (2015). The acquisition of prosodic phonology and morphology. In E. Bavin & L. Naigles (Eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Child Language, pp.230-249. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Demuth, K., Dube, S., Miles, K. & Tomas, E. (2015). Morphology. In S. McLeod & J. McCormack (Eds.), Introduction to Speech, Language and Literacy, pp.231-265. South Melbourne, VIC: Oxford University Press.

Holt, C.M., Demuth, K., & Yuen, I. (2015). The use of prosodic cues in sentence processing by prelingually deaf users of cochlear implants. Ear & Hearing. doi: 10.1097/AUD.0000000000000253.

Hussain, Q., Harvey, M., Proctor, M., & Demuth, K. (2015). Contrast reduction among coronals is conditioned by the following vowel. In The Scottish Consortium for ICPhS 2015 (Eds.), Proceedings of the 18th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, Glasgow, UK: University of Glasgow. 

Lin, S., & Demuth, K. (2015). Children's acquisition of English onset and coda /l/: Articulatory evidence. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 58, 13-27.

Mealings, K. T., Dillon, H., Buchholz, J. M., & Demuth, K. (2015). An assessment of open plan and enclosed classroom listening environments for young children: Part 1 - Children's questionnaires. Journal of Educational, Pediatric & (Re)Habilitative Audiology.

Mealings, K. T., Demuth, K., Buchholz, J. M., & Dillon, H. (2015). An assessment of open plan and enclosed classroom listening environments for young children: Part 2 - Teachers' questionnaires. Journal of Educational, Pediatric & (Re)Habilitative Audiology.

Mealings, K. T., Demuth, K., Buchholz, J., & Dillon, H. (2015). An assessment of different sized open plan and enclosed Kindergarten classroom listening environments. In Kessissoglou, N., and Doolan, C. (Eds.) Proceedings of Acoustics 2015 Hunter Valley: Annual Conference of the Australian Acoustical Society, paper 95. The Australian Acoustical Society: Australia.

Mealings, K. T., Buchholz, J., Demuth, K., & Dillon, H. (2015). An investigation into the acoustics of different sized open plan and enclosed Kindergarten classrooms [Abstract]. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 137(4), 2392-2392.

Mealings, K. T., Demuth, K., Buchholz, J., & Dillon, H. (2015). An investigation into how the acoustics of different sized open plan classrooms affects speech perception in Kindergarten children. [Abstract] The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 137, 2433-2433.

Mealings, K. T., Buchholz, J. M., Demuth, K., & Dillon, H. (2015). Investigating the acoustics of a sample of open plan and enclosed Kindergarten classrooms in Australia. Applied Acoustics, 100, 95-105.

Mealings, K.T., Demuth, K., Buchholz, J.M., & Dillon, H. (2015). The development of the Mealings, Demuth, Dillon, and Buchholz Classroom Speech Perception Test (MDDB CSPT). Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 58, 1350-1362.

Mealings, K.T., Demuth, K., Buchholz, J.M., & Dillon, H. (2015). The effect of different open plan and enclosed classroom acoustic conditions on speech perception in Kindergarten children. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 138(4), 2458-2469

Ren, Y., Wyver, S., Xu Rattanasone, N., & Demuth, K. (2015). Social competence and language skills in Mandarin-English bilingual preschoolers: Moderation effect of emotion regulation. Early Education and Development. doi:10.1080/10409289.2015.1066639

Schmidt, E., Post, B., Kung, C., Yuen, I., & Demuth, K. (2015). The effect of listener and speaker gender on the perception of rises in AusE. In J. Stuart-Smith, J. Scobbie, A. Turk (Eds.) Proceedings of the 18th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, Glasgow.

Song, J.Y., Shattuck-Hufnagel, S. & Demuth, K. (2015). Development of phonetic variants (allophones) in 2-year-olds learning American English: A study of alveolar stop /t, d/ codas. Journal of Phonetics, 52, 152-169.

Theodore, R., Demuth, K., & Shattuck-Hufnagel, S. (2015). Examination of the locus of positional effects on children's production of plural -s: Considerations from local and global speech planning. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 58, 946-953.

Tomas, E., Demuth, K., Smith-Lock, K., & Petocz, P. (2015). Phonological and morphophonological effects on grammatical development in children with Specific Language Impairment. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, 50(4), 516-528.

Yuen, I., Cox, F., Demuth, K. (2015). Anticipatory planning of r-insertion in Australian English.  In J. Stuart-Smith, J. Scobbie, A. Turk (Eds.) Proceedings of the 18th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, Glasgow.

Yuen, I., Miles, K., & Demuth, K. (2015). The syllabic status of final consonants in early speech: A case study. Journal of Child Language, 42, 682-694.

Demuth, K. (2014). Prosodic Licensing and the development of phonological and morphological representations. In A. Farris-Trimble & J. Barlow (Eds.), Perspectives on Phonological Theory and Acquisition: Papers in Honor of Daniel A. Dinnsen (pp. 11-24).  John Benjamins: Language Acquisition and Language Disorders Series, 56.

Johnson, M., Christophe, A., Dupoux, E., & Demuth, K. (2014). Modeling function words improves unsupervised word segmentation. In K. Toutanova & H. Wu (Eds.),Proceedings of the 52nd Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Vol 1: Long Papers, (pp. 282-292). Stroudsburg: The Association for Computational Linguistics.

Kline, M., & Demuth, K. (2014). Syntactic generalization with novel intransitive verbs. Journal of Child Language, 41, 543-574.

Mealings, K., & Demuth, K. (2014). Cluster reduction and compensatory lengthening in the acquisition of possessive -s. Journal of Child Language, 41, 690-704.

Mealings, K., & Demuth, K. (2014). The role of utterance length and position in three-year-olds' production of third person singular -s. Journal of Speech Language and Hearing Research, 57, 484-494.

Mealings, K.T., Demuth, K., Buchholz, J., & Dillon, H. (2014). Investigating the effect of intrusive noise levels on speech perception in an open-plan Kindergarten classroom. In J. Hay and E. Parnell (Eds.), Proceedings of the 15th Speech Science and Technology Conference (SST) (pp. 228-231).  ASSTA: New Zealand.

Mealings, K.T., Buchholz, J., Demuth, K., & Dillon, H. (2014). An investigation into the acoustics of an open plan compared to enclosed Kindergarten classroom. In J. Davy, C. Don, T. McMinn, L. Dowsett, N. Broner & M. Burgess (Eds.), Proceedings of the 43rd International Congress on Noise Control Engineering (INTERNOISE). Toowong: The Australian Acoustical Society.

Turpin, M., Demuth, K., & Campbell, A.N. (2014). Phonological aspects of Arandic Baby Talk. In R. Pensalfini, M. Turpin, & D. Guillemin (Eds.), Language Description Informed by Theory (pp. 49-79). John Benjamins: Amsterdam.

Xu Rattanasone, N., & Demuth, K. (2014). The acquisition of coda consonants by Mandarin early child L2 learners of English. Bilingualism: Language & Cognition, 17, 646-659.

Xu, N., & Demuth, K. (2014). The acquisition of linguistic tonal systems. In P. Brooks & V. Kempe (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Language Development, pp.352-353. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications.

Yuen, I., Cox, F., & Demuth, K. (2014). Three-year-olds' production of Australian English phonemic vowel length as a function of prosodic context. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 135, 1469-1479.

Yuen, I., Miles, K., Cox, F., & Demuth, K. (2014). The syllabic status of final consonants in early speech: a case study. Journal of Child Language, 1-13.

Yuen, I., Xu Rattanasone, N., Macdonald, G., Holt, R., and Demuth, K. (2014). Temporal planning in the production of Australian English compounds. In J. Hay & E. Parnell (Eds.), Proceedings of the 15th Australasian International Conference on Speech Science and Technology, (pp. 142-145). Sydney: ASSTA.

Börschinger, B., Johnson, M., & Demuth, K. (2013). A joint model of word segmentation and phonological variation for English word-final /t/-deletion. In Proceedings of the 51st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Vol 1: Long Papers (pp. 1508-1516). Sofia, Bulgaria.

Mealings, K., Cox, F., & Demuth, K. (2013). Acoustic investigations into the delayed acquisition of the syllabic -es plural in 2-year-olds' speech. Journal of Speech Language and Hearing Research, 56, 1260-1271.

Song, J.Y., Demuth, K., Shattuck-Hufnagel, S., & Ménard, L. (2013).  The effects of coarticulation and morphological complexity on the production of English coda clusters: Acoustic and articulatory evidence from 2-year-olds and adults using ultrasound. Journal of Phonetics, 41, 281-295.

Song, J.Y., Demuth, K., Evans, K., & Shattuck-Hufnagel, S., (2013). Durational cues to fricative codas in 2-year-olds' American English: Voicing and morphemic factorsThe Journal of the Acoustical Society of America133, 2931.

Lin, S., & Demuth, K. (2013). The gradual acquisition of English /l/. In S. Baiz, E. Goldman & R. Hawkes (Eds.), Proceedings of the 37th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (pp. 206-218). Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press.

Börschinger, B., Demuth, K., Johnson, M. (2012). Studying the effect of input size for Bayesian word segmentation on the Providence Corpus. In M. Kay & C. Boitet (Eds.), Proceedings of the 24th International Conference on Computational Linguistics (pp. 325-340). Mumbai: COLING 2012 Organizing Committee.

Cox, F., Demuth, K., Lin, S., Miles, K., Palethorpe, S., Shaw, J., & Yuen, I. (Eds.) (2012). Proceedings of the 14th Australasian International Conference on Speech Science and Technology, Sydney, Australia, 3-6 December 2012.  Sydney, Australia: Causal Publications.

Miles, K., Demuth, K., & Ching, T. (2012). Acoustic analysis of the speech of a child with hearing aids. In Cox, F., Demuth, K., Lin, S., Miles, K., Palethorpe, S., Shaw, J., and Yuen, I. (Eds.), Proceedings of the 14th Speech Science and Technology Conference (SST) (pp. 97-100).  Sydney, Australia: Causal Productions.

Mealings, K.T., & Demuth, K. (2012). Two-year-olds' acquisition of the possessive morpheme: An acoustic analysis. In Cox, F., Demuth, K., Lin, S., Miles, K., Palethorpe, S., Shaw, J., and Yuen, I. (Eds.), Proceedings of the 14th Speech Science and Technology Conference (SST) (pp. 13-16). Sydney, Australia: Causal Productions.

Tomas, E., Demuth, K., & Smith-Lock, K. (2012). Errors of omission and commission in verbal and nominal inflectional morphemes by children with SLI: Phonological effects and acoustic analysis. In Cox, F., Demuth, K., Lin, S., Miles, K., Palethorpe, S., Shaw, J., and Yuen, I. (Eds.), Proceedings of the 14th Speech Science and Technology Conference (SST) (pp. 101-104). Sydney, Australia: Causal Productions.

Xu, N., & Demuth, K. (2012). Acoustic analysis of English codas by Mandarin learners of English. In Cox, F., Demuth, K., Lin, S., Miles, K., Palethorpe, S., Shaw, J., and Yuen, I. (Eds.), Proceedings of the 14th Speech Science and Technology Conference (SST) (pp. 41-44). Sydney, Australia: Causal Productions.

Yuen, I., Cox, F., & Demuth, K. (2012). Interaction of vowel length, utterance-position and accent in 3-year olds' Australian English. In Cox, F., Demuth, K., Lin, S., Miles, K., Palethorpe, S., Shaw, J., and Yuen, I. (Eds.), Proceedings of the 14th Speech Science and Technology Conference (SST) (pp. 17-20). Sydney, Australia: Causal Productions.

Johnson, M., Demuth, K., Frank, M. (2012). Exploiting social information in grounded language learning via grammatical reductions. Proceedings of the 50th annual general meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL), Vol 1: Long papers (pp. 883-891). South Korea.

Theodore, R., Demuth, K., & Shattuck-Hufnagel, S. (2012). Segmental and positional effects on children's coda production: Comparing evidence from perceptual judgments and acoustic analysis. Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics. 26 (9), 755-773.

Demuth, K., Patrolia, M., Song, J.Y., & Masapollo, M. (2012). The development of articles in children's early Spanish: Prosodic interactions between lexical and grammatical form. In J. Rothman & Pedro Guijarro-Fuentes (Eds.), Linguistic interfaces and language acquisition in childhood. First Language, 32(1-2), 17-37.

Demuth, K., & Weschler, S. (2012). The acquisition of Sesotho nominal agreement. Morphology, 21, 67-88.

Song, J.Y., Demuth, K., & Shattuck-Hufnagel, S. (2012). The development of acoustic cues to coda contrasts in young children learning American English. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 131(4), 3036-3050.

Evans, K., & Demuth, K. (2012). Individual differences in pronoun reversal: Evidence from two longitudinal case studies. Journal of Child Language, 39, 162-191.

Demuth, K., & Song, J.Y. (2012). How phonological representations develop during first language acquisition. In A.C. Cohn, C. Fougeron, & M. Huffman (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Laboratory Phonology (pp. 397-406). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Demuth, K. (2011). The acquisition of phonology. In J. Goldsmith, Jason Riggle, & Alan Yu (eds.) The Handbook of Phonological Theory pp. 571-595. In J. Goldsmith, J. Riddle, & A. Yu (Eds.), The Handbook of Phonological Theory (pp. 571-595). Malden, MA: Blackwell.

Yuen, I., Demuth, K., Johnson, M. (2011). Prosodic Structure in Child Speech Planning and Production. ICPhS XVII (pp. 2248-2251). Hong Kong.

Theodore, R., Demuth, K., & Shattuck-Hufnagel, S. (2011). Acoustic evidence for position and complexity effects on childrens production of plural s. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 54(2), 539-548.

Shattuck-Hufnagel, S., Demuth, K., Hanson, H., & Stevens, K.N. (2011). Acoustic cues to stop-coda voicing contrasts in the speech of American English 2-3-year-olds. In G.N. Clements & R. Ridouane (Eds.), Where do features come from? The nature and sources of phonological primitives. Elsevier: North-Holland Linguistic Series.

Demuth, K. (2011). Interactions between lexical and phonological development: cross-linguistic and contextual considerations - a commentary on Stoel-Gammon's 'Relationships between lexical and phonological development in young children'. Journal of Child Language, 38, 69-74.

Sundara, M., Demuth, K., & Kuhl, P. (2011). Sentence-position effects on children's perception and production of English 3rd person singular -s. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 54, 55-71. [Link]

Johnson, M., Demuth, K., Frank, M., & Jones, B. (2010). Synergies in learning words and their referents. In J. Lafferty, C. K. I. Williams, J. Shawe-Taylor, R.S. Zemel, & A. Culotta (Eds.), Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems, 23, 1018-1026.

Theodore, R., Demuth, K., & Shattuck-Hufnagel, S. (2010). An acoustic examination of the effects of word frequency and utterance position on 2-year-olds' production of 3rd person singular-s. In Proceedings from Speech Science and Technology (SST) 2010 (pp. 158-161). Melbourne: Australia.

Johnson, M., & Demuth, K. (2010). Unsupervised phonemic Chinese word segmentation using Adaptor Grammars. In Proceedings of the 23rd International Conference on Computational Linguistics (COLING 2010) (pp. 528-536).

Demuth, K., Moloi, F., & Machobane, M. (2010). Three-year-olds comprehension, production, and generalization of Sesotho passives. Cognition, 115 (2), 238-251.

Song, J.Y., Demuth, K., & Morgan, J.L. (2010). Effects of the acoustic properties of infant-directed speech on infant word recognition. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 128, 352-363.

Kline, M., & Demuth, K. (2010). Factors facilitating implicit learning: The case of the Sesotho passive. Language Acquisition, 17, 220-234.

Demuth, K. (2009). The prosody of syllables, words and morphemes. In E. Bavin (Ed.), Cambridge Handbook on Child Language (pp. 183-198). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Demuth, K., & Ellis, D. (2009). Revisiting the acquisition of Sesotho noun class prefixes. In J. Guo, E. Lieven, S. Ervin-Tripp, N. Budwig, Seydazçalikan, K. Nakamura (Eds.), Crosslinguistic approaches to the psychology of language: Festschrift for Dan Slobin (pp. 131-148). Lawrence Erlbaum.

Demuth, K., Machobane, M., & Moloi, F. (2009). Learning to license null noun class prefixes in Sesotho. Language, 85, 863-882.

Demuth, K., & McCullough, E. (2009). The acquisition of clusters in French.  Journal of Child Language, 36, 425-448.

Demuth, K., & McCullough, E. (2009). The prosodic (re)organization of childrens early English articles. Journal of Child Language, 36, 173-200.

Song, J.Y., Sundara, M., & Demuth, K. (2009). Phonological constraints on childrens production of English 3rd person singular s. Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research, 52(3), 623-642.

Demuth, K. (2008). Review of Deen, Kamil Ud. 2005. The acquisition of Swahili. Journal of African Languages and Linguistics, 29, 100-102.

Demuth, K. (2008). Exploiting corpora for language acquisition research. In H. Behrens (Ed.), Corpora in Language Acquisition Research: Finding Structure in Data. Trends in Language Acquisition Research (TILAR) Series #6 (pp. 199-205), John Benjamins.

Demuth, K., & Tremblay, A. (2008). Prosodically-conditioned variability in children's production of French determiners. Journal of Child Language, 35, 99-127.

Kehoe, M., Hilaire-Debove, G., Demuth, K., & Lleó, C. (2008). The structure of branching onsets and rising diphthongs: Evidence from the acquisition of French and Spanish. Language Acquisition, 15, 5-57.

Kirk, C. 2008. Substitution Errors in the Production of Word-Initial and Word-Final Consonant Clusters. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 51, 35-48.

Song, J.Y., & Demuth, K. (2008). Compensatory vowel lengthening for omitted coda consonants: A phonetic investigation of childrens early representations of prosodic words. Language & Speech, 51, 382-399.

Conwell, E., & Demuth, K. (2007). Early syntactic productivity: evidence from dative shift. Cognition, 103, 163-179.

Demuth, K. (2007). Acquisition at the prosody-morphology interface. In A. Belikova, L. Meroni, & M. Umeda (Eds.), Proceedings of the 2nd Conference on Generative Approaches to Language Acquisition North America (GALANA) (pp. 84-91). Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Proceedings Project.

Demuth, K. (2007). The role of frequency in language acquisition. In I. Gülzow & N. Gagarina (Eds.), Frequency effects in language acquisition. Studies on Language Acquisition (SOLA) series (pp. 383-388). Berlin: Mouton De Gruyter.

Demuth, K. (2007). Sesotho speech acquisition. In S. McLeod (Ed.), The international guide to speech acquisition (pp 526-538). Clifton Park, NY: Thomson Delmar Learning.

Demuth, K., McCullough, E., & Adamo, M. (2007). The prosodic (re)organization of determiners. In H. Caunt-Nulton, S. Kulatilake, & I. Woo (Eds.), Proceedings of the 31st Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (pp.196-205). Somerville, MA:  Cascadilla Press.

Tremblay, A., & Demuth, K. (2007). Prosodic licensing of determiners in childrens early French. In A. Belikova, L. Meroni & M. Umeda (Eds.), Proceedings of the 2nd Conference on Generative Approaches to Language Acquisition North America (GALANA) (pp. 426-436). Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Proceedings Project.

Demuth, K. (2006). Crosslinguistic perspectives on the development of prosodic words . Guest Editor, Special Issue, Language and Speech, 49 (2), 129-297.

Demuth, K., & Kehoe, M. (2006). The acquisition of word-final clusters in FrenchJournal of Catalan Linguistics, 5, 59-81.

Demuth, K., Culbertson, J., & Alter, J. (2006). Word-minimality, epenthesis, and coda licensing in the acquisition of English. Language & Speech, 49, 137-174.

Kirk, C., & Demuth, K. (2006). Accounting for variability in 2-year-olds production of coda consonants. Language Learning and Development, 2, 97-118.

Demuth, K., Machobane, M., & Moloi, F., & Odato, C. (2005). Learning Animacy Hierarchy Effects In Sesotho Double Object ApplicativesLanguage, 81 (2), 421-447.

Kirk, C., & Demuth, K. (2005). Asymmetries in the acquisition of word-initial and word-final consonant clusters. Journal of Child Language, 32 (4), 709-734. Stammering Research, 1, 297-298.

Demuth, K. (2004).  Production approaches to Stuttering. Stammering Research, 1, 297-298.

Stites, J., Demuth, K., & Kirk, C.  (2004). Markedness versus frequency effects in coda acquisition. In A. Brugos, L. Micciulla, & C.E. Smith (Eds.), Proceedings of the 28th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (pp. 565-576). Somerville, MA:  Cascadilla Press.

Demuth, K. (2003).  The acquisition of Bantu languages.  In D. Nurse & G. Phillipson (Eds.), The Bantu Languages (pp.209-222).  Surry, UK:  Curzon Press.

Demuth, K. (2003).  The status of feet in early acquisition. 15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS) (pp. 151-154). Universidad Autonima de Barcelona, 

Demuth, K., & Johnson, M. (2003). Truncation to subminimal words in early French.  Canadian Journal of Linguistics, 48, 211-241.

Demuth, K., Machobane, M., & Moloi, F. (2003). Learning animacy hierarchy effects in Bantu double object applicative constructions. In J. Mugane (Ed.) Linguistic Typology and Representation of African Languages: Trends in African Linguistics, vol. 5 (pp. 23-33).  Trenton, New Jersey: Africa World Press. 

Demuth, K., Machobane, M., & Moloi, F. (2003).  Rules and construction effects in learning the argument structure of verbsJournal of Child Language, 30, 1-25.

Kirk, C., & Demuth, K.  (2003).  Onset/coda asymmetries in the acquisition of clusters.  In B. Beachley, A. Brown, & F. Conlin (Eds.), Proceedings of the 27th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (pp. 437-448). Somerville, MA:  Cascadilla Press.

Demuth, K., Machobane, M., Moloi, F., & Odato, C.  (2002). Rule learning and lexical frequency effects in learning verb-argument structure. In Proceedings of the 26th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (pp.142-153). Somerville, MA:  Cascadilla Press.

Demuth, K. (2001).  A prosodic approach to filler syllablesJournal of Child Language, 28, 246-249.

Demuth, K. (2001).  Prosodic constraints on morphological development.  In J. Weissenborn & B. Höhle (Eds.), Approaches to Bootstrapping: Phonological, Syntactic and Neurophysiological Aspects of Early Language AcquisitionLanguage Acquisition and Language Disorders Series, vol. 24 (pp. 3-21). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Pepinsky, T., Demuth, K., & Roark, B. (2001).  The status of filler syllables in childrens early speech.  In Proceedings of the 25th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (pp. 575-586). Somerville, MA:  Cascadilla Press.

Demuth, K. (2000).  Bantu noun class systems: Loan word and acquisition evidence of semantic productivity.  In G. Senft (Ed.), Classification Systems (pp. 270-292). Cambridge University Press: Cambridge.

Demuth, K., Machobane, M., & Moloi, F. (2000).  Learning word order constraints under conditions of object ellipsis.  Linguistics, 38 (3), 545-568.

Roark, B., & Demuth, K.  (2000).  Prosodic constraints and the learners environment: A corpus study.  In S.C. Howell, S.A. Fish, & T. Keith-Lucas (Eds.), Proceedings of the 24th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (pp. 597-608). Somerville, MA:  Cascadilla Press.

Sedivy, J., Demuth, K., Chunyo, G., & Freeman, S. (2000).  Incremental referentiality-based language processing in young children: Evidence from eye movement monitoring.  In S.C. Howell, S.A. Fish, & T. Keith-Lucas (Eds.), Proceedings of the 24th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (pp. 684-695). Somerville, MA:  Cascadilla Press.

Lleó, C., & Demuth, K. (1999).  Prosodic constraints on the emergence of grammatical morphemes:  Crosslinguistic evidence from Germanic and Romance languages.  In A. Greenhill, H. Littlefield, & C. Tano (Eds.), Proceedings of the 23rd Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (pp. 407-418). Somerville, MA:  Cascadilla Press.

Demuth, K. (1998).  Argument structure and the acquisition of Sesotho applicativesLinguistics, 36 (4), 781-806.

Demuth, K. (1998).  Review of Jusczyk, P. (1997). The discovery of spoken language. Cambridge, MA:  MIT Press.  Language and Speech , 41, 109-113.

Demuth, K. (1997).  Multiple optimal outputs in acquisition. University of Maryland Working Papers in Linguistics, 5, 53-71.

Demuth, K. (1997).  Variation in acquisition: An optimal approach.  In S. Davis (Ed.), Optimality Viewpoints (pp. 77-88).  Bloomington:  Indiana University Linguistics Club.

Demuth, K., &  Suzman, S. (1997).  Language impairment in Zulu.  In E.M. Hughes & A. Green (Eds.), Proceedings of the 21st Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (pp. 124-135).  Somerville, MA:  Cascadilla Press.

Gennari, S., &  Demuth, K. (1997).  Syllable omission in Spanish.  In E. M. Hughes & A. Green (Eds.), Proceedings of the 21st Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (pp. 182-193). Somerville, MA:  Cascadilla Press.

Demuth, K. (1996).  Alignment, stress and parsing in early phonological words.  In B. Bernhardt, J. Gilbert, & D. Ingram (Eds.), Proceedings of the International Conference on Phonological Acquisition (pp. 113-124).  Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press.

Demuth, K.  (1996).  Collecting spontaneous production data.  In D. McDaniel, C. McKee, and H.S. Cairns (Eds.), Methods for Assessing Childrens Syntax (pp. 3-22).  Cambridge, MA:  MIT Press.

Demuth, K. (1996).  The prosodic structure of early words.  In J. Morgan & K. Demuth (Eds.), Signal to SyntaxBootstrapping from Speech to Grammar in Early Acquisition (pp. 171-184).  Mahwah, N.J.:  Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Demuth, K. (1996).  Stages in the acquisition of prosodic structure.  In E. Clark (Ed.), Proceedings of the 27th Child Language Research Forum (pp. 39-48).  Stanford University: CSLI. 

Morgan, J., & Demuth, K. (Eds.) (1996).  Signal to SyntaxBootstrapping from Speech to Grammar in Early Acquisition.  Mahwah, N.J.:  Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. 

Morgan, J., &  Demuth, K. (1996).  Signal to syntax:  An overview.  In J. Morgan and K. Demuth (Eds.), Signal to SyntaxBootstrapping from Speech to Grammar in Early Acquisition  (pp. 1-22).  Mahwah, N.J.:  Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Demuth, K. & Fee, E.J. (1995). Minimal prosodic words in early phonological development. Unpublished ms., Brown University and Dalhousie University.

Demuth, K.  (1995).  Markedness and the development of prosodic structure.  In J. Beckman (Ed.), Proceedings of the North East Linguistic Society, 25 (pp. 13-25).  Amherst, MA: GLSA, University of Massachusetts.

Demuth, K. (1995).  Problems in the acquisition of tonal systems.  In J. Archibald (Ed.), The Acquisition of Non-linear Phonology (pp. 111-134).  Hillsdale, N.J.:  Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. 

Demuth, K. (1995).  Questions, relatives, and minimal projectionLanguage Acquisition, 4, 49-71.

Ziesler, Y,. & Demuth, K. (1995).  Noun class prefixes in Sesotho child-directed speech.  In E. Clark (Ed.), Proceedings of the 26th Child Language Research Forum, (pp. 137-146).  Stanford University: CSLI.

Demuth, K. (1994).  On the 'underspecification' of functional categories in early grammars.  In B. Lust , M. Suñer, & J. Whitman (Eds.), Syntactic Theory and First Language Acquisition:  Cross-Linguistic Perspectives (pp. 119-134).  Hillsdale, N.J.:  Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Demuth, K. (1993).  Issues in the acquisition of the Sesotho tonal systemJournal of Child Language, 20, 275-301.

Demuth, K. (1992).  Accessing functional categories in Sesotho: Interactions at the morpho-syntax interface.  In J. Meisel (Ed.), The Acquisition of Verb Placement:  Functional Categories and V2 Phenomena in Language Development.(pp. 83-107).  Kluwer Academic Publishers:  Dordrecht.

Demuth, K. (1992).  Acquisition of Sesotho.  In D. Slobin (Ed.), The Cross-Linguistic Study of Language Acquisition, vol 3, 557-638.  Hillsdale, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. 

Demuth, K. (1991).  Acquisition of the Sesotho tonal system.  Afrikanistische Arbeitspapiere 26, 1-31.  Universität zu Köln.

Demuth, K. (1990).  Subject, topic and the Sesotho passiveJournal of Child Language, 17, 67-84.

Demuth, K. (1989).  Problems in the acquisition of grammatical tonePapers & Reports on Child Language Development, 28, 81-88. Stanford.  [Reproduced in Occasional Working Papers, Institute for Southern African Studies.  National University of Lesotho: Roma. 1990.] 

Demuth, K. (1988).  Noun classes and agreement in Sesotho acquisition. In M. Barlow & C. Ferguson (eds.), Agreement in Natural Languages: Approaches, Theories and Descriptions.  CSLI:  University of Chicago Press.  pp. 305-321.  

Demuth, K.  (1987).  Discourse functions of word order in Sesotho acquisition.  In R. Tomlin (Ed.), Coherence and Grounding in Discourse. Proceedings of a Symposium on Discourse, Cognition and Syntax (pp. 91-108).  Eugene, Oregon.  Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 

Demuth, K., & Smith, N. (1987).  The foreign language requirement:  An Alternative ProgramForeign Language Annals, 20, 67-77.

Demuth, K. (1986).  Prompting routines in the language socialization of Basotho children.  In B. Schieffelin and E. Ochs (Eds.), Language Socialization Across Cultures. Social and Cultural Foundations of Language Series  (pp. 51-79). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Demuth, K., Faraclas, N., & Marchese, L. (1986).  Niger-Congo noun class and agreement systems in language acquisition and historical change.  In C. Craig (Ed.), Noun Class and CategorizationTypological Studies in Language, vol 7 (pp, 453-471) . Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Demuth, K., Faraclas, N., & Marchese, L. (1985). Niger-Congo noun class and agreement Systems in Historical and Acquisition Perspective.  In R. Schuh (Ed.), Studies in African Linguistics, suppl. 9, (pp. 78-82).  UCLA. 

Demuth, K. (1984). The acquisition of pragmatic word order in Sesotho. University of California, Berkeley.

Demuth, K. (1984). Aspects of Sesotho Language Acquisition. Indiana University Linguistics Club, Bloomington.


Research in Australian Aboriginal and Other Languages

View publications

Harvey, M., Lin, S., Turpin, M., Davies, B., & Demuth, K. (2015). Contrastive and non-contrastive pre-stopping in Kaytetye. Australian Journal of Linguistics, 35:3, 1-19.

Hussain, Q., Harvey, M., Proctor, M., & Demuth, K. (2015). Contrast reduction among coronals is conditioned by the following vowel. In J. Stuart-Smith, J. Scobbie, A. Turk (Eds.) Proceedings of the 18th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences. Glasgow UK: University of Glasgow.

Lin, S., Harvey, M., Turpin, M., Ross, A., Demuth, K. (2015). The articulation of contrastive and non-contrastive pre-stopped consonants in Kaytetye. In J. Stuart-Smith, J. Scobbie, A. Turk (Eds.) Proceedings of the 18th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences. Glasgow UK: University of Glasgow.


Research in Bantu Languages 

View publications

De Cat, C., & Demuth, K (eds). 2008. The Bantu-Romance Connection: A comparative investigation of syntactic structure. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Machobane, M., Moloi, F., & Demuth, K. 2008. Some restrictions on Sesotho null noun class prefixes. South African Journal of African Languages 27 (4), 166-180.

Demuth, K., & Kline, M. 2006. The distribution of passives in spoken Sesotho. Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies, 24, 377-388. (Special issue on Theory and Description of Southern Bantu Syntax).

Rose, Y., & Demuth, K. 2006. Vowel epenthesis in loanword adaptation: representational and phonetic considerations. In Loanword Phonology: Current Issues. M. Kenstowicz & C. Uffmann, (eds.).  Lingua, 116, 1112-1139.

Cutler, A., Demuth, K., & McQueen, J.  2002.  Universality versus language-specificity in listening to running speechPsychological Science 13 (3), 258-262.

Demuth, K., & Machobane, M.  2001.  Sesotho.  In J. Garry & C. Rubino (eds.), Facts about the world's languages: An encyclopedia of the world's major languages, past and present.  pp. 633-636.  The H. W. Wilson Company: York New. New England Publishing Associates.

Demuth, K., & Harford, C.  1999.  Verb raising and subject inversion in comparative BantuJournal of African Languages and Linguistics 20 (1), 41-61.

Harford, C., & Demuth, K.  1999.  Prosody outranks syntax:  An Optimality approach to subject inversion in Bantu relativesLinguistic Analysis 29 (1-2), 47-68.

Demuth, K., & Mmusi, S.  1997.  Presentational focus and thematic structure in comparative BantuJournal of African Languages and Linguistics 18, 1-19.

Demuth, K., & Gruber, J.  1995.  Constraining XP-sequences. In V. Manfredi & K. Reynolds (eds.), Niger-Congo Syntax and Semantics 6, 3-30.  Boston University African Studies Center, Boston.

Demuth, K.  1990.  Locatives, impersonals and expletives in SesothoThe Linguistic Review 7, 233-249.  Foris Publications: Dordrecht.  1990.

Demuth, K.  1989.  Discourse functions of independent pronouns in Setswana.  In I. Häik & L. Tuller (eds.), Current Issues in African Linguistics.  Dordrecht:  Foris Publications.  pp. 176-193.

Demuth, K.  1989.  Maturation and the acquisition of Sesotho passiveLanguage, 65, 56-80. 

Demuth, K.  1989.  Review of A Sociolinguistic Profile of Urban Centers in Cameroon, by E. Koenig, E. Chia & J. Povey (eds.).  Africana Journal 15, 389-390.

Demuth, K.  1989.  Unificação dos princípios organizacionais no desenvolvimento das convenções ortográficas(=Unifying organizational principles in the development of orthographic conventions).  I Seminário sobre a Padronização da Ortografia de Línguas Mocambiçanas (First Seminar on Developing Guidelines for a Unified Orthography for Mozambican Languages) pp. 150-153, Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, Maputo, Mozambique.  

Demuth, K., & Johnson, M.  1989.  Interactions between discourse functions and agreement in SetawanaJournal of African Languages and Linguistics 11, 22-35. 

Demuth, K., &  Sekhesa Mputhi, T.  1979. Introduction to Sesotho:  An Oral Approach.  (with language tapes).  Indiana University Linguistics Club.  Bloomington, Indiana.


Click here for information about the Demuth Sesotho Corpus.

Click here to get started learning Sesotho.


Media Engagement

Macquarie University needs children to participate in child language lab studies. News Local. 9 April 2014. (Demuth, K., & Revius, K.)

Raising bilingual children. 2SER FM The Daily. 9 April 2014. (Xu Rattanasone, N., & Demuth, K.)

Interview: Bilingual children, good or bad? The Wire. 31 March 2014. (Demuth, K.)

Should I raise my kids bilingually? The Conversation. 31 March 2014. (Demuth, K., & Xu Rattanasone, N.)


Katherine Demuth

Call: +61 2 9850 8783  
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Child Language Lab (CLL)  
ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders (CCD)  
Centre for Language Sciences (CLaS)  

Recent News

Distinguished Professor Katherine Demuth ASSA Fellow

Professor Demuth elected to Academy of the Social Sciences!
Congratulations to Distinguished Professor Katherine Demuth on being elected a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia!
Professor Demuth is passionate about the importance of theoretically driven empirical evidence for understanding both the structure of languages and how children learn them. Her professional values align strongly with those of the Academy, and she is honoured to be joining others as a newly elected Fellow.