Kate Repnik

Background

Coming from a bilingual background in Greek and German, language has always been an integral part of my life. The fascination for me lies in how we as humans use it to build meaningful connections. I have a knack for all kinds of language-related things such as puns, writing poetry, patterns, learning a new language etc.

Qualifications

Master of Science (MSc) in Developmental Linguistics, The University of Edinburgh, UK

Bachelor of Arts (BA) in English Literature & Linguistics (Major), Media & Communication (Minor), University of Zurich, Switzerland

Certificate in Coaching and Mentoring, University of Warwick, UK

Undergraduate teaching

2015/2016:

  • Tutor for LEL2D "Cross-linguistic Variation: Limits and Theories" 
  • Tutor for LEL2E "History and Structure of European Languages" 

2014/2015:

  • Tutor for "Child Bilingualism: Language & Cognition" (Honours' course) 

Research summary

Bilingualism, First Language Acquisition, Mental Lexicon, Human Cognitive Neuroscience

Current research interests

When children (or even adults in case of foreign language learning) acquire new words, they make use of learning heuristics, on of which is disambiguation.  This means when children they hear a new label and see a familiar and non-familiar object, they prefer to look at the novel object. This allows for fast one-to-on mappings in the child's mental lexicon. However, bilingual children who grow up with at least two words for most objects establish many-to-one mappings in order to account for their two languages. My research focuses on how bilingual children will use this learning heuristic to acquire new words and how the number of languages spoken, the degree of familiarity, and different language combinations may affect the use of disambiguation and word learning.

Affiliated research centres

Conference details

  • June 2018 - Oral presentation "Onset of disambiguation as word learning strategy delayed in multilingual infants – Insights from eye-tracking research" at  Linguistics & English Language Postgraduate Conference (LELPGC18), The University of Edinburgh, UK
  • April 2018 - Poster presentation "Onset of disambiguation as word learning strategy delayed in multilingual infants – In-sights from eye-tracking research" - at the 62nd Language at Edinburgh Lunch, University of Ediburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  • March 2018 - Poster presentation "Disambiguation: Source or consequence of word learning?" at the 31st Annual CUNY Sentence Processing Conference, University of California, Davis, CA, USA
  • June 2017 - Poster presentation "Are bilinguals just like two monolinguals? Insights from eye-tracking research with infants" at the Workshop for Infant Language Development, Basque Centre on Cognition, Brain and Language (San Sebastian), Bilbao, Spain
  • June 2017 - Poster presentation "Are bilinguals just like two monolinguals? Insights from eye-tracking research with infants" at the International Symposium on Bilingualism, The University of Limerick, Ireland 
  • June 2016 - Oral presentation "Monolingual & bilingual: Putative impact of infants’ language experience on disambiguation of novel word-object mappings and their retention" at  Linguistics & English Language Postgraduate Conference, The University of Edinburgh, UK
  • July 2014 - Poster presented at 4th IMPRS NeuroCom Summer School, Joint summer school organised by the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at UCL and Max-Planck-Institute for Cognitive & Brain Sciences, UCL Campus London, UK

Papers delivered

  • September 2016 - "Monolingual & bilingual: Putative impact of infants’ language experience on disambiguation of novel word-object mappings and their retention" at 51st Linguistics Colloquium / Foreign and Own Languages. Linguistic Perspectives, Vilnius University, Lithuania

Repnik, K. M. (2018). Disambiguation: Learning strategy or outcome of word learning? - Insights from mono- and bilingual children. In V. Masiulionytė & S. Volungevičienė (Eds.), Fremde und eigene Sprachen. Linguistische Perspektiven / Foreign and Own Languages. Linguistic Perspectives. (pp. 457-468). Berlin, Germany: Peter Lang.