To understand language, we rely on mental representations of what words mean. What constitutes these representations and how are they learned? My research program addresses this overarching question by investigating how children learn the abstract meaning of function words, more specifically logical words such as and, or, and not.
I use the insights of formal semantics to construct developmental accounts that explain how children learn the meaning of words from the language they hear. I implement my accounts in computational models and test their predictions using experimental studies. In my teaching, I try to strike a similar balance in theoretical, experimental, and computational approaches to language development.