Professor Paula Fikkert
My research focuses on the acquisition of phonological representations and the role they play in early speech perception and production. A substantial part of this research is carried out in the Baby Research Center in Nijmegen and is part of the research unit ‘grammar and cognition’ of the Center for Language and Speech. Learning words involves learning phonological representations, i.e. the sound structure of words in the mind. http://www.ru.nl/gettingsoundsinmind/
Phonological representations mediate between the acoustic signal and meaning in speech perception and between meaning and the articulatory output in speech production. Thus, phonological representations in the brain lay the foundation for successful communication. Yet, the nature of phonological representations that are built up during language acquisition is far from clear.