New Faculty 2020


Headshot of Marisa Casillas

Marisa Casillas

Assistant Professor
Department of Comparative Human Development and the College

Marisa Casillas studies how we learn, understand, and produce everyday, informal language. Her work blends insights from linguistics, psychology, conversation analysis, and anthropology to better understand how language processing is shaped to serve the needs of everyday interaction. Her three ongoing lines of research include: how children draw on ambient linguistic behavior to learn language, how conversational structures influence adults’ and children’s real-time language processing, and what children’s everyday linguistic encounters look like on the scale of whole waking days. She uses both observational and experimental techniques to investigate these topics in multiple cultural contexts.

Casillas’s work has been published in Child Development, Developmental Science, Cognitive Science, Journal of Memory and Language, Speech Communication, Behavior Research Methods, and Neuropsychologia, among others.

Casillas received her MA and PhD in linguistics from Stanford University and her BA in linguistics and psychology, as well as Italian and special fields, from the University of California, Los Angeles. She conducted research as a postdoctoral scholar at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics at Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands. She has received research funding from the National Science Foundation, the Acoustical Society of America, and the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research. She is the primary investigator of the Chatter Lab in the Department of Comparative Human Development.

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Photo credit: Shawn C. Tice