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Usha Lakshmanan

Usha Lakshmanan, Professor

Brain and Cognitive Sciences; Linguistics

Dr. Lakshmanan received her Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in 1989. She joined SIU in 1990 and is currently Professor of Psychology, with a cross-appointment in the department of Linguistics. Her research interests encompass the interrelated areas of psycholinguistics, bilingualism, child first language acquisition, child and adult second language acquisition, language and cognition, and the language of youth media. In her research, which focuses on the relationship between psycholinguistic theory and language acquisition, she has addressed several aspects of grammatical development and language processing from a cross-linguistic perspective.

She is the author of a book entitled Universal Grammar in Child Second Language Acquisition (John Benjamins 1994), as well as numerous articles and chapters in books. She is a member of the Editorial Board of the journal Second Language Research, and is co-editor of the 2001 special issue of Second Language Research and the 2006 special issue of Language Assessment Quarterly.


Psycholinguistics; child language acquisition; second language acquisition


LING 340: Second Language Acquisition
LING 445: Psycholinguistics
LING 541: Second Language Acquisition
PSYC 445: Psycholinguistics (also LING 445)
PSYC 489: Seminar - Selected Topics (Child Language Development)
PSYC 489: Seminar - Selected Topics (Bilingualism)
PSYC 577: Second Language Acquisition (also LING 541)
PSYC 578: Bilingualism

Graduate Advisees

Robert "Ted" Graham
Zachary Pilot

Representative Publications

Kim, K. L., & Lakshmanan, U. (2009). The processing role of the article choice parameter: Evidence from L2 learners of English. In M. Garcia Mayo & R. Hawkins (Eds.), Second language acquisition of articles: Empirical findings and theoretical implications (pp. 87-113). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Lakshmanan, U. (2009). Child second language acquisition. In W. Ritchie & T. K. Bhatia (Eds.), The new handbook of second language acquisition (pp. 377-399). Sheffield, UK: Emerald.

Lakshmanan, U. (2006). Assessing linguistic competence: Verbal inflection in child Tamil. Language Assessment Quarterly, Special Issue, 3 (2) , 171-205.

Lakshmanan, U. & Selinker, L. (2001). Analyzing interlanguage: How do we know what learners know? Second Language Research, 17, 393-420.

Lakshmanan, U. (2000). The acquisition of relative clauses by Tamil children. Journal of Child Language, 21 , 587-617.

SIU Psychology Usha Lakshmanan

Office: Life Science II, 275C
Phone: 618-453-3574
Curriculum Vitae
Psycholinguistics and Language Acquisition Lab

Educational History

Ph.D., University of Michigan