Charles Yang

Department of Linguistics, Computer Science, and Psychology
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Email: charles-dot-yangâť‚ling_dot_upenn-dot-edu
Office: 3401 Walnut 315C
Phone: 215-898-7849


I studied computer science at the MIT AI Lab. After a few years at Yale, I now teach linguistics, computer science, and psychology while directing the Program in Cognitive Science at the University of Pennsylvania. I work on language acquisition, variation, and change, natural language processing (NLP), and am boardly interested in the study of the mind including, more recently, numerical and conceptual development in children. I have written several books: The Price of Linguistic Productivity: How Children Learn to Break the Rules of Language (MIT Press 2016) won the Leonard Bloomfield Award from the Linguistic Society of America. I have received fellowships from the National Science Foundation and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

Cognitive Science Majors

The contact email address for Cognitive Science matters is Please use this address as the emails sent to other addresses including my personal account may result in delay. Office hours for Spring 2018: Monday 10-12pm, 3401 Walnut 315C. Students interested in pursuing research (independent study or honor thesis) in cognitive science may find these guidelines useful.


Language acquisition: A slim guide. (Oxford, forthcoming)

2017 (Eds. with Norbert Hornstein, Howard Lasnik, and Pritty Patel-Grosz) Syntactic Structures 60 Years On: The Impact of Chomsky's revolution in linguistics. Mouton

2009. (Ed.) Critical concepts in language acquisition. Routledge.

Some research papers

Folks I have worked with over the years:

Bob Berwick, Johan Bolhuis,
Spencer Caplan, Noam Chomsky, Marie Coppola, Stephen Crain, John Frampton, Josef Fruehwald, Tim Gambell, Lila Gleitman, Susan Goldin-Meadow, Kyle Gorman, Sam Gutmann, Marc Hauser, Morris Halle, Ava Irani, Jordan Kodner, Bill Labov, Julie Anne Legate, Constantine Lignos, Mitch Marcus, Silvina Montrul, Elissa Newport, David Pesetsky, Andy Podgurski, Russell Richie, Don Ringe, Tom Roeper, William Sakas, Kathryn Schuler, Betsy Sneller, Jon Stevens, John Trueswell, and Virginia Valian.

In Memoriam: Morris Halle