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Personal profile


My research focuses on Language Acquisition in children (monolingual, bilingual and those with hearing loss) and adult second language learners. I am interested in early bilingual development in pre-schoolers: how children acquire multiple languages, how they develop language competency, and the implications of bilingualism for school readiness. My research has contributed to a better understanding of early bilingual development especially for children learning two languages that are very different in both their sound system and grammar (e.g., Mandarin and English). In practical terms, the work has helped develop language assessments that measure pre-schoolers' language abilities in terms of comprehension and use of grammar (including inflectional grammar). 


I received my PhD in Psychology from the MARCS Institute of Brain, Behaviour and Development, Western Sydney in 2009. I am currently a postdoctoral research fellow working on several projects including the ARC Laureate Fellowship funded project on 'Neural and behavioural evidence for children's learning of grammatical morphology’, the HEARing Cooperative Research Centre and NHMRC project (at the National Acoustics Laboratory) examining language development for children with hearing loss. I am also the Deputy Director of the Child Language Lab, a member of the Macquarie University Centre for Language Sciences and an Associate Investigator at the ARC Centre of Excellences in Cognition and Its Disorders. 

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Language Medicine & Life Sciences
language Social Sciences
acoustics Social Sciences
Linguistics Medicine & Life Sciences
speaking Social Sciences
Acoustics Medicine & Life Sciences
infant Social Sciences
listener Social Sciences

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Projects 2014 2021

Research Outputs 2007 2019

Acquisition of weak syllables in tonal languages: acoustic evidence from neutral tone in Mandarin Chinese

Tang, P., Yuen, I., Xu Rattanasone, N., Gao, L. & Demuth, K., Jan 2019, In : Journal of Child Language. 46, 1, p. 24-50 27 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Preschoolers’ developing comprehension of the plural: the effects of number and allomorphic variation

Davies, B., Xu Rattanasone, N., Schembri, T. & Demuth, K., Sep 2019, In : Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. 185, p. 95-108 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Motor Vehicles

The acquisition of mandarin tonal processes by children with cochlear implants

Tang, P., Yuen, I., Xu Rattanasone, N., Gao, L. & Demuth, K., May 2019, In : Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research. 62, 5, p. 1309-1325 17 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Cochlear Implants

Five-year-olds' acoustic realization of mandarin tone sandhi and lexical tones in context are not yet fully adult-like

Xu Rattanasone, N., Tang, P., Yuen, I., Gao, L. & Demuth, K., 28 May 2018, In : Frontiers in Psychology. 9, p. 1-10 10 p., 817.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access
Accidental Falls

Relationships between proficiency with grammatical morphemes and emotion regulation: a study of Mandarin–English preschoolers

Ren, Y., Xu Rattanasone, N., Demuth, K., Andronos, F. & Wyver, S., 2018, In : Early Child Development and Care. 188, 8, p. 1055-1062 8 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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