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Linda Polka

Associate Professor

linda [dot] polka [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Email)

Speech Perception Lab


BA Psychology, Slippery Rock State College
MA Experimental Psychology, University of Minnesota
PhD Psychology & Human Communication Disorders, University of South Florida

Research interest

Research in the Polka lab focuses on the development of speech perception during infancy. The goal of this work is to understand the skills and biases that the infants bring to this task and how their speech processing changes with age and language experience to support language processing. We are currently engaged in research involving infants between 4 and 18 monhs of age on vowel perception and production, the effects of early bilingualism and the role of attention in speech processing.

Representative Publications

Mattock, K, Polka, L, & Rvachew, S. and Madelaine Krehm (2009). The first steps in word learning are easier when the shoes fit: Comparing monolingual and bilingual infants, Developmental Science, 1-19.

Sundara, M., Polka, L. & Molnar, M. (2008) Development of coronal stop perception: Bilingual infants keep pace with their monolingual peers, Cognition, 108, 232-242.

Polka, L. Rvachew, S. & Molnar, M. (2008). Speech perception by 6- to 8-month-olds in the presence of distracting sound, Infancy, 13 (5) 421-439.

Shahnaz, N., Miranda, T. & Polka, L. (2008) Multi-frequency tympanometry in neonatal intensive care unit & well babies, Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, 19 (5), 392-418.

Rvachew, S. Alhaidary, A. Mattock, K. & Polka, L. (2008), Emergence of corner vowels in the babble produced by infants exposed to Canadian English or Canadian French, Journal of Phonetics, 36, 564-577.

Polka, L, Rvachew, s. & Mattock, K. (2007). Experiential influenceson speech perception and production during infancy. E. Hoff & M. Shatz (Eds.) Handbook of Child Language Oxford: Blackwell.

Polka, L., Rvachew, S. (2005). The impact of otitis media with effusion on infant phonetic perception. Infancy, v. 8 101-117.

Sundara, M., Polka, L., Genesee, F. (2005). Language experience facilitates discrimination of /d- Ă°/ in monolingual and bilingual acquisition of English. Cognition, 1-20.

Polka, L. & Sundara, M. (2003). "Word segmentation in monolingual and bilingual infant learners of English and French." Proceedings of the 15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, Barcelona, Spain, 1021-1024.

Polka, L., & Bohn, O-S. (2003). "Asymmetries in vowel perception." Speech Communication v. 41, pp. 221-231