Ayaka Sugawara (菅原 彩加) Last update: September 26, 2014
I'm a fifth-year PhD student in linguistics at MIT. I received my B.A. and M.A. in English linguistics from the University of Tokyo. My main interests are first language acquisition, semantics, pragmatics, interaction of prosody and semantics, and sentence processing.
ayakasug at mit dot edu
snail mail
MIT Linguistics and Philosophy
77 Massachusetts Ave, 32-D808
Cambridge, MA 02139

Slides at presentations


I am at MIT Linguistics Department
I am an editor of Semantics-Syntax Interface journal
We are hosting NELS 45 at MIT!
I play violin in New Philharmonia Orchestra

A picture from a Halloween family concert in 2011.
We do not usually play in costumes.

My current projects include
  • Child language acquisition and adult sentence processing of the focus-sensitive particle only and the role of Question Under Discussion (QUD) there
  • Experimental approach to Rise-Fall-Rise (RFR) contour in sentences with a universal quantifier and negation and its semantic consequences.
My previous projects include
  • First language acquisition of Antecedent Contained Deletion (ACD) sentences
  • Semantics of the morpheme -ish
  • Accent patterns of Japanese given names (this is a phonology project)
  • Syntax of Topicalization (esp. Split Topicalization phenomenon) of Japanese.
Also I am involved in projects on Event-related Potential (ERP) of Blocking Effect in English and Japanese, and perception of vowel length duration by L2 learners of Japanese (using ERP).

My lifelong research question and motivation to do linguistics is "why do only human beings speak language?" and "How come children develop the mapping between sound and meaning so efficiently?" My focus is on sentence-level interpretations, rather than lexical acquisition.