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Karen Miller

Associate Professor of Spanish and Linguistics

245 Burrowes
University Park , PA 16802
Office Phone: (814) 865-1140

Curriculum Vitae

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Research Interests:

Child Acquisition of Variation, Developmental Sociolinguistics, Language Variation, L2 Variation Acquisition


Karen Miller is an Associate Professor of Spanish Linguistics at Penn State University. She received a Ph.D. in linguistics and cognitive science from Michigan State University in 2007.

Her field of research centers on first language acquisition in English and Spanish-speaking children and she has been working with children in Chile, Mexico and the Dominican Republic. She is especially interested in how linguistic variation is acquired by children and the extent to which variable input affects the acquisition of grammatical morphology. She also studies children’s acquisition of semantics and pragmatics. Other areas of research in which she is interested include bilingualism in children and the effect of variation on language processing in children and adults. Her work on language acquisition and variation is currently being funded by the National Science Foundation. 

Recent Publications

  • Miller, K. & Cárdenas, R. (2020) Stylistic Patterns in the Speech of Young Children and Their Caregivers: A Study of Variable /s/ Lenition in Dominican Spanish. In: An Anthology of Bilingual Child Phonology, by Elena Babatsouli and Martin J. Ball (eds.), Multilingual Matters.
  • Lukyanenko, C. & Miller, K. (2019) Learning the plural from variable input: An eye-tracking study of Chilean children’s plural comprehension. Journal of Monolingual and Bilingual Speech 1 (2), 248-279.
  • Dracos, M., Requena, P., & Miller, K. (2018) Acquisition of Mood Choice in Spanish-Speaking Children. Language Acquisition: A Journal of Developmental Linguistics 26 (1), 106-118.
  • Brehm, L., Jackson, C.N., & Miller, K. (2018). Speaker-specific processing of anomalous sentences. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 72(4), 764-778.
  • Hendricks, A.K., Miller, K., & Jackson, C.N. (2018). Regularizing unpredictable variation: Evidence from a naturalistic setting. Language, Learning and Development, 14, 42-60.