search Infant Language Center

The Infant Language Center at the University of Pennsylvania studies how language develops in infants and toddlers. Our primary goal is to better understand how children acquire language. In particular we have been working to discover what children know about language above and beyond what children reveal through their own speech. It is clear from our studies and from many other researchers' work that even young infants know a lot about language, and toddlers understand much more than they can say. It is this knowledge and understanding that we are working to describe and explain.

All of our studies are observational: we present language to children and watch how they respond, in the context of simple routines and games designed around children's abilities and interests. If you have a child between the ages of 6 to 30 months, we invite you to contact us for information on how to become a participant at the Infant Language Center (email: For more information on our research methods, the baby lab team, and what a typical visit to the Infant Language Center looks like, find your link in the menu above!

The Center is directed by Dr. Daniel Swingley, who is a professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. In addition to his research on how children learn language, Dr. Swingley studies categorization and perception in adults, and teaches courses on cognitive development and language acquisition.

The Infant Language Center is funded by grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF-1917608), as part of their mission to improve health and advance scientific knowledge.


Anna Runova
Room: Levin 301
Telephone: ‪(267) 457-4606

Infant Language Center,
425 S. University Avenue, Room 301
University of Pennsylvania,
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Last modified: March 15th, 2017. For suggestions and comments regarding this page contact Anna Runova.