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Associate Professor David Barner

BA McGill, BSc McGill, MA Harvard, PhD Harvard.

Associate Investigator

Contact Details

email : barner@ucsd.edu
Homepage : http://ladlab.ucsd.edu/barner.html

External Address

Department of Psychology
University of California, San Diego, USA

Profile

My research investigates how children acquire the logical representations that underlie language, and thus how they learn abstract, uniquely human, concepts. A guiding hypothesis of this work is that many important conceptual changes in human development do not require the creation of entirely novel representations, but instead emerge from the representational resources provided by natural language.

My plan for the coming years is to explore the relationship between linguistic structure and conceptual development by tackling problems ranging from how children learn the meanings of abstract words, to how they learn to count and do mathematical computations. To determine the contributions of cultural and linguistic diversity on conceptual development, the research will be conducted across a diverse range of sites including the US, Japan, Taiwan, India, and Mexico. This work will confront a key psychological problem – how abstract representations emerge in human cognition – while exploring the effect of linguistic diversity on language and conceptual development.

Recent External Appointments

  • Associate Editor, Journal of Semantics. (2015 continuing)
  • Editorial Board, Cognitive Development. (2014 continuing)
  • Editorial Board, Cognition. (2014 continuing)

Recent Grants Awarded

  • National Science Foundation (2014 - 2017) "Collaborative research: Language structure and number word learning." (USD772,508) Barner, D., & Shusterman, A. ($1,047,000)
  • Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (2012 - 2013) "Validation of metaphor." (USD150,940) Barner, D. ($204,000)
  • James S. McDonnell Foundation Scholar Award (2011 - 2017) "Encoding abstract concepts in language." (USD600,000) Barner, D. ($813,000)
  • National Science Foundation (2009 - 2013) "Collaborative research: Mental abacus education and spatial representations of number." (USD343,396) Barner, D., & Alvarez, G. ($465,000)

Selected Publications

Book Chapters

  • Bale, A., & Barner, D. (2013). Grammatical alternatives and pragmatic development. In A. Falaus (Ed.), Alternatives in Semantics: Palgrave Studies in Pragmatics, Language and Cognition (pp. 238-266). New York, USA: Palgrave Press.
  • Bale, A., & Barner, D. (2012). Semantic triggers, linguistic variation and the mass-count distinction. In D. Massam (Ed.), Count and Mass Across Languages (pp. 238-260). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
  • Barner, D., & Bale, A. (2011). Mass-count distinction. In M. Aronoff (Ed.), Oxford Bibliographies Online. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
  • Barner, D., & Li, P. (2011). Linguistic relativity. In M. Aronoff (Ed.), Oxford Bibliographies Online. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Periodicals

  • Srinivasan, M., Dunham, Y., Hicks, C.M., & Barner, D. (2015). Do attitudes toward societal structure predict beliefs about free will and achievement? Evidence from the Indian caste system. Developmental Science, 19(1), 109-125. doi:10.1111/desc.12294
  • Tillman, K.A., & Barner, D. (2015). Learning the language of time: Children's acquisition of duration words. Cognitive Psychology, 78, 57-77.
  • Wagner, K., Kimura, K., Cheung, P., & Barner, D. (2015). Why is number word learning hard? Evidence from bilingual learners. Cognitive Psychology, 83, 1-21.
  • Dunham, Y., Srinivasan, M., Dotsch, R., & Barner, D. (2014). Religion insulates in group evaluations: The development of intergroup attitudes in India. Developmental Science, 17(2), 311-319.
  • Heyman, G., Barner, D., Heumann, J., & Schenck, L. (2014). Children's sensitivity to ulterior motives when evaluating prosocial behavior. Cognitive Science, 38(4), 683-700.
  • Sullivan, J., & Barner, D (2014). The development of structural analogy in number-line estimation. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 128, 171-189.
  • Sullivan, J., & Barner, D. (2014). Inference and association in children’s early numerical estimation. Child Development, 85(4), 1740-1755. doi:10.1111/cdev.12211
  • Almoammer, A., Sullivan, J., Donlan, C., Marušič, F., Žaucer, R., O'Donnell, T., & Barner, D (2013). Grammatical morphology as a source of early number word meanings. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110(46), 18448–18453.
  • Brooks, N., Audet, J., & Barner, D. (2013). Pragmatic inference, not semantic competence, guides 3-year-olds’ interpretation of unknown number words. Developmental Psychology, 49, 1066-1075.
  • Srinivasan, M., & Barner, D. (2013). The Amelia Bedelia effect: World knowledge and the goal bias in language acquisition. Cognition, 128, 431-450.
  • Srinivasan, M., Chestnut, E., & Barner, D. (2013). Sortal concepts and pragmatic inference in children's early quantification of objects. Cognitive Psychology, 6, 302-326.
  • Wagner, K., Dobkins, K., & Barner, D. (2013). Slow mapping: Color word learning as a gradual inductive process. Cognition, 127, 307-317.
  • Barner, D. (2012). Bootstrapping numeral meanings and the origin of exactness. Learning and Development, 8, 177-185.
  • Barner, D., Lui, T., & Zapf, J. (2012). Is two a plural marker in early child language? Developmental Psychology, 48, 10-17.
  • Caponigro, I., Pearl, L., Brooks, N., & Barner, D. (2012). Acquiring the meaning of free relative clauses and plural definite descriptions. Journal of Semantics, 26, 261-293.
  • Davidson, K., Eng, K., & Barner, D. (2012). Does learning to count involve a semantic induction? Cognition, 123, 162-173.
  • Frank, M., & Barner, D. (2012). Representing exact number visually using mental abacus. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 141, 134-149.
  • Sullivan, J., & Barner, D. (2012). How are number words mapped to approximate magnitudes? Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 66, 389-402.
  • Barner, D., Brooks, N., & Bale, A. (2011). Accessing the unsaid: The role of scalar alternatives in children's pragmatic inference. Cognition, 188, 87-96.
  • Brooks, N., Pogue, A., & Barner, D. (2011). Piecing together numerical language: Children's use of default units in early counting and quantification. Developmental Science, 14, 44-57.
  • Ng, R., Barner, D., & Heyman, G. (2011). Collaboration promotes proportional reasoning about resource distribution in young children. Developmental Psychology, 47, 1230-1238.
  • Sullivan, J., & Barner, D. (2011). Number words, quantifiers, and principles of word learning. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science, 2(6), 639-645.

Conference Presentations, Colloquia, and other presentations

  • Barner, D., Skordos, D., Feiman, R., & Bale, A. (2017, November). The trouble of disjunction. Poster session presented at the 42nd Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development, Boston, USA.
  • Swords, D., & Barner, D. (2017, November). Mutual exclusivity and ad-hoc scales in children's inferences. Paper presented at the 42nd Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development, Boston, USA.
  • Clark, E., Snedeker, J., & Barner, D. (2015, November). The development of pragmatics. Symposium conducted at the 40th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (BUCLD40), Boston, USA.
  • Srinivasan, M., Foushee, R., & Barner, D. (2015, November). The scope of conventionality: Do children expect newly-coined words to be mutually known? Paper presented at the 40th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (BUCLD40), Boston, USA.
  • Tillman, K., Marghetis, T., Srinivasan, M., & Barner, D. (2015, November). Placeholder structures in word learning: The case of deictic time. Poster session presented at the 40th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (BUCLD40), Boston, USA.
  • Al-Mughairy, S., Foushee, R., Barner, D., Srinivasan, M. (2015, July). Daxing with a dax: Evidence of productive lexical structures in children. Paper presented at the 37th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, Sacramento, USA.
  • Barner, D. (2015, July). Language and common sense: Integrating across psychology, linguistics, and computer science. Paper presented at the 37th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, Sacramento, USA.
  • Tillman, K., Tulagan, N., & Barner, D. (2015, July). Building the mental timeline: Spatial representations of time in preschoolers. Poster session presented at the 37th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, Sacramento, USA.
  • Wagner, K., Kimura, K., Cheung, P., & Barner, D. (2015, July). Why is number word learning hard? Evidence from bilingual learners. Paper presented at the 37th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, Sacramento, USA.
  • Yurovsky, D., Wagner, K., Barner, D., & Frank, M. (2015, July). Signatures of domain-general categorization mechanisms in color word learning. Paper presented at the 37th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, Sacramento, USA.
  • Barner, D. (2015, March). The effects of cultural and linguistic experience on number word learning. Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Philadelphia, USA.
  • Cheung, P., & Barner, D. (2015, March). Numbers never end: A study on children’s acquisition of the successor principle and its relation to the concept of infinity. Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Philadelphia, USA.
  • Hochstein, L., & Barner, D. (2015, March). Gricean epistemic reasoning in Autism Spectrum Disorder. Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Philadelphia, USA.
  • Kimura, K., Wagner, K., & Barner, D. (2015, March). Subsective or intersective? Children’s assumptions about the meanings of novel gradable adjectives. Poster session presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Philadelphia, USA.
  • Kimura, K., Wagner, K., Cheung, P., & Barner, D. (2015, March). Transfer of number concepts in bilingual learners. Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Philadelphia, USA.
  • Oved, I., Heyman, G., & Barner, D. (2015, March). Children’s sensitivity to ulterior motives when evaluating testimony. Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Philadelphia, USA.
  • Sullivan, J., Tulagan, N., Gruberg, N., Barner, D., & Ferreira, V. (2015, March). Preschoolers spontaneously encode discourse structure. Poster session presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Philadelphia, USA.
  • Tillman, K., & Barner, D. (2015, March). Spatialization of time in preschoolers: Roles of priming and temporal language comprehension. Poster session presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Philadelphia, USA.
  • Tillman, K., Marghetis, T., Barner, D., & Srinivasan, M. (2015, March). When time becomes a place: Temporal gestures, timelines, and the development of children's spatial understanding of time. Poster session presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Philadelphia, USA.
  • Wade, S., Sullivan, J., & Barner, D. (2015, March). Number word mappings in bilingual children: Evidence for effects of language dominance on estimation. Poster session presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Philadelphia, USA.
  • Wagner, K., Aroworade, T., Chilson, A., Cooper, T., Jergens, J., & Barner, D. (2015, March). The early and gradual construction of color word meanings. Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Philadelphia, USA.
  • Wagner, K., Chilson, A., Cooper, T., & Barner, D (2015, March). A longitudinal study of how children refine color word meanings over time. Poster session presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Philadelphia, USA.
  • Yazdi, H., Barner, D., & Heyman, G. (2015, March). The influence of reputation concerns and social biases on children’s sharing behavior. Poster session presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Philadelphia, USA.
  • Tillman, K., & Barner, D. (2014, November). Preschoolers use lexical contrast to learn duration words. Poster session presented at the 39th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (BUCLD), Boston, USA.
  • Yurovsky, D., Wagner, K., Barner, D., & Frank, M. (2014, November). Signatures of domain-general categorization mechanisms in color word learning. Paper presented at the 39th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (BUCLD), Boston, USA.
  • Barner, D. (2014, July). The role of alternatives in pragmatic inference. Symposium conducted at the 36th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, Quebec, Canada.
  • Barner, D., Alvarez, G., Srinivasan, M., Brooks, N., Goldin-Meadow, S., Sullivan, J., Wagner, K., & Frank, M. (2014, July). Multi-modal symbolic representations of number: Everything you ever wanted to know about mental abacus, but were afraid to ask. Symposium conducted at the 36th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, Quebec City, Canada.
  • Hochstein, L., & Barner, D. (2014, July). Shifting ground: A definite deficit in adult article production. Paper presented at the 36th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, Quebec, Canada.
  • Marghetis, T., Tillman, K., Srinivasan, M., & Barner, D. (2014, July). Origins of time: New insights into the psychological foundations of time. Symposium conducted at the 36th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, Quebec, Canada.
  • Wagner, K., Jergens, J., & Barner, D. (2014, July). Partial color word comprehension precedes production. Paper presented at the 36th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, Quebec, Canada.
  • Sullivan, J., & Barner, D. (2013, November). Preschoolers use relevance implicatures to learn new words. Paper presented at the 38th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (BUCLD), Boston, USA.
  • Hochstein, L., & Barner, D. (2013, September). Ignorance vs. scalar implicatures: Pragmatic inferences in typically-developing children and adolescents with ASD. Paper presented at the 5th Biennial Conference of Experimental Pragmatics, Utrecht, The Netherlands.
  • Plesnicar, V., Razboršek, T., Sullivan, J., Almoammer, A., Donlan, C., Barner, D., O'Donnell, T.J., Žaucer, R., & Marušic, F. (2013, September). Grammatical morphology as a source of early mathematical content. Paper presented at the Syntax Phonology and Language Analysis, Niš, Serbia.
  • Kimura, K, Wagner, K., & Barner, D. (2013, August). Two for one? Transfer of conceptual content in bilingual number word learning. Paper presented at the 35th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, Berlin, Germany.
  • Tillman, K.A., & Barner, D. (2013, August). Learning the language of time: Children's acquisition of duration words. Paper presented at the 35th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Sciences Society, Berlin, Germany.
  • Barner, D., Razboršek, T., Plesnicar, V., Sullivan, J., O'Donnell, T., Žaucer, R., & Marušic, L. (2013, April). Language as a source of numerical concepts. Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Seattle, USA.
  • Hochstein, L., Bale, A., Fox, D., & Barner, D. (2013, April). Ignorance vs. scalar implicatures: Locating the source of children's difficulties with pragmatic inferences. Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Seattle, USA.
  • Sullivan, J., & Barner, D. (2013, April). Preschoolers can use discourse-cues to learn new words. Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Seattle, USA.
  • Wagner, K., Dobkins, K., & Barner, D. (2013, April). Slow mapping of color words: Children’s errors reveal a gradual inductive learning process. Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Seattle, USA.
  • Chestnut, E., Srinivasan, M., & Barner, D. (2012, November). Pragmatic inference and part-whole language in children’s early quantification of objects. Poster session presented at the 7th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (BUCLD), Boston, USA.
  • Kehler, A., Hayes, E., Sullivan, J., & Barner, D. (2012, November). Grammatical and pragmatic biases in children's pronoun interpretation. Paper presented at the 86th Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America, Portland, USA.
  • Srinivasan, M., & Barner, D. (2012, November). Putting milk onto cows: A put-on bias in early denominal verb interpretation. Paper presented at the 37th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (BUCLD), Boston, USA.
  • Vul, E., Sullivan, J., & Barner, D. (2012, November). Mapping the number sense onto numbers. Paper presented at the 53rd Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society, Minneapolis, USA.
  • Wagner, K., Dobkins, K., & Barner, D. (2012, November). Color word learning is a gradual inductive process. Poster session presented at the 37th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (BUCLD), Boston, USA.
  • Cheung, P., Barner, D., & Li, P. (2012, August). What counts in Mandarin Chinese: A study of individuation and quantification. Paper presented at the 34th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, Sapporo, Japan.
  • Wagner, K., Dobkins, K., & Barner, D. (2012, August). Color word learning is a gradual inductive process. Paper presented at the 34th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, Sapporo, Japan.
  • Brooks, N., Barner, D., & Frank, M. (2012, July). Gesture and mental representation in abacus problem solving. Paper presented at the International Society on Gesture Studies Biannual Meeting, Lund, Sweden.
  • Hartshorne, J., & Barner, D. (2011, November). How do children interpret number words before learning their exact meanings? Paper presented at the 36th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (BUCLD), Boston, USA.
  • Sullivan, J., Davidson, K., & Barner, D. (2011, November). Conversational implicature in 3- to 8-year-old children. Paper presented at the 36th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (BUCLD), Boston, USA.
  • Barner, D., Brooks, N., Spaepen, L., & Frank, M. (2011, July). Placeholder structures and numerical computation. Paper presented at the 33rd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, Boston, USA.
  • Brooks, N., Barner, D., Frank, M., & Goldin-Meadow, S. (2011, July). Gesture and mental abacus computation. Paper presented at the 33rd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, Boston, USA.
  • Sullivan, J., & Barner, D. (2011, July). Children’s use of structure mapping in numerical estimation. Paper presented at the 33rd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, Boston, USA.

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Telephone: +61 2 9850 4127
Email : ccd@mq.edu.au
Web : www.ccd.edu.au

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