I'm a first year graduate student in the Linguistics department at the University of Maryland, College Park where I'm also part of the Language Science Center. Broadly, I'm interested in meaning, its acquisition, and the relationship between linguistic and conceptual structure. I'm advised by Jeff Lidz and Paul Pietroski.

One thing I'm working on is a set of experimental diagnostics to test whether a given quantifier is mentally represented in first- or second-order terms. A goal is to determine whether language generalizes to the "worst" case: are all quantifiers like most in that they express a relation between sets and have a second-order representation? Or are second-order representations only invoked when needed? And if it turns out that quantifiers are encoded the same way in everyone's mind, how is it that a child acquires one particular meaning and not some truth-conditionally equivalent alternative? I'm also working with Alexander Williams, Jeff Lidz, and other Maryland students on a project exploring infants' event perception and syntactic bootstrapping.

Before coming to UMD, I studied Cognitive Science at Johns Hopkins University. I was fortunate enough to work closely with Justin Halberda on a number of projects, some of which were related to the Approximate Number System and its interface with language. I also had the opportunity to work with Akira Omaki on a project investigating the relationship between working memory and parsing.


Knowlton, T., Halberda, J., Pietroski, P., and Lidz, J. (2017) Set Selection and Storage Reflect Differences in Quantifier Meanings. James S. McDonnell Plenary Workshop on “The Ontogenetic Origins of Combinatorial Thought”, UCSD. 

Perkins, L., Knowlton, T., Hirzel, M., Dudley, R., Williams, A., and Lidz, J. (2017) Linguistic and Conceptual Structure in Verb Learning. James S. McDonnell Plenary Workshop on “The Ontogenetic Origins of Combinatorial Thought”, UCSD. 

Knowlton, T. and Omaki, A. (2016) The Parser's Dilemma: Memory vs. Grammatical Constraints in Sentence Processing. PURA poster session, Johns Hopkins. 

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    1413H Marie Mount Hall
    7814 Regents Drive
    College Park, MD 20742