College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Utako Minai

Social and Behavioral Sciences - Linguistics
Associate Professor
Primary office:
785.864.1559
Blake Hall, 406
University of Kansas
1541 Lilac Lane
Lawrence, KS 66045-3129


Summary

First Language Acquisition, Child Language

Education

Research Interests

  • First language acquisition
  • Developmental Psycholinguistics
  • Child language acquisition

Selected Publications

Krueger, B., Storkel, H., & Minai, U. (2018). The influence of misarticulations on children’s word identification and processing [Journal Articles]. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research , 61, 820–836. https://doi.org/10.1044/2017_JSLHR-S-16-0379
Chu, C.-Y., & Minai, U. (2018). Children’s demonstrative comprehension and the role of non-linguistic cognitive abilities: a cross-linguistic study [Journal Articles]. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, DOI: 10.1007/s10936-018-9565-8.
Minai, U., & Nadtochiy, N. (2017). Native and non-native comprehension of the Japanese existential quantifier nanko-ka [Book Chapters]. In M. Nakayama & Y.-C. Su (Eds.), Studies in Chinese and Japanese Language Acquisition (pp. 197–219). John Benjamins.
Minai, U., Gustafson, K., Fiorentino, R., Jongman, A., & Sereno, J. (2017). Fetal rhythm-based language discrimination: A biomagnetometry study [Journal Articles]. NeuroReport, 28(10), 561–564. https://doi.org/10.1097/WNR.0000000000000794
Minai, U. (2017). Yooji-no imikaishaku-wa naze otona-no sore-to-wa kotonarunoka. [Why children’s meaning comprehension differs from adults’ meaning comprehension] [Book Chapters]. In K.-I. Takami, I. Gyoda, & H. Ohno (Eds.), Hushigi-ni michi-ta kotoba-no sekai. [The world of language, full of wonder]. Kaitakusha Publishing Company.
Johnson, A., & Minai, U. (2016). Children’s knowledge of structure-dependent semantic interactions between logical words [Journal Articles]. Language Acquisition, DOI: 10.1080/10489223.2016.1187611.
Fiorentino, R., Naito-Billen, Y., & Minai, U. (2016). Morphological decomposition in de-adjectival nominal in Japanese: masked and overt priming evidence. [Journal Articles]. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 45(3), 575–597.
Connelly, P., Minai, U., & Gabriele, A. (2016). Comprehension of Mimetics by Adult Native Speakers of Japanese [Other]. In Kansas Working Papers in Linguistics (Vol. 37, pp. 23–41). University of Kansas.
Minai, U., Isobe , M., & Okabe , R. (2015). Acquisition and Deployment of the Linguistic Knowledge: Scrambling in Child Japanese as a Test Case [Journal Articles]. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 44(3), 287–307.
Chu, C.-Y., Gabriele , A., & Minai, U. (2014). Acquisition of quantifier scope interpretation by Chinese-speaking learners of English [Conference Proceedings]. In Selected Proceedings of Generative Approaches to Language Acquisition North America (GALANA).
Brown, R., Chu, C.-Y., Hess, G., & Minai, U. (2014). Assessing preschool children’s knowledge of compounds from a logico-semantic perspective. [Other]. In Kansas Working Papers in Linguistics, Volume 35.
Hunt , L., III, Politzer-Ahles, S., Gibson, L., Minai, U., & Fiorentino , R. (2013). Pragmatic inferences modulate N400 during sentence comprehension: evidence from picture-sentence verification [Journal Articles]. Neuroscience Letters , 534, 246–251.
Ito, K., Jincho, N., Minai, U., Yamane , N., & Mazuka , R. (2012). Intonation Facilitates Contrast Resolution: Evidence from Japanese Adults and 6-year Olds [Journal Articles]. Journal of Memory and Language , 66, 265–284.
Minai, U., & Takami , N. (2012). Semantic and Pragmatic Meaning of the Existential Quantifier Some in Second Language Acquisition [Conference Proceedings]. In Proceedings of Boston University Conference on Language Development (Vol. 36, pp. 349–360). Cascadilla Press.
Minai, U., Jincho, N., Yamane , N., & Mazuka , R. (2012). What Hinders Child Semantic Computation: Children’s Universal Quantification and the Development of Cognitive Control [Journal Articles]. Journal of Child Language , 39, 919–956.
Minai, U., & Fiorentino , R. (2010). The Role of the Focus Operator Only in Children’s Sentence Interpretations [Journal Articles]. Language Acquisition , 17(3), 183–190.
Minai, U. (2008). Probing Logical Aspects of Language Development [Book Chapters]. In T. Sano, M. Endo, M. Isobe, K. Otaki, K. Sugisaki , & T. Suzuki (Eds.), An Enterprise in the Cognitive Science of Language: A Festschrift for Yukio Otsu (pp. 613–626). Hituzi Syobo Publishing Company.
Crain, S., Goro , T., & Minai, U. (2007). Hidden Units in Child Language [Book Chapters]. In Schalley & Khlentzos (Eds.), Mental States Volume 1: Evolution, Function, Nature. John Benjamins Publishers.
Minai, U. (2007). Logico-semantic Aspects of Children’s Knowledge about the Universal Quantifier: New Empirical Evidence [Conference Proceedings]. In A. Belikova, L. Meroni, & M. Umeda (Eds.), Proceedings of the 2nd Conference on Generative Approaches to Language Acquisition North America (pp. 285–296). Cascadilla Proceedings Project.
Minai, U., Goro, T., & Crain , S. (2006). Covert Downward Entailment in Child English and Japanese [Conference Proceedings]. In K. U. Deen, J. Nomura, B. Schulz , & B. D. Schwartz (Eds.), The Proceedings of the Inaugural Conference on Generative Approaches to Language Acquisition–North America (pp. 205–216).
Minai, U. (2006). Direct Approach to Inference in Child Language: A Case Study of Every [Conference Proceedings]. In A. Belletti, E. Bennati, C. Chesi, E. Di Domenico , & I. Ferrari (Eds.), Language Acquisition and Development: Proceedings of Generative Approaches to Language Acquisition 2005 (pp. 357–366). Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
Minai, U. (2006). Non-local Dependency in Child Language [Book Chapters]. In Y. Suzuki, K. Mizuno , & K. Takami (Eds.), Gengo kagaku-no shinzui-o motomete [In Search of the Essence of Language Science]: Festschrift for Professor Heizo Nakajima on the Occasion of his Sixtieth Birthday. Hituzi Syobo Publishing Company.
Minai, U., & Crain , S. (2006). Semantic Interactions of Quantificational Expressions in Child Language [Conference Proceedings]. In K. U. Deen, J. Nomura, B. Schulz , & B. D. Schwartz (Eds.), The Proceedings of the Inaugural Conference on Generative Approaches to Language Acquisition–North America (pp. 217–228).
Goro, T., Minai, U., & Crain , S. (2005). Bringing out the Logic in Child Language [Conference Proceedings]. In L. Bateman & C. Ussery (Eds.), Proceedings of the Thirty-Fifth Annual Meeting of the North East Linguistic Society (Vol. 35, pp. 245–256).
Goro, T., Minai, U., & Crain , S. (2005). Two Disjunctions for the Price of ONLY One [Conference Proceedings]. In A. Brugos, M. R. Clark-Cotton , & S. Ha (Eds.), Proceedings of Boston University Conference on Language Development (Vol. 29, pp. 228–239). CSIL Publications.
Minai, U., Meroni , L., & Crain , S. (2004). Children’s Non-local Interpretation of Quantification [Conference Proceedings]. In Y. Otsu (Ed.), Proceedings of the Fifth Tokyo Conference on Psycholinguistics (pp. 255–276). Hituzi Shobo Publishing Company.
Crain, S., Meroni , L., & Minai, U. (2004). If Everybody Knows, Then Every Child Knows [Conference Proceedings]. In J. van Kampen & S. Baauw (Eds.), Proceedings of the Conference on Generative Approaches to Language Acquisition 3 (pp. 127–138). LOT.
Minai, U. (2000). The Acquisition of Japanese Passives [Book Chapters]. In M. Nakayama & C. J. Quinn (Eds.), Japanese/Korean Linguistics (Vol. 9, pp. 339–350). CSLI Publishers.

» Show All Publications

Selected Presentations

Covey, L., Girolamo, T., Siew, C., Weyers, I., Yang, X., Vogt-Woodin, A., ...Minai, U. (11/30/2017). Examining the role of pragmatics during children's comprehension of only: An eye-tracking study. 42nd Boston University Conference on Language Development. Boston University, MA
Yang, X., Fiorentino, R., & Minai, U. (3/31/2017). The role of individual differences in the context-dependent interpretation of some. The 30th Annual CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing
Chu, C., & Minai, U. (5/19/2016 - 5/20/2016). Semantics facilitates children’s pragmatic processing: Chinese-speaking children’s use of semantics. XPRAG Workshop on the Role of Pragmatic Factors in Child Language Processing. Humboldt University Berlin, Germany
Krueger, B., Storkel, H., & Minai, U. (11/13/2015 - 11/13/2015). A comparative analysis of two tools for measuring children's word processing: mouse tracker & eye-tracking. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) 2015 Annual Convention. Denver, CO. http://www.asha.org/events/convention/
Vogt-Woodin, A., Johnson, A., & Minai, U. (11/14/2015 - 11/14/2015). Preschool children's sensitivity to non-local structural dependencies between logical words. 40th Boston University Conference on Language Development. Boston, MA. http://www.bu.edu/bucld/
Minai, U., Gustafson, K., Fiorentino, R., Jongman, A., & Sereno, J. (10/15/2015 - 10/15/2015). Assessing pre-natal rhythm-based discrimination of language by fetal magnetocardiography (fMCG). Society for Neuroscience of Language 2015 Annual Meeting. Chicago, IL. http://www.neurolang.org/conference/
Chu, C., & Minai, U. (5/30/2015 - 5/30/2015). The interplay between demonstrative comprehension and cognitive development: a cross-linguistic investigation. 2015 International Conference on Applied Linguistics. National Chiayi University, Taiwan
Minai, U., & Chan, Y. (3/21/2015). Universal quantifier comprehension, visual information and the development of executive function. 2015 Society for Research on Child Development (SRCD) Biennial Meeting. Philadelphia, PA
Chu, C., & Minai, U. (11/7/2014). The role of Theory of Mind in the acquisition of demonstratives: Evidence from child Chinese. The 39th Boston University Conference on Language Development. Boston, MA
Johnson, A., & Minai, U. (7/31/2014). Children’s knowledge of structural dependency in the semantic interaction of logical words. The 13th International Association for the Study of Child Language. Netherlands
Chu, C., & Minai, U. (6/30/2014). Comprehension of the demonstratives by Chinese-speaking preschool children. The 14th International Symposium on Chinese Languages and Linguistics (IsCLL-14). Taiwan
Chu, C., & Minai, U. (3/31/2014). Comprehension of demonstrative phrases in Mandarin Chinese. The Second East Asian Psycholinguistics Colloquium. U. of Chicago
Ito, K., Minai, U., & Royer, A. (3/13/2014). Is every child different until they turn 15?: Not so quick development of universal quantifier comprehension. The 2014 CUNY Conference on Human Language Processing. The Ohio State University
Chu, C., & Minai, U. (11/30/2013). Examining the role of theory of mind and executive function in the first language acquisition of demonstratives. The 38th Boston University Conference on Language Development. Boston, MA
Chu, C., & Minai, U. (9/30/2013). Comprehension of demonstratives by English-speaking preschool children. The 5th Biennial Conference of Experimental Pragmatics. Utrecht University, Netherlands
Minai, U., Brown, R., Chu, C., & Hess, G. (6/30/2013). Probing morpho-semantic representations of compounds. The 8th International Morphological Processing Conference. Cambridge University
Minai, U., Chan, Y., Chu , C., & Brown , R. (4/30/2013). Visual information and child universal quantification: seeking a causal relation between language and cognition in development. Poster presentation, Society for Research on Child Development (SRCD) Biennial Meeting 2013. Seattle, WA
Chu, C., Gabriele , A., & Minai, U. (10/31/2012). Acquisition of quantifier scope interpretation by Chinese-speaking learners of English. Poster presentation, 5th Generative Approaches to Language Acquisition North America (GALANA). University of Kansas
Minai, U., Isobe , M., & Okabe , R. (12/31/2012). Word order in child Japanese: an experimental study on relative clauses. Poster presentation, 5th Generative Approaches to Language Acquisition North America (GALANA). University of Kansas
Minai, U., Isobe , M., & Okabe , R. (12/31/2011). Acquisition and Deployment of the Knowledge of Scrambling in Child Japanese. Oral presentation, GALA 2011: Generative Approaches to Language Acquisition. Thessaloniki, Greece
Goro, T., & Minai, U. (12/31/2011). Conjunction, Disjunction and Negation in Second Language Acquisition: A Study of L2 English and Japanese. Poster presentation, The 36th Boston University Conference on Language Development. MA
Naito-Billen, Y., Minai, U., & Fiorentino , R. (12/31/2011). Detection and Utilization of Prosody in Sentence Processing: an EEG Study of L1 and L2 Japanese. Poster presentation, 2011 Neurobiology of Language Conference. Annapolis, MD
Naito-Billen, Y., Fiorentino , R., & Minai, U. (12/31/2011). Effects of Prosody in the Processing of Temporarily Ambiguous Japanese Sentences. Oral presentation, Seventh International Conference on Practical Linguistics of Japanese. San Francisco State University, CA
Hunt , L., III, Politzer-Ahles, S., Minai, U., & Fiorentino , R. (12/31/2011). N400 is Elicited by Pragmatic As Well As Semantic Anomalies: a Visual-world Study of Scalar Implicatures. Poster presentation, 2011 Neurobiology of Language Conference. Annapolis, MD
Minai, U., & Takami , N. (12/31/2011). Semantic and Pragmatic Meaning of the Existential Quantifier Some in Second Language Acquisition. Oral presentation, The 36 Boston University Conference on Language Development. MA
Fiorentino, R., Naito-Billen , Y., & Minai, U. (12/31/2010). Masked Priming and Morphological Productivity: Evidence from Japanese De-Adjectival Nominalization. Poster Presentation, AMLAP 2010: Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing. The University of York, UK
Minai, U. (12/31/2009). Dai’ichi gengo kakutoku ni okeru gakushuu: huhen-bumpoo-kiban apuroochi to yoohoo-kiban apuroochi [Learning in the First Language Acquisition: UG-based Approach and Usage-based Approach]. Invited Lecture at the Colloquium Series. Tokyo University of the Arts, Japan
Ito, K., Jincho, N., Minai, U., Yamane , N., & Mazuka , R. (12/31/2009). Use of Emphatic Pitch Prominence for Contrast Resolution: An Eye-tracking Study with 6-year Old and Adult Japanese Listeners. Oral presentation, The 34th Boston University Conference on Language Development, Boston University. Boston, USA
Minai, U., Jincho, N., Yamane , N., & Mazuka , R. (12/31/2008). Development of Cognitive Flexibility and Semantic Computation. Poster presentation, CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing 2008, University of North Carolina. Chapel Hill, NC
Jincho, N., Ito, K., Yamane, N., Minai, U., & Mazuka , R. (12/31/2008). Effects of Visual Contrast in Pre-nominal Modifier Phrase Comprehension in Japanese: An Eye Tracking Experiment with Children and Adults. Poster presentation, CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing 2008, University of North Carolina. Chapel Hill, NC
Ito, K., Jincho, N., Minai, U., Yamane , N., & Mazuka , R. (12/31/2008). Use of Emphatic Intonation for Contrast Resolution in Japanese: Adults vs. 6-yr-Olds. Poster presentation, CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing 2008, University of North Carolina. Chapel Hill, NC
Minai, U. (12/31/2007). A New Methodological Approach for Probing Logical Aspects of Language Development: Inference, Universal Quantifier and Negation. Poster presentation, Society for Research in Child Development 2007 Biennial Meeting. Boston, USA
Ito, K., Jincho, N., Mazuka, R., Yamane , N., & Minai, U. (12/31/2007). Effect of Contrastive Intonation in Discourse Comprehension in Japanese: An Eye Tracking Study with Adults and 6-yr Olds. Poster presentation, 20th Annual CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing, University of California. San Diego, USA
Goro, T., Fujii, T., Minai, U., & Koizumi , M. (12/31/2007). The Acquisition of Anti-reconstruction and Grammar Variation in Adult Japanese. Oral presentation, GLOW in Asia IV, Parametric Syntax and Language Acquisition, The Chinese University of Hong Kong. China
Minai, U. (12/31/2007). Yooji gengo ni okeru ronri setsuzokushi to focus enzanshi: nichi-eigo hikaku kenkyuu [Logical Connectives and the Focus Operator in Child Language: A Comparative Study with English- and Japanese-acquiring Children]. Symposium on Japanese L1 Acquisition and Universal Grammar, The Twenty-fifth Conference of The English Linguistic Society of Japan. Nagoya University, Japan
Minai, U. (12/31/2006). Everything Children Know about Every: An Investigation of Logical Words in Child Language. The First UMD – UFRJ Meeting on Syntax and Neuroscience of Language. Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Minai, U. (12/31/2006). Evidence for Children’s Knowledge about the Focus Operator Only. The First UMD – UFRJ Meeting on Syntax and Neuroscience of Language. Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Minai, U. (12/31/2006). Logico-semantic Aspects of Children’s Knowledge about the Universal Quantifier: New Empirical Evidence. Poster presentation, The Second Generative Approaches to Language Acquisition North America, McGill University. Montréal, Canada
Minai, U. (12/31/2005). Direct Approach to Inference in Child Language: A Case Study of Every. Oral presentation, The Eleventh Generative Approaches to Language Acquisition. University of Siena, Italy
Minai, U. (12/31/2005). Logical Words in Child Language. RIKEN BSI Seminar, RIKEN Brain Science Institute. Saitama, Japan
Minai, U., & Crain , S. (12/31/2005). The Interaction of Quantificational Expressions in Child Semantics. Oral presentation, Linguistic Society of America 2005 Annual Meeting. San Francisco, USA
Minai, U. (12/31/2005). Toward Children’s Logical Inferences: A Preliminary Report. Poster presentation, The Second International Workshop on Evolutionary Cognitive Sciences--In Pursuit of Language-Brain Interactions: Language Acquisition, Sentence Processing, and Neurolinguistics, 21st Century COE Program. University of Tokyo, Japan
Goro, T., Minai, U., & Crain , S. (12/31/2004). Boolean Conjunction in Child Japanese. General poster presentation, The First Generative Approaches to Language Acquisition North America, University of Hawai'i. Manoa, USA
Crain, S., Goro , T., & Minai, U. (12/31/2004). Bringing Out the Logic in Child Language. Poster presentation, The Thirty-fifth North Eastern Linguistic Society, University of Connecticut. Storrs, USA
Minai, U., & Meroni , L. (12/31/2004). Children’s Knowledge of the Entailments at a Distance. Oral presentation, The Fifth Tokyo Conference on Psycholinguistics, Keio University. Tokyo, Japan
Minai, U., Goro , T., & Crain , S. (12/31/2004). Covert Downward Entailment in Child English and Japanese. Oral presentation, The First Generative Approaches to Language Acquisition North America, University of Hawai'i. Manoa, USA
Minai, U., & Crain , S. (12/31/2004). Entailments at a Distance in Child Language. Oral presentation, Linguistic Society of America 2004 Annual Meeting. Boston, USA
Minai, U., & Crain , S. (12/31/2004). Semantic Interactions of Quantificational Expressions in Child Language. Oral presentation, First Generative Approaches to Language Acquisition North America, University of Hawai'i. Manoa, USA
Goro, T., Minai, U., & Crain , S. (12/31/2004). Two Disjunctions for the Price of ONLY One. Oral presentation, The Twenty-ninth Boston University Conference on Language Development, Boston University. Boston, USA
Meroni, L., Minai, U., Gualmini , A., & Crain , S. (12/31/2003). If Everybody Knows, Then Every Child Knows. Oral presentation, The Tenth Generative Approaches to Language Acquisition. Utrecht University, Netherlands
Minai, U. (12/31/1999). The Acquisition of Japanese Passives. Oral presentation, Ninth Japanese/Korean Linguistics Conference, Ohio State University. Columbus, USA

Selected Grants

Why young children exhibit difficulty in comprehending the word "only".. 2301119. $8964.00. (7/1/2016 - 6/30/2018). University (KU or KUMC). Status: Funded
Pre-birth Assessment of Language Ability: a Fetal MEG Study. UL1 TR000001, formerly UL1RR033179. Frontiers Pilot and Collaborative Studies Funding Program/NIH Clinical and Translational Science Award Grant. $20000.00. (3/1/2013 - 2/28/2014). Federal. Status: Funded. Awarded to the University of Kansas Medical Center
GALANA 2012: Psycholinguistic and Neurolinguistic Approaches to Language Development. Project Number 1123399. National Science Foundation. (9/1/2012 - 8/31/2013). Federal. Status: Funded. Support for special session at the 2012 Generative Approaches to Language Acquisition North America
Acquisition and Deployment of Semantic Knowledge: Eye-tracking Studies. Fund allocation #2302262. New Faculty General Research Fund, University of Kansas. (7/1/2011 - 5/31/2012). University (KU or KUMC). Status: Funded
Yooji-gengo ni okeru imi-keesan to ninchi-jikkoo-kinoo [Semantic Computation and Cognitive Function in Child Language]. Project Number 20720115. KAKENHI/Grant-in-aid for Scientific Research for Young Scientists (B), Japan Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science & Technology (MEXT)/Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). $0.00 (1,700,000 JPY ). (4/1/2008 - 3/31/2009). Federal. Status: Funded. Approx. 21,600 USD For the academic year 2008 (April 2008 - March 2009)
Gankyuu-undou-keisoku ni yoru choukaku-shougai-ji to kenjyou-jidou no yomi-rikai-katei no hikaku [An Eye-tracking Study of Children’s Reading Ability: A Comparison between Typically-developing Children and Children with Auditory Difficulties]. Project Number 06-B-0011. The Hakuho Foundation Research Grant for Language and Education. (4/1/2007 - 3/31/2008). Foundation. Status: Funded. Approx. 21,600 USD For the academic year 2007 (April 2007 - March 2008)

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