Rowena Garcia

Psycholinguistics. Language Acquisition. Tagalog.


I am a postdoctoral researcher focusing on language acquisition and figuring out how humans, endowed with the same neurobiology, can learn the diversity of the languages of the world. I am currently a scientific staff of the Developmental Psycholinguistics group at the University of Potsdam in Germany, and a visiting professor at the University of the Philippines Manila's Speech Pathology department.

My main interest is in children's acquisition of morphosyntax and phonology. I use corpus data analysis and psycholinguistic methods like eye-tracking to investigate how children process sentences on-line and how they acquire their ambient language.

I had previously worked in Manila, Philippines as a speech-language pathologist for children with special needs, before I took graduate studies in Clinical Linguistics at the Universities of Potsdam, Groningen, and Eastern Finland. I received my PhD in Cognitive Science under the joint programme, International Doctorate for Experimental Approaches to Language and Brain (IDEALAB), from the Universities of Potsdam, Groningen, Trento, Newcastle, and Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. My dissertation was on children's acquisition of thematic role assignment and word order in Tagalog. My first postdoc was at Prof. Evan Kidd's Learning through Processing group at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


Philippine Psycholinguistics

Jed Sam Pizarro-Guevara, Rowena Garcia

Annual Review of Linguistics, vol. 10, Annual Reviews, 2024, pp. 145--167

Towards Diversifying Early Language Development Research: The First Truly Global International Summer/Winter School on Language Acquisition (/L+/) 2021

Paulina Aravena-Bravo, Alejandrina Cristia, Rowena Garcia, Hiromasa Kotera, Ramona Kunene Nicolas, Ronel Laranjo, Bolanle Elizabeth Arokoyo, Silvia Benavides-Varela, Titia Benders, Natalie Boll-Avetisyan, Margaret Cychosz, Rodrigo Dal Ben, Yatma Diop, Catalina Durán-Urzúa, Naomi Havron, Marie Manalili, Bhuvana Narasimhan, Paul Okyere Omane, Caroline Rowland, Leticia Schiavon Kolberg, Andrew Sentoogo Ssemata, Suzy J. Styles, Belén Troncoso-Acosta, Fei Ting Woon

Journal of Cognition and Development, vol. 0, Routledge, 2023, pp. 1-19

Filipino Children's Acquisition of Nominal and Verbal Markers in L1 and L2 Tagalog

Aireen Barrios, Rowena Garcia

Languages, vol. 8(3), 2023

Collecting language acquisition data from understudied urban communities: A reply to Cristia et al.

Rowena Garcia, Hannah Maria D. Albert, Ivan Paul Bondoc, Jocelyn Christina B. Marzan

Journal of Child Language, vol. 50, Cambridge University Press, 2023, pp. 522–526

Finding your voice: Voice-specific effects in Tagalog reveal the limits of word order priming

Rowena Garcia, Jens Roeser, Evan Kidd

Cognition, vol. 236, 2023, p. 105424

Prompting Multilingual Large Language Models to Generate Code-Mixed Texts: The Case of South East Asian Languages

Zheng Xin Yong, Ruochen Zhang, Jessica Forde, Skyler Wang, Arjun Subramonian, Holy Lovenia, Samuel Cahyawijaya, Genta Winata, Lintang Sutawika, Jan Christian Blaise Cruz, Yin Lin Tan, Long Phan, Long Phan, Rowena Garcia, Thamar Solorio, Alham Aji

Genta Winata, Sudipta Kar, Marina Zhukova, Thamar Solorio, Mona Diab, Sunayana Sitaram, Monojit Choudhury, Kalika Bali, Proceedings of the 6th Workshop on Computational Approaches to Linguistic Code-Switching, Association for Computational Linguistics, Singapore, 2023 Dec, pp. 43--63

Acquiring verb-argument structure in Tagalog: a multivariate corpus analysis of caregiver and child speech

Rowena Garcia, Evan Kidd

Linguistics, vol. 60(6), 2022, pp. 1855-1906

Online data collection to address language sampling bias: lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic

Rowena Garcia, Jens Roeser, Evan Kidd

Linguistics Vanguard, 2022

How diverse is child language acquisition research?

Evan Kidd, Rowena Garcia

First Language, vol. 42(6), 2022, pp. 703-735

Where to from here? Increasing language coverage while building a more diverse discipline

Evan Kidd, Rowena Garcia

First Language, vol. 42, 2022, pp. 837-851

Developmental effects in the online use of morphosyntactic cues in sentence processing: Evidence from Tagalog

Rowena Garcia, Gabriela Garrido Rodriguez, Evan Kidd

Cognition, vol. 216, 2021, p. 104859

Tagalog adaptation of the Multilingual Assessment Instrument for Narratives: History, process and preliminary results

Kathleen Kay Amora, Rowena Garcia, Natalia Gagarina

Natalia Gagarina, Josefin Lindgren, New language versions of MAIN: Multilingual Assessment Instrument for Narratives – Revised, 2020, pp. 221–233

The acquisition of the Tagalog symmetrical voice system: Evidence from structural priming

Rowena Garcia, Evan Kidd

Language Learning and Development, vol. 16, Routledge, 2020, pp. 399-425

Children's online use of word order and morphosyntactic markers in Tagalog thematic role assignment: an eye-tracking study

Rowena Garcia, Jens Roeser, Barbara Höhle

Journal of Child Language, vol. 47, Cambridge University Press, 2020, pp. 533–555

Thematic role assignment in the L1 acquisition of Tagalog: Use of word order and morphosyntactic markers

Rowena Garcia, Jens Roeser, Barbara Höhle

Language Acquisition, vol. 26, Routledge, 2019, pp. 235-261

Word order preferences of Tagalog-speaking adults and children

Rowena Garcia, Jeruen E. Dery, Jens Roeser, Barbara Höhle

First Language, vol. 38, 2018, pp. 617-640


Tagalog morphosyntax and word order

Together with Prof. Evan Kidd at the Australian National University, I investigate the acquisition and processing of Tagalog morphosyntax and thematic role assignment. Older articles were for my PhD, supervised by Prof. Barbara Höhle.

Diversity in language acquisition research

In a project with Prof. Evan Kidd, we looked at the diversity of languages and researchers covered in our top acquisition journals. In a project with other researchers led by Leher Singh, we look at publication bias against non-US research.

Infants' acquisition of phonotactics

In Prof. Natalie Boll-Avetisyan's C07 project under the University of Potsdam's SFB 1287, we look at German- and Japanese-learning infants' acquisition of phonotactics.

Infants' discrimination of nasal sounds

In this study, funded by Uni Potsdam's UFSKW, we look at Tagalog-learning infants' discrimination of nasal contrasts and if this is affected by acoustic salience.

Tagalog negation

The project on Tagalog-speaking children's acquisition of negation words is a collaboration with Roman Feiman and Scott AnderBois from Brown University, and the Speech Pathology department of the University of the Philippines Manila.

View all


Rowena Garcia

Postdoctoral researcher

[email protected]

Developmental Psycholinguistics

University of Potsdam


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