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 University of Potsdam, and a guest researcher at the Language Development department of the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

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 Dr. Evan Kidd's Learning through Processing group in MPI Nijmegen.


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

How diverse is child language acquisition research?

Evan Kidd, Rowena Garcia

First Language, vol. 0, 0, p. 01427237211066405


Tagalog morphosyntax and word order

Together with Prof. Evan Kidd of MPI Nijmegen, I investigate children's acquisition of Tagalog morphosyntax and thematic role assignment. Older articles were for my PhD, supervised by Prof Barbara Höhle at the University of Potsdam

Phonotactic acquisition of German and Russian infants

In Prof. Natalie Boll-Avetisyan's C07 project under the University of Potsdam's SFB 1287, I look at German- and Russian-speaking monolinguals' and bilinguals' acquisition of phonotactics.

Tagalog negation and narratives

The project on Tagalog-speaking children's acquisition of negation words is a collaboration with Roman Feiman and Scott AnderBois from Brown University. The narratives project was Kathleen Kay Amora's Master thesis at the University of Potsdam.

Cross-linguistic study on word order

This is an MPI NL's Levelt award project on the order of given and new arguments in different languages. My collaborators are Natalia Levshina and Yevheniy Skyra (MPI NL).


Rowena Garcia

Postdoctoral researcher

[email protected]

Developmental Psycholinguistics

University of Potsdam