Toby Mintz

Professor of Psychology and Linguistics
Toby Mintz
Pronouns He / Him / His Email Office SGM 613 Office Phone (213) 740-2253

Center, Institute & Lab Affiliations

  • Neuroscience Graduate Program,


  • Ph.D. Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Linguistics, University of Rochester, 1/1996
    • Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Pennsylvania, 09/1996-08/1998
  • Summary Statement of Research Interests

    Professor Mintz’s research interests center around the congnitive mechanisms underlying language aquisition. In a current project, he is finding that infants have started to form rudimentary representations of the grammatical units of their language, such as verb inflections, by 15 months of age. He also uses computational modeling techniques, methods from computer science, and experiments with adults as tools in testing and forming theories of language development in children.

    Research Keywords

    cognitive mechanisms, language accquisition, learning, linguistics, infants, children

  • Book

    • Byrd, D. M., Mintz, T. H. (2010). Discovering Speech, Words, and Mind. Wiley-Blackwell Publishing.

    Book Chapters

    • Mintz, T. H. (2006). Finding the verbs: distributional cues to categories available to young learners. (Vol. 31-63) New York: Action Meets Word: How Children Learn Verbs/Oxfor University Press.
    • Mintz, T. H. (2006). Frequent frames: Simple co-occurrence constructions and their links to linguistic structure. (Vol. 59-82) Stanford: Constructions in Acquisition/CSLI.

    Encyclopedia Article

    • Mintz, T. H. (2008). Language Development. (New Encyclopedia of Neuroscience, L. R. Squire, Ed.).313-319. Oxford: Academic Press.

    Journal Article

    • Wang, F. H., Zevin, J., Mintz, T. H. (2019). Successfully learning non-adjacent dependencies in a continuous artificial language stream. Cognitive psychology. Vol. 113, pp. 101223. PubMed Web Address
    • Wang, F. H., Mintz, T. H. (2018). Learning nonadjacent dependencies embedded in sentences of an artificial language: When learning breaks down. Journal of experimental psychology. Learning, memory, and cognition. Vol. 44 (4), pp. 604-614. PubMed Web Address
    • Wang, F. H., Mintz, T. H. (2018). The role of reference in cross-situational word learning. Cognition. Vol. 170, pp. 64-75. PubMed Web Address
    • Wang, F. H., Zevin, J. D., Mintz, T. H. (2017). Top-down structure influences learning of nonadjacent dependencies in an artificial language. Journal of experimental psychology. General. Vol. 146 (12), pp. 1738-1748. PubMed Web Address
    • Mintz, T. H., Walker, R. L., Welday, A., Kidd, C. (2017). Infants’ sensitivity to vowel harmony and its role in segmenting speech. Cognition. Vol. 171, pp. 95-107. PubMed Web Address
    • Geffen, S., Mintz, T. H. (2017). Prosodic differences between declaratives and interrogatives in infant-directed speech. Journal of child language. Vol. 44 (4), pp. 968-994. PubMed Web Address
    • Wang, F. H., Mintz, T. H. (2016). Language acquisition is model-based rather than model-free. The Behavioral and brain sciences. Vol. 39, pp. e89. PubMed Web Address
    • Mintz, T. H., Wang, F. H., Li, J. (2014). Word categorization from distributional information: frames confer more than the sum of their (Bigram) parts. Cognitive psychology. Vol. 75, pp. 1-27. PubMed Web Address
    • Amir, O., Biederman, I., Herald, S. B., Shah, M. P., Mintz, T. H. (2014). Greater sensitivity to nonaccidental than metric shape properties in preschool children. Vision research. Vol. 97, pp. 83-8. PubMed Web Address
    • Mintz, T. H. (2013). The segmentation of sub-lexical morphemes in English-learning 15-month-old infants. Frontiers in Language Sciences. Vol. 4 (24), pp. 1-12.
    • Chemla, E., Mintz, T. H., Bernal, S., Christophe, A. (2009). Categorizing words using frequent frames: What cross-linguistic analyses reveal about distributional acquisition strategies. Developmental Science. Vol. 12 (3), pp. 396-406.
    • Mintz, T. H. (2005). Linguistic and conceptual influences on adjective acquisition in 24- and 36-month-olds. Developmental Psychology/American Psychological Association. Vol. 41, pp. pp. 17-29.
    • Curtin, S., Mintz, T. H., Christiansen, M. H. (2005). Stress changes the representational landscape: Evidence from word segmentation. Cognition/Elsevier. Vol. 96, pp. pp. 233-262.
    • Arnoff, J., Giralt, N., Mintz, T. H. (2005). Stochastic Approaches to Morphology Acquisition. Selected Proceedings of the 8th Hispanic Linguistics Symposium/Cascadilla Press. pp. p. 110-121.
    • Mintz, T. H. (2003). Frequent frames as a cue for grammatical categories in child directed speech. Cognition. Vol. 90 (1), pp. 91-117. PubMed Web Address
    • Mintz, T. H. (2002). Category induction from distributional cues in an artificial language. Memory & cognition. Vol. 30 (5), pp. 678-86. PubMed Web Address


    • Wang, H., Höhle, B., Ketrez, N. F., Küntay, A. C., Mintz, T. H. (2011). Cross-linguistic Distributional Analyses with Frequent Frames: The Cases of German and Turkish. In N. Danis, K. Mesh, & H. Sung (Ed.), pp. 628-640. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press.. Proceedings of the 35th annual Boston University Conference on Language Development.
    • Wang, H., Mintz, T. H. (2010). From linear sequences to abstract structures: Distributional information in infant-directed speech. In A Supplement to the Proceedings of the 34th Boston University Conference on Language Development. J. Chandlee, K. Franich, K. Iserman, and L. Keil (Ed.), pp. MA. Somerville, MA. Cascadilla Press. Paper
    • Wang, H., Mintz, T. H. (2008). A Dynamic Learning Model for Categorizing Words Using Frames. In Proceedings of the 32nd annual Boston University Conference on Language Development, H. Chan, E. Kapia, & H. Jacob (Ed.), pp. 552-536. Somerville, MA. Cascadilla Press.


    • Mintz, T. H.Curtin, S., Mintz, T., and Byrd, D. (2001). Coarticulatory cues enhances infants’ recognition of syllable sequences in speech. . In A. H.-J. Do, L. Domínguez, & A. Johansen (Eds.), Proceedings of the 25th annual Boston University Conference on Language Development. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press.


    • Mintz, T. H.Mintz, T. H., Newport, E. L., and Bever, T. G. (2002). The distributional structure of grammatical categories in speech to young children. Cognitive Science, 26, 393-424.


    • Mintz, T. H.Mintz, T. H., & Giralt, N. (2001). What’s in a name? Novel and superordinate nouns facilitate learning novel adjectives. To appear in, Proceedings of the 25th annual Boston University Conference on Language Development. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press.


    • Mintz, T. H.Mintz, T. H., and Gleitman, L. R. (2002). Adjectives really do modify nouns: the incremental and restricted nature of early adjective acquisition. Cognition, 84, 267-293.
    • Mintz, T. H.Mintz, T.H. (2002). Category Induction from Distributional Cues in an Artificial Language. Memory & Cognition, 30, 678-686.
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