Jean Berko Gleason
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Jean Berko Gleason is a Professor Emerita in the psychology department at the Boston University, a psycholinguist who has made fundamental contributions to the understanding of language acquisition in children, aphasia, gender differences in language development, and parent-child interactions. She is best known for creating the wug test, by which she demonstrated that even young children have implicit knowledge of linguistic morphology, and which remains in use today.
Jean Berko was born in Cleveland, Ohio to Hungarian immigrant parents. She graduated from Cleveland Heights High School in 1949, then received an A.B. in history and literature, an A.M. in linguistics, and a combined PhD in linguistics and psychology, all from Radcliffe. In graduate school she was advised by Roger Brown, a pioneer in the field of child language acquisition. In January 1959 she married Harvard mathematician Andrew Gleason; they had three daughters.
Gleason spent most of her professional career at Boston University, where she served as Psychology department chair and director of the Graduate Program in Human Development. Lise Menn and Harold Goodglass were among her collaborators there. She has been a visiting scholar at Harvard University, Stanford University, and at the Linguistics Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the American Psychological Association, and was president of the International Association for the Study of Child Language from 1990 to 1993. She has been active in the Gypsy Lore Society, and was its president from 1996 to 1999. She has also served on the editorial boards of numerous academic and professional journals, and was associate editor of Language. She is editor or co-editor of two widely used textbooks, The Development of Language (1985) and Psycholinguistics (1993).
Gleason was one of the profiled in Beyond the Glass Ceiling: Forty Women Whose Ideas Shape the Modern World (1996). A festschrift in her honor, Methods for Studying Language Production, was published in 2000.
As part of her dissertation research Gleason devised the wug test, in which a young child is shown simple pictures of imaginary creatures and activities, and asked to complete statements about them. For example:
- Here is a wug. Now in this picture, there are two of them. There are two ________.
- Here is a gutch. Now in this picture, there are two of them. There are two ________.
- This is a man who knows how to spow. He is spowing. He did the same thing yesterday. What did he do yesterday? Yesterday he ________.
Gleason found that young children are able to attach appropriate endings to these and other nonsense words—which they had never before heard—to form plurals, tenses, and other basic morphological forms. This implies that rather than simply imitating, children turn what they hear into patterns and rules, which they subsequently apply to novel words.
Gleason's findings are considered central to the understanding of how and when children achieve important language milestones. Her resulting paper ("The Child's Learning of English Morphology") remains basic to collections of readings in language development and cognitive psychology, and variations on the wug test are still used throughout the world to research children's language acquisition.
- Berko, J. (1958). The Child's Learning of English Morphology. Word, 14, 150 177.
- Brown, R., & Berko, J. (1960). Word Association and the acquisition of grammar. Child Development, 31, 1 14.
- Goodglass, H., & Berko, J. (1960). Agrammatism and English inflectional morphology. Journal of Speech and Hearing Research, 3, 257 267.
- Goodglass, H., Gleason, J. Berko, & Hyde, M. (1970). Some dimensions of auditory language comprehension in aphasia. Journal of Speech and Hearing Research, 13, 96 606. (Editor's Award)[clarification needed]
- Goodglass, H., Gleason, J. Berko, Bernholtz, N.A., & Hyde, M. R. (1972). Some linguistic structures in the speech of a Broca's aphasic. Cortex, 8, 191 212
- Gleason, J. Berko (1973). Code Switching in Children's Language. In T. Moore (Ed.), Cognitive * Development and the Acquisition of Language. New York Academic Press, 169-167.
- Gleason, J. Berko, Goodglass, H., Green, E., Ackerman, N., & Hyde, M. R. (1975). The retrieval of syntax in Broca's aphasia. Brain and Language, 2, 451 471.
- Gleason, J. Berko (1975). Fathers and Other Strangers: Men's speech to Young Children. 26th Annual Roundtable, Georgetown University Press, 289-297.
- Gleason, J. Berko & Weintraub, S. (1976). The acquisition of routines in child language. Language in Society, 5, 129 136.
- Gleason, J. Berko (1977). Talking to Children: Some Notes on Feedback. In C. Ferguson and C. Snow (Eds.), Talking to Children: Language Acquisition and Input. Cambridge University Press, 199-205.
- Gleason, J. Berko (1978). The Acquisition and Dissolution of the English Inflectional System. In A. Caramazza and E. Zurif (Eds.), Parallels and Divergencies. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.
- Gleason, J. Berko & Weintraub, S. (1978). Input Language and the Acquisition of Communicative Competence. In K. Nelson (Ed.), Children's Language, Vol. 1, Gardner Press, 171-222.
- Gleason, J. Berko (1979). Sex differences in the language of children and parents: The early evidence. In O. Garnica and M. King (Eds.), Language, Children, and Society. Oxford and New York: Pergamon Press.
- Goodglass, H., Blumstein, S., Gleason, J. Berko, Green, E., Hyde, M, & Statlender, S. (1979). The effect of syntactic encoding on sentence comprehension in aphasia. Brain and Language, 7, 201-209.
- Gleason, J. Berko, Goodglass, H, Obler, L., Green, E., Hyde, M. R., & Weintraub, S. (1980). Narrative strategies of aphasic and normal speaking subjects. Journal of Speech and Hearing Research, 2 370 382
- Masur, E. & Gleason, J. Berko (1980). Parent child interaction and the acquisition of lexical information during play. Developmental Psychology, 16, 404 409.
- Gleason, J. Berko (1980). The acquisition of social speech and politeness formulae. In H. Giles, and W. P. Robinson, P.M. Smith, (Eds.), Language: Social Psychological Perspectives. Pergamon Press, Oxford and New York, 21-27.
- Greif, E. B. & Gleason, J. Berko (1980). Hi, thanks, and goodbye: More routine information. Language in Society, 9, 159 166.
- Gleason, J. Berko (1980). Reflections: The child as informer. Language Arts, May.
- Bellinger, D. & Gleason, J. Berko (1982). Sex differences in parental directives to young children. Journal of Sex Roles, 8(11), 1123-1139.
- Gleason, J. Berko (1982). Converging evidence for linguistic theory from the study of aphasia and child language. In L. Obler & L. Menn (Eds.), Exceptional Language and Linguistics. Academic Press.
- Gleason, J. Berko, & Greif, E. B. (1983). Men's speech to young children. In B. Thorne, C. Kramerae, and N. Henley (Eds.), Language, Gender, and Society, 2nd edition. Rowley, MA: Newbury House, 140-150.
- Gleason, J. Berko & Goodglass, H. (1984). Some neurological and linguistic accompaniments of the fluent and nonfluent aphasias. Topics in Language Disorders, 4(3), 71 81.
- Gleason, J. Berko, Perlmann, R. Y., & Greif, E. B.. (1984). What's the magic word: Learning language through routines. Discourse Processes, 6(2), 493 502.
- Gleason, J. Berko (1984). Exceptional routes to language acquisition. Review of K. Nelson (Ed.), Children's Language. Contemporary Psychology, 29(1), 32 33.
- Gleason, J. Berko (Ed.) (1985). The Development of Language. Columbus, OH: Charles E. Merrill.
- Gleason, J. Berko & Perlmann, R. Y. (1985). Acquiring social variation in speech. In H. Giles and R. N. St Clair (Eds.), Recent Advances in Language, Communication, and Social Psychology. London: Erlbaum, 86-111.
- Gleason, J. Berko & R er, Z. (1985). Aspects of Language Acquisition by Hungarian Gypsy Children. In J. Grumet, (Ed.), Papers from the Fourth and Fifth Annual Meetings, Gypsy Lore Society, North American Chapter. New York: Gypsy Lore Society, 76-83.
- Pan, B. Alexander & Gleason, J. Berko (1986). The study of language loss: Models and hypotheses for an emerging discipline. Applied Psycholinguistics, 7, 193 206.
- Menn, L. & Gleason, J. Berko (1986). Babytalk as a stereotype and register: Adult reports of children's speech patterns. In J. A. Fishman et al. (Eds.) The Fergusonian Impact. Vol I. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 111 125.
- Kohn, S. E., Wingfield, A., Menn, L., Goodglass, H., Gleason, J. B., & Hyde, M. H. (1987). Lexical retrieval: The tip of the tongue phenomenon. Applied Psycholinguistics, 8, 245 266.
- Gleason, J. Berko (1988). Language and socialization. In F. Kessel (Ed.), The Development of Language and Language Researchers. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum, 269-280.
- Gleason, J. Berko & Wolf, M. (1988). Child language, aphasia, and language disorder: Naming as a window on normal and atypical language processes. Aphasiology, 2, 289-294.
- Gleason, J. Berko, & Pan, B.A. (1988). Maintaining foreign language skills. In J. Berko Gleason (Ed.) You CAN Take It With You. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall Regents, 1-22.
- Gleason, J. Berko (1991). Language without Cognition. Science, 252, 116-120.
- Gleason, J. Berko & Ratner, N. Bernstein. (Eds.). (1993). Psycholinguistics. Fort Worth: Harcourt, Brace.
- Perlmann, R. Y., & Gleason, J. Berko (1993). The neglected role of fathers in children's communicative development. Seminars in Speech and Language, 14, 314-324.
- Gleason, J. Berko, Perlmann, R. Y., Ely, D.,& Evans, D. (1994). The babytalk register: Parents' use of diminutives. In J. L. Sokolov & C. E. Snow (Eds.), Handbook of Research in Language Development Using CHILDES. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
- Gleason, J. Berko (1994). The furnishings of the mind are modular. Contemporary Psychology, 39, 3, 314-315.
- Gleason, J. Berko (1994). Sex differences in parent-child interaction. In C. Roman, S. Juhasz, & C. Miller (Eds.), The Women and Language Debate. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 254-363.
- Tingley, E., Gleason, J. Berko., & Hooshyar, N. (1994). Mothers= lexicon of internal state words in speech to children with Down syndrome and to nonhandicapped children at mealtime. Journal of Communication Disorders, 27, 135-155.
- Ely, R. & Gleason, J. Berko (1995). Socialization across contexts. In P. Fletcher & B. MacWhinney (Eds.), The Handbook of Child Language. Oxford: Blackwell, 251-270.
- Ely, R., Gleason, J. Berko & McCabe, A. (1996). "Why didn't you talk to your Mommy, Honey?": Parents' and children's talk about talk. Research on Language and Social Interaction.29, 1, 7-25.
- Gleason, J. Berko, Ely, R., Perlmann, R. Y., & Narasimhan, B. (1996). Patterns of prohibition in parent-child discourse. In D. I. Slobin, J. Gerhardt, A. Kyratzis, & J. Guo (Eds.), Social interaction, social context, and language: Essays in honor of Susan Ervin-Tripp. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates..
- Leaper, C. & Gleason, J. Berko (1996). The relationship of play activity and gender to parent and child sex-typed communication. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 19, 689-703.
- Goodglass, H. Wingfield, A., Hyde, M. R., Gleason, J. B., Bowles, N. L., & Gallagher, R.E. (1997). The importance of word-initial phonology in prolonged naming efforts by aphasic patients. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 3 128-138.
- Gleason, J. Berko & Ely, R. (1997). Input and the acquisition of vocabulary: Examining the parental lexicon. In C. Mandell & A. McCabe (Eds.), The Problem of Meaning: Behavioral and Cognitive Perspectives. New York: Elsevier.
- Gleason, J. Berko & Ratner, N. Bernstein. (1998). Psycholinguistics, 2nd edition. New York: Harcourt Brace. (Published November 1997).
- Gleason, J. Berko & Melzi, G. (1998). The mutual construction of narrative by mothers and children: Cross cultural observations. Journal of Narrative and Life History, 7, (1 4), 217 222.
- Ely, R. & Gleason, J. Berko (1998). What Color is the Cat? Color Words in Parent-Child Conversations. In A. Aksu-Ko, E. Erguvanli-Taylan, A. Sumru Ozsoy, & A. Kuntay (Eds.) Perspectives on Language Acquisition: Selected Papers from the VIIth International Congress for the Study of Child Language. Istanbul: Bogazici University.
- Ely, R., Gleason, J. Berko, MacGibbon, A., & Zaretsky, E. (2001). Attention to Language: Lessons Learned at the Dinner Table. Social Development, 10, 3, 355-373.
- Goodglass, H., Wingfield, A., Hyde, M. R., Gleason, J. Berko, & Ward, S. E. (2001). Aphasics= access to nouns and verbs: Discourse vs. confrontation naming. Brain and Language, 79, 1, 148-150.
- Gleason, J. Berko ( 2003). Language Acquisition: Is it Like Learning to Walk, or Learning to Play the Piano? Contemporary Psychology, 48, 2, 172-174.
- Bernstein Ratner, Nan & Gleason, J. Berko (2003). Psycholinguistics. In G. Adelman & B. H. Smith (Eds). Encyclopedia of Neuroscience, 3rd edition. Amsterdam: Elsevier Science (CD ROM). Harris, C.H., Aycicegi, A., & Gleason, J. Berko (2003). Taboo Words and Reprimands Elicit Greater Autonomic Reactivity in a First than in a Second Language. Applied Psycholinguistics, 24, 561 579.
- Ely, R., & Gleason, J. Berko (2006). I=m sorry I said that: Apologies in young children=s discourse. Journal of Child Language, 33, 599-620.
- Gleason, J. Berko, Ely, R., Phillips, B., & Zaretsky, E. (2009). Alligators all around: The acquisition of animal terms in English and Russian. In D. Guo & E. Lieven (Eds.) Crosslinguistic Approaches to the Psychology of Language: Research in the Tradition of Dan Isaac Slobin. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
- Gleason, J. Berko & Ratner, Nan Bernstein (Eds.) (2009). The Development of Language, 7th Edition. Boston: Pearson/Allyn & Bacon.
- "Jean Berko Gleason, PhD Professor Emerita". Retrieved 28 January 2013.
- Sian Griffiths and Helena Kennedy, ed. (1996). Beyond the Glass Ceiling: Forty Women Whose Ideas Shape the Modern World. Manchester University Press. ISBN 978-0-7190-4773-2.
- "Strange News: Silly Science Honored With Ig Nobel Prizes". NPR. November 26, 2010.
- Berko 1958