In Press
Abarbanell L, Li P. Unraveling the contribution of left-right language on spatial perspective taking. Spatial Cognition & Computation. In Press. al_tene_nonegolr.pdf
Li P, Abarbanell L. Competing perspectives on frames of reference in language and thought. Cognition. 2018;170C :9-24. Publisher's VersionAbstract

A study found that Dutch-speaking children who prefer egocentric (left/right) reference frame when describing spatial relationships, and Hai||om-speaking children who use a geocentric (north/south) frame had difficulty recreating small-scale spatial arrays using their language-incongruent system (Haun et al., 2011). In five experiments, we reconciled these results with another study showing that English (egocentric) and Tseltal Mayan (geocentric) speakers can flexibly use both systems (Li et al., 2011; Abarbanell, 2010). In replicating and extending Haun et al. (Experiment 1), English- but not Tseltal-speaking children could use their language-incongruent system when the instructions used their non-preferred frame of reference. Perseveration due to task order may explain the discrepancies between present English- and previous Dutch-speaking children, while not understanding task instructions using left/right language may explain why present Tseltal- and previous Hai||om-speaking children had difficulty with their language-incongruent systems. In support, Tseltal-speaking children could use an egocentric system when the instructions were conveyed without left/right language (Experiments 2-4), and many did not know left/right language (Experiment 5). These findings help reconcile seemingly conflicting sets of results and suggest that task constraints, rather than language, determine which system is easier (Experiment 2 vs. 3).


Foushee R, Falkou N, Li P. 'Two pounds cookies' or 'two pounds of cookies': Children's appreciation of quantity expressions. Language Acquisition: A Journal of Developmental Linguistics. 2017;24 (4) :400-416. PseudopartitivesAttributives.pdf
Shusterman A, Li P. Frames of reference in spatial language acquisition. Cognitive Psychology. 2016 :115-161. Publisher's Version
Shusterman A, Li P. A framework for work on frames of reference. In: Core Knowledge & Conceptual Change. Oxford University Press ; 2016. pp. 188-202. shustermanli_toappear_frameworkfor.pdf
LeCorre M, Li P, Huang B, Jia G, Carey S. Numerical Morphology Supports Early Number Word Learning:Evidence from a Comparison of Young Mandarin and English Learners. Cognitive Psychology. 2016;88 :162-186. lecorre_et_al_2015_under_review.pdf
Wang J, Li P, Carey S. Exploring language and thought relation in learning how stuff counts. Boston University Child Language Conference. 2013 :456-468.
Srinivasan M, Chestnut E, Li P, Barner D. Sortal concepts and pragmatic inference in children’s early quantification of objects. Cognitive Psychology. 2013;66 :302-326.
Cheung P, Li. P, Barner D. What counts in Mandarin: A study of individuation and quantification. 34th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. 2012 :210-215.
Li P, Abarbanell L, Gleitman L, Papafragou A. Spatial reasoning in Tseltal Mayans. Cognition. 2011;120 :33-53.
Li P, Huang B, Hsiao Y-L. Learning that classifiers count: Mandarin speaking children’s acquisition of sortal and measural classifiers. Journal of East Asian Linguistics. 2010;19 (3) :207-230.
Cheung P, Barner D, Li P. Syntactic cues to individuation in Mandarin. Journal of Cognitive Science. 2010;10 :135-147.
Barner D, Li P, Snedeker J. Words as windows to thought: The case of object representation. Current Directions in Psychological Science. 2010;111 (3) :195-200.
Li P, Ogura T, Barner D, Yang S-J, Carey S. Does the distinction between singular and plural sets depend on language? . Developmental Psychology. 2009;45 (6) :1644-1653.
Barner D, Inagaki S, Li P. Language, thought, and real nouns: Individuation in Japanese, English and Mandarin Chinese. Cognition. 2009;111 :329-344.
Li P, Dunham Y, Carey S. Of substance: The nature of language effects on entity construal. Cognitive Psychology. 2009;58 (4) :487-524.
Li P, Huang B, Barner D. Classifiers as count syntax: Individuation and measurement in the acquisition of Mandarin Chinese. Language Learning and Development. 2008;4 (4) :1-42.