Dr Aoju Chen has been appointed professor in Language Development in Relation to Socialisation and Identity in the Department of Languages, Literature and Communication, starting from 1 February 2018. The chair’s research is embedded in the Utrecht Institute of Linguistics (UiL OTS).
Dynamics of Youth
Aoju Chen is a principle investigator (PI) in the university’s strategic theme Dynamics of Youth. She has co-led the cross-faculty interdisciplinary research pillar 'Belonging' within Dynamics of Youth since 2016. Bridging research in linguistics and research in the social sciences, she investigates how development of speech entrainment at multiple linguistic levels in child-parent interactions influences the development of sense of belonging in children and adolescents, which has strong effects on their emotional and mental well-being and cognitive functioning.
Vidi project on prosody
Between 2011 and 2016, Aoju Chen was the PI in the NWO-VIDI project 'Get the focus right: a cross-linguistic study on prosodic encoding of focus in children'. She and her team studied the developmental path to adult-like competence in using prosody to structure information across languages, how and why children acquiring the same language differ from each other in this process. Before she joined Utrecht University in 2011, she was a scientific staff member in the department of Language Acquisition at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics.
Co-operation with Hong Kong
Chen is the co-founder of the Chinese University of Hong Kong-Utrecht University Joint Centre for Language, Mind and Brain in Hong Kong, China and has been actively engaged in joint teaching and interdisciplinary research activities between UU and the CUHK.