Aylin Küntay's Portrait

Research Areas

  • Language and Communication Development of Infants & Preschool Children


University of California at Berkeley: MIS in Information Management & Systems, May 1999
    (Project title: End-User Search Behavior on MelWeb: A Longitudinal Study)
University of California at Berkeley: Ph.D. in Psychology, 1997
    (Dissertation title: Extended Discourse Skills of Turkish Preschoolers Across Shifting Contexts)
University of California at Berkeley: M.A. in Psychology, 1995
Boğaziçi University, İstanbul: B.A. in Psychology, 1989


Verhagen, J., Grassmann, & Küntay, A.C. (2017). Monolingual and bilingual children's resolution of referential conflicts: Effects of bilingualism and relative language proficiency. Cognitive Development.
Alaca Veryeri I & Küntay, A.C. (2017). Early education in literacy in Turkey in comparison to the Balkan countries. In N. Kucirkova, C. Snow, V. Grover, C. Mcbridge (eds.) The Routledge International Handbook of Early Literacy Education. Taylor and Francis.
Ayaş Köksal, S. & Küntay, A.C. (2017). Oyun ve dil gelişimi (Play and language development). In A. Dost-Özkan, N. Kafesçioğlu, & D. Tahiroğlu (eds.) Gelişim psikolojiisi ve terapi perspektifindan oyun. Özyeğin University Press.
Ateş-Şen, A.B., Demir, Ö.E., Küntay, A.C. (2016). Children's referential choices in Turkish: Experimentally elicited and conversationally occasioned determinants. In B. Haznedar & F.N. Ketrez (eds). The acquisition of Turkish in childhood (pp. 153-175). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Ateş-Şen, B. & Küntay, A.C. (2016). Sosyal-edimsel dil ve iletişim becerilerinin gelişimi: Bebeklikte tipik ve atipik sosyal-bilişsel süreçler (Development of social-pragmatic competence: Typical and atypical processes in infancy). In M. Irak (ed.) Davranış Bozuklukları ve Biliş (pp. 97-138). Istanbul: Bahçeşehir University Press.
Uzundağ, B. & Küntay, A.C. (2016). İki dillilik gelişen zihni farklı şekillendirir mi? (Does bilingualism shape the developing mind differently?). In Ç Aydın, T. Göksun, A.C. Küntay, D. Tahiroğlu (eds.) Aklın Çocuk Hali: Zihin Gelişimi Araştırmaları (pp. 41-67). Istanbul: Koç University Publications.
Ateş-Şen, B. & Küntay, A.C. (2015). Children's sensitivity to caregiver cues and the role of adult feedback in the development of referential communication. In L. Serratrice and S. Allen (eds.) The acquisition of reference (pp. 241-262). TiLAR Series (Trends in Language Acquisition Research), Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Küntay, A. C. & Özge, D. (2014). Word order as a structural cue and word ordering as an interactional process in early language acquisition. In Arnon, I., Casillas, M., Kurumada, C. & Estigarribia, B. (eds.) Language in interaction: Studies in honor of Eve V. Clark. TiLAR. John Benjamins Publications.
Baydar. N., Küntay, A. C., Aydemir, N., Çankaya, D., Gökşen, F., Cemalcılar (2014). “It takes a village” to support the vocabulary development of children with multiple risk factors. Developmental Psychology. Advance Online Publication. DOI: 10.1037/a0034785.
Demir, Ö. E. & Küntay, A. C. (2014). Cognitive and Neural Mechanisms Underlying Socioeconomic Gradients in Language Development: New Answers to Old Questions Child Development Perspectives.Vol 8, 113-118.
Blom, E., Küntay, A.C., Messer, M., Verhagen, J. & Leseman, P. (2014). The benefits of being bilingual: Working memory in bilingual Turkish-Dutch Children. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology.128:105-19. doi: 10.1016/j.jecp.2014.06.007
Küntay, Nakamura, Ateş Şen (2014). Crosslinguistic and crosscultural approaches to pragmatic development. Pragmatic Development in First Language Acquisition by Matthews, Danielle (ed.) (pp. 317-341). John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Dost-Gözkan, A. & Küntay, A.C. (2014). Linguistic representation of emotion terms: Variation with respect to self-construal and education Asian Journal of Social Psychology
Furman, R., Küntay, A. C., & Özyürek, A. (2013). Early language-specificity of children’s event encoding in speech and gesture: evidence from caused motion in Turkish. Language and Cognitive Processes.
Köymen, B. & Küntay, A. C. (2013). Turkish children’s conversational oppositions: Usage of two discourse markers. Discourse Processes, 50:6, 388-406.
Sarılar, A., Matthews, D. & Küntay. A. C. (2013). Hearing relative clauses boosts relative clause usage (and referential clarity) in young Turkish language learners. Applied Psycholinguistics.DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0142716413000192
Demir, E. & Küntay, A. C. (2012). Dil ve iletişim becerilerinin gelişiminde ana babalık etkileri (Influences of parents on the development of language and communication skills). In M. Sayıl & B. Yağmurlu (eds.). Ana Babalık: Kuram ve Araştırma (Parenting: Theory and Research). Koç University Press.
Candan, A, Küntay, A. C., Yeh, Y., Cheung, H., Wagner, L. & Naigles, L. R. (2012). Language and age effects in children’s processing of word order. Cognitive Development, 27 (3), 205-222.
Küntay, A. C. (2012). Crosslinguistic research. In Erika Hoff (Ed.) Research methods in child language: A practical guide (pp. 287-299). Wiley-Blackwell.
Candan, A., Küntay, Aylin C., Yeh, Y., Cheung, H., Wagner, L., & Naigles, Letitia R. (2012). Language and age effects in children’s processing of word order. Cognitive Development (27)3, 205–221.
Sarılar, A., & Küntay, A. C. (2011). Do young learners pick up on relative clause constructions in referential communication? A training study. In E. Erguvanlı Taylan & B. Rona (Eds.) Puzzles of language: Essays in honour of Karl Zimmer. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag.
Ural, A. E., Yüret, D., Ketrez, F. N., Koçbaş, D. & Küntay, A. C. (2009). Morphological cues vs. number of nominals in learning verb types in Turkish: The syntactic bootstrapping mechanism revisited. Language and Cognitive Processes, 24, 1393-1405.
Bahtiyar, S. & Küntay, A. C. (2009). Integration of Communicative Partner’s Visual Perspective in Patterns of Referential Requests. Journal of Child Language, 36, 529-555.
Küntay, A. C. (2009). Microgenesis of narrative competence during preschool interactions: Effects of the relational context. In A. Aksu-Koç & S. Bekman (Eds.) Perspectives on Human Development, Family and Culture (pp. 178-193). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Küntay, A. C., & Koçbaş, D. (2009). . Effects of lexical items and construction types in English and Turkish character introductions in elicited narrative. In J. Guo, E. Lieven, N. Budwig, S. Ervin-Tripp, K. Nakamura & Ş. Özçalışkan (Eds.) Crosslinguistic approaches to the psychology of language: Research in the tradition of Dan Isaac Slobin (pp. 81-92). New York, London: Psychology Pres,Taylor & Francis Group.
Baydar, N., Kağıtçıbaşı, Ç, Küntay, A. C., & Gökşen, F. (2008). Effects of an educational television program on preschoolers: Variability in benefits. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 29, pp. 349-360.
Göksun, T., Küntay, A. C., & Naigles, L. R. (2008). Turkish children use morphosyntactic bootstrapping in interpreting verb meaning. Journal of Child Language, 35, pp. 291-323.
Küntay, A. C., & Özyürek, A. (2006). Learning to use demonstratives in conversation: What do language-specific strategies in Turkish reveal? Journal of Child Language, 33, pp. 303-320
Küntay, A. C., & Ahtam, B. (2004). Annelerin çocuklarıyla geçmiş hakkındaki konuşmalarının anne eğitim düzeyiyle ilişkisi. Türk Psikoloji Dergisi, 19 (54), 19-31.
Küntay, A. C. (2004). Lists as Alternative Discourse Structures to Narratives in Preschool Children’s Conversations. Discourse Processes, 38, pp. 95-118.
Küntay, A. C., Gülgöz, S., & Tekcan, A.İ. (2004). Disputed Memories of Twins: How Ordinary Are They? Applied Cognitive Psychology, 18, 405-413.
Küntay, A., Nakamura, K. (2004). Linguistic strategies serving evaluative functions: A comparison between Japanese and Turkish narratives. In S. Strömqvist, & L. Verhoeven (Eds.) Relating events in narrative, Volume 2: Typological and contextual perspectives (pp. 329-358). Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Küntay, A. C., & Şenay, I. (2003). Narratives beget narratives: Rounds of stories in Turkish preschool conversations. Journal of Pragmatics, 35, pp. 559-87.
İkier, S., Tekcan, A., Gülgöz, S., & Küntay, A. (2003). Whose Life is it Anyway? Adoption of Each Other’s Autobiographical Memories in Twins. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 17, pp. 237-247.
Küntay, A. C. (2002). Occasions for providing resolutions (or not) in Turkish preschool conversations. Narrative Inquiry, 11, 411-450.
Küntay, A. (2002). Development of the Expression of Indefiniteness: Presenting New referents in Turkish Picture-series Stories. Discourse Processes, 33, 77-101.
Küntay, A., & Slobin, D. I. (2002). Putting interaction back into child language: Examples from Turkish. Psychology of Language and Communication, 6: 5-14
Inkelas, S., Hansson, G., Küntay, A., & Orgun, O. (2001). Labial Attraction in Turkish: An Empirical Perspective. Turkic Languages, Turkic Languages, 5, 169-197.
Inkelas, S., Küntay, A., Sprouse, R., & Orgun, O. (2000). Turkish Electronic Living Lexicon (TELL). Turkic Languages 4, 253-275.
Küntay, A. C. (1999). How do Turkish preschoolers anchor referents in conversational extended discourse? Psychology of Language and Communication, 3 (2), pp. 83-90.
Küntay, A., & Slobin, D.I. (1999). The acquisition of Turkish as a native language: A research review. Turkic Languages, 3 (2), 151-188.
Küntay, A., & Ervin-Tripp, S. (1997). Conversational narratives of children: Occasions and structures Journal of Narrative and Life History 7 (1-4), 113-120.
Ervin-Tripp, S., & Küntay, A. (1997). The occasioning and structure of conversational stories. In T. Givón (Ed.) Conversation: Cognitive, Communicative and Social Perspectives (pp. 133-166). Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
Küntay, A., & Slobin, D.I. (1996). Listening to a Turkish mother: Some puzzles for acquisition. In D.I. Slobin, J. Gerhardt, A. Kyratzis, & J. Guo (Eds.) Social Interaction, Social Context, and Language (pp. 265-286). Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Demir, O. E. & Küntay, A. C. (). Narrative development. In P. Brooks, V. Kempe, & J.G. Golson (eds.) Encyclopedia of Language Development.Sage Publications.

Conference Proceedings

Uzundağ, B., Taşçı, S., Küntay, A.C., & Aksu-Koç. A. (2016). Functions of evidentials in Turkish child and child-directed speech in early child-caregiver interactions. Proceedings of the 40th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (pp. 403-416). Somerville, CA: Cascadilla Press.
Özge, D., Kornfilt, J., Münster, K., Knoeferle, P., Küntay, A.C., & Snedeker, J. (2016). Predictive use of case markers in German children. Proceedings of the 40th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (pp. 291-303). Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press.
Belpaeme, T., Vogt, P., Kopp, S., Leseman, P., Küntay, A.C., Göksun, T., & Pandey, A. (2015). L2TOR: Second language tutoring using social robots. Paper published in the proceeding of First International Workshop on Educational Robots (Wonder).
Blom, E., Küntay, A.C., Messer, M., Verhagen, J. & Leseman, P. (2014). Do bilingual Turkish-Dutch children show working memory benefits despite lower linguistic proficiency? Proceedings of the 38th Annual Boston University Conference on Child Language Development (pp. 64-76), Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press.
Furman, R., Özyürek, A., & Küntay, A. C. (2010). Early language-specificity in Turkish children’s motion expressions in speech and gesture. In K. Franich, K. M. Iserman, and L. L. Keil (Eds.) Proceedings of the 34th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (pp. 126-137). Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press.
Wang, H., Höhle, K. Ketrez, N., Küntay, A. C., & Mintz. (2010). Cross-linguistic distributional analyses with frequent frames: The cases of German and Turkish. Proceedings of the 35th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press.
Acarlar, F., Aksu-Koç, A., Küntay, A. C., Maviş, İ., Sofu, H., Topbaş, S., Turan, F. (2009). Adapting MB-CDI to Turkish: The first phase. In S. Ay, Ö. Aydın., İ. Ergenç, S. Gökmen, S. İşsever, and D. Peçenel (Eds.) Essays on Turkish linguistics: Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Turkish Linguistics, August 6-8, 2008. Harrassowitz Verlag: Wiesbaden, Germany.
Yüret, D., Ural, A. E., Ketrez, F. N., Koçbaş, D. & Küntay, A. C. (2009). Morphological cues vs. number of nominals in learning verb types in Turkish: Syntactic bootstrapping mechanism revisited. In J. Chandlee, M. Franchini, and M. Rheiner (Eds.) A Supplement to the Proceedings of the 33rd Boston University Conference on Language Development.
Küntay, A. C., & Bahtiyar, S.A., Sungur, H., & Özdamar, Ö. (2008). Requestive speech leads to referential clarity in Turkish Preschool Children. In H. Chan, H. Jacob, and E. Kapia (Eds.) Proceedings of the 32nd Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (pp. 239-250). Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press.
Bahtiyar, S. A., & Küntay, A. C. (2007). Preschool children can assess common ground: Effect of (in)definiteness status of referential terms. Proceedings of the 31st Boston University Conference on Language Development, Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press.
Naigles, L., R., Küntay, A. C., Göksun, T., & Lee, J. N. (2006). Language-specific properties influence children’s acquisition of argument structure. In D. Bamman, T. Magnitskaia, & C. Zaller (Eds.) Proceedings of the 30th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (pp. 388-398). Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press
Demir, E.Ö., Küntay, A. C., & Özyürek, A. (2005). Görme engelli Türk çocuklarının ve annelerinin işaret zamiri kullanımı: Dokunsal ortak dikkat. 2. Ulusal Dil ve Konuşma Bozuklukları Kongresi Bildiri Kitabı (Seyhun Topbaş, Ed.), Ankara: Kök Yayıncılık.
Küntay, A. & Özyürek, A. (2002). Development of the use of demonstrative pronouns in Turkish. In B. Skarabela, S. Fish, and A.H. Do (Eds.) Proceedings of the 26th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (pp. 336-347) . Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press.
Küntay, A., & Slobin, D.I. (2001). Discourse behavior of lexical categories in Turkish child-directed speech: Nouns vs. verbs. In Almgren, M., Barreña, A., Ezeizabarrena , M., Idiazabal I., and MacWhinney B. (eds.) Research on Child Language Acquisition: Proceedings for the 8th Conference of the International Association for the Study of Child Language (pp. 928-946), Cascadilla Press.
Zimmer, K., & Küntay, A. (2000). Turkish internal vowel harmony Revisited. Proceedings of the International Conference for Turkish Linguistics. Boğaziçi University, İstanbul, August 16-18.
Inkelas, S., Küntay, A., Orgun, C.O., & Sprouse, R. (2000). Turkish electronic living lexicon (TELL): A lexical database. Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation, Athens, Greece.
Küntay, A., & Ervin-Tripp, S. (1998). Conversational narratives of Turkish children: Occasions and structures. In A. Aksu-Koç, E. Erguvanlı-Taylan, A. Sumru Özsoy & A. Küntay (Eds.) Perspectives in language acquisition: Selected papers from the International Congress for the Study of Child Language (July 14-19, 1996).
Dasinger, L., & Küntay, A. (1998). Introducing referents in elicited discourse: Finnish vs. Turkish. In A. Aksu-Koç, E. Erguvanlı-Taylan, A. Sumru Özsoy & A. Küntay (Eds.) Perspectives in Language Acquisition: Selected Papers from the International Congress for the Study of Child Language (July 14-19, 1996).
Aksu-Koç, A., Erguvanlı-Taylan, E., Özsoy, A. S., & Küntay, A. (Eds.) (1998). Perspectives on Language Acquisition: Selected Papers from the International Congress for the Study of Child Language.
Küntay, A., & Slobin, D.I. (1995). Nouns and verbs in child directed speech. In D. MacLaughlin, & S. McEwen (Eds.) Proceedings of the 19th Boston University Conference on Language Development(pp. 179-196). Boston, MA.
Slobin, D.I., Dasinger, L., Küntay, A., & Toupin, C. (1993). Native language reacquisition in early childhood. In E. Clark (Ed.) The Proceedings of the Twenty-fourth Annual Child Language Research Forum. Stanford: CSLI Publications.

Funded Projects

  • L2Tor

    Second Language Tutoring Using Social Robots http://www.l2tor.eu/
  • KULLDD-Koç University Longitudinal Language Development Database

    A corpus initially funded by TUBA and by Eurocores, ESF, conducted in collaboration with Dr. Sophie Kern at Laboratoire Dynamique du Langage at University of Lyon II. attempts to document changes from babbling to first words, and early grammar and social-pragmatics from 8 months to 36 months.
  • Late Language Development

    Looks at cognitive-pragmatic development in areas such as conflict resolution, use of request language, use of deictic/referential language, forms and functions of conversational and elicited narratives in preschool-age children. Some of this work is carried out in collaboration with Ayhan Aksu-Koç from Boğaziçi University and Asli Özyürek from Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen.
  • Early Language Comprehension

    A comprehension study using the intermodal preferential looking paradigm in collaboration with Letitia Naigles and Laura Wagner. Supported by NICHD.
  • Early Language Comprehension

    Crosslinguistic study using the eye-tracking paradigm in collaboration with Duygu Özge and Jesse Snedeker. Supported by Tübitak.
  • Turkish Communicative Development Inventory (TİGE)

    Adapts and validates Bates Macarthur Communicative Development Inventories to Turkish. In collaboration with Funda Acarlar, Burçak Aktürk, Ayhan Aksu-Koç, İlknur Maviş, Hatice Sofu, Seyhun Topbaş, Figen Turan. Supported by Tübitak.
  • Turkish Early Childhood Ecologies

    A 6-year longitudinal study on school readiness and adjustment of families with 3-year-old Turkish-learning children in Turkey. In collaboration with Nazlı Baydar, Zeynep Cemalcılar, Fatoş Göksen, Bilge Yağmurlu. Supported by Tübitak.
  • Early Socio-cognitive Development and Emergence of Communication and Language

    In collaboration with Nazlı Altınok, Özge Savaş, Hilal Şen, Ebru Ger & Ulf Liszkowski. Supported by Tubitak and BMBF, Germany.
  • Early Gestural Development and Verb Learning

    In collaboration with Beyza Ateş, Ece Demir, Reyhan Furman, Aslı Özyürek.

Student Projects

Ongoing PhD Thesis Projects

DENİZ ÖZKAN GÖKTÜRK. Individual differences in language processing

HİLAL ŞEN. Collaboration in lying in peers

SÜLEYMAN S. TAŞÇI. Spatial representations in Turkish sign language and Turkish

BERNA ASLAN UZUNDAĞ. Development of evidentials and relative clauses in preschool language

CANSU ORANÇ. Probability judgements and trust in robotic and book-based knowledge sources

Ongoing MA Thesis Projects

BERNA A. UZUNDAĞ. Learning of evidentials and relative clauses

Previous PhD Thesis Projects

AYŞE BEYZA ATEŞ ŞEN. Developing verbal and nonverbal referential communication skills: Children's naturalistic and experimental interactions with adults

Previous MA Thesis Projects

ÖZGE SAVAŞ (2015). Nature of early child-directed interactions in advantaged and disadvantaged households

NAZLI ALTINOK (2014). Predictors and outcomes of pointing behavior in early communicative development: From child-directed interactions to gestures to words

MUSTAFA (UĞUR) KAYA. (2014). Transfer effects in online working memory training

BURÇAK AKTÜRK (2012). Understanding the gestural, lexical and grammatical development of Turkish-speaking infants and toddlers: Validity study of the Turkish communicative development inventory (TIGE)

ELDA ASAEL FELDMAN (2012). The relation between working memory and language development in 21- to 36-month-old native learners of Turkish

ERCENUR ÜNAL (2011). Effects of linguistic descriptions on development of visual memory binding

SEVCAN AYAŞ KÖKSAL (2011). Predictors of Turkish speaking preschoolers' narrative and vocabulary competence: An ecological approach

AYŞE BEYZA ATEŞ ŞEN (2010). The effects of discourse-pragmatic principles on young Turkish toddlers' and their regular caregivers' referential expressions

AYŞE SARILAR (2010). Effects of different feedback conditions on children's referring expressions

AYŞE CANDAN (2009). Role of word order and accusative case marking in sentence comprehension in 17-to 39-month-old Turkish children

AYFER DOST (2006). The Relationship between self construals and language for emotions in personal narratives of Turkish males and females

SAADET BAHAR KÖYMEN (2005). Conflict talk of preschoolers in same-sex and mixed-sex peer groups in collaborative and competitive activity settings

SEVDA BAHTİYAR (2005). Developing perspective taking in conversation: The effect of common ground and privileged ground in referential communication tasks

TİLBE GÖKSUN (2005). Comprehension of verbs in different syntactic frames by Turkish childeren: An act-out study

Ebru Ger. Development of infant pointing from 10 to 12 months: The role of relevant caregiver responsiveness

Courses Taught

  • Life-Span Development
  • Psychology of Language
  • Language Development
  • Advanced Cognitive Development (MA level)
  • Early Language and Communication Development (PhD Level)
  • Language and Communicative Disorders
  • Cognitive Development (Research-based)
  • Systems and Theories in Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Introduction to Psychology