Alex de Carvalho is an Associate Professor of Developmental Psychology at University of Paris (Université Paris Descartes). He received his Ph.D. in Cognitive Sciences from the École Normale Supérieure, where he worked with Anne Christophe. After completing his Ph.D, Alex worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the department of psychology at University of Pennsylvania, with John Trueswell. Alex’s research explore many facets of language development, comprehension, production and representation and their relationship to other non-linguistic aspects of cognitive development as well as children’s ability to read.

Some of the fundamental questions Alex de Carvalho is interested in include:
What are the mechanisms that young children use to learn the meaning of words?
How do children and adults detect and solve ambiguities during language processing?
How do listeners adjust their reliance on different sources of information during sentence processing? Can they be encouraged to deal flexibly with the input?
What kind of cognitive abilities sustain language processing and language development and the ability to read?
How well does a child’s ability to understand and mentally analyze spoken sentences relate to the child’s ability to read sentences ?

In his work, Alex employs a multidisciplinary approach, spanning the fields of education, developmental psychology, cognitive science, and linguistics. He uses a variety of methods (including eye tracking, Electroencephalography - EEG, language production tasks, and assessments of executive function skills) to investigate how spoken language processing skills are acquired and developed from infancy into adulthood.

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Associate professor

University of Paris


de Carvalho, A., Dautriche, I., Fiévet, A-C., Christophe, A. (2021). Toddlers exploit referential and syntactic cues to flexibly adapt their interpretation of novel verb meanings. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 203, 105017.

Babineau, M., de Carvalho, A., Trueswell, J., Christophe, A. (2020). Familiar words can serve as a semantic seed for syntactic bootstrapping. Developmental Science, 24, e13010.


de Carvalho, A., Babineau, M., Trueswell, J. C., Waxman, S. R., Christophe, A. (2019). Studying the Real-Time Interpretation of Novel Noun and Verb Meanings in Young Children. Frontiers in Psychology, 10, 274.


Havron, N., de Carvalho, A., Fiévet, A-C, Christophe, A. (2019). 3-4-year-old children rapidly adapt their predictions and use them to learn novel word meanings. Child Development, 90(1), 82–90.

de Carvalho, A., He, A. X., Lidz, J. Christophe, A. (2019). Prosody and function words cue the acquisition of word meanings in 18-month-old infants. Psychological Science, 30(3), 319–332.

de Carvalho, A., Dautriche, I., Lin, I., Christophe, A. (2017). Phrasal prosody constrains syntactic analysis in toddlers. Cognition, 163(6), 67-79.

Brusini, Dehaene-Lambertz, van Heugten, de Carvalho, Goffinet, Fiévet, Christophe (2017). Ambiguous function words do not prevent 18-month-olds from building accurate syntactic category expectations: An ERP study. Neuropsychologia, 98, 4-12.

de Carvalho, A.*, Reboul, A.*, Van der Henst, J-B., Chelyus, A., Nazir, T. (2016). Scalar Implicatures: The Psychological Reality of Scales. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, 1500.

de Carvalho, A., Lidz, J., Tieu, L., Bleam, T., Christophe, A. (2016). English-speaking preschoolers can use phrasal prosody for syntactic parsing. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 139(6), EL216-EL222.

de Carvalho, A., Dautriche, I., Christophe, A. (2016). Preschoolers use phrasal prosody online to constrain syntactic analysis. Developmental Science, 19(2), 235-250.