Dr Mits Ota


With my team at ELfLanD (Edinburgh Laboratory for Language Development), I study how language develops in infants and young children and enjoy being mesmerised by the capacity of the young human mind.



Wee Mits!

Before I became an academic, I used to work in the music industry, promoting musicians such as Michael Jackson and George Michael. A decision to study linguistics led me to post-graduate training in the US, where I completed my MA and PhD. I set up ELfLanD in 2009.

Likes: I like to play folk music, read non-fictions, and eat blue cheese (only the best!)
Dislikes: Herbal tea and walking in the rain


  • Phonological and lexical development during infancy/childhood
  • Phonological development in second language learners
  • Atypical phonological development and speech processing (e.g., autism and dyslexia)


  • Ota, M., & Green, S. J. (2013). Input frequency and lexical variability in phonological development: A survival analysis of word-initial cluster production. Journal of Child Language, 40, 539-566.
  • Ota, M. (2013). Lexical frequency effects on phonological development: The case of word production in Japanese. In M. Vihman & T. Keren-Portnoy (Eds.), Child phonology: Whole word approaches, cross-linguistic evidence (pp. 415-438). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Ota, M., Hartsuiker, R. J., & Haywood, S. L. (2009). The KEY to the ROCK: Near-homophony in nonnative visual word recognition. Cognition, 111, 263-269.
  • Stewart, M. E. & Ota, M. (2008). Lexical effects on speech perception in individuals with “autistic” traits. Cognition, 109, 157-162.
  • Ota, M. (2003). The development of prosodic structure in early words: Continuity, divergence and change. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  • More publications by Mits Ota

External links