Our work on psycholinguistics relates to three primary areas:
  • Early language development
  • Language comprehension and production
  • Second language acquisition
  • Language attrition

Early language development

Our team specialises in the study of phonological development. Our research focuses on infants and toddlers, including observational studies of production and experimental studies of word recognition and word learning. We study the relationship between babble and early words, and the shaping of a child's knowledge of the sound system of the language they are learning. We also study how the speech of the adults around them affects infants' learning.

Language comprehension and production

What is the relation between grammatical knowledge and our real-time language processing? Our research mainly concerns psycholinguistic evidence for how syntactic and semantic knowledge is used. Among other phenomena, we study locality restrictions on syntactic dependencies , the interaction of event structure and passivisation, argument/adjunct asymmetries and perceptual reports.

Second language acquisition

We investigate multilingual language acquisition from a theoretical linguistic perspective. One main strand is in the second language acquisition of linguistic structure at the interfaces of syntax with semantics and discourse, and in the role of input in shaping acquisition. We specifically undertake research that integrates second language acquisition theory and language teaching practice, both at the level of collaborative research and at the level of knowledge exchange.

Language attrition

Any speaker who knows and uses more than one language will experience these languages interfering with each other. This is well established in second language acquisition, but there is much less work done on how second or foreign languages can affect the native language. We study how processing, production, and representation of the first language of bilinguals may be different from monolinguals, and what factors contribute to such changes.

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