We conduct research in children and adults of different ages, language learning types (monolinguals, bilinguals, multilinguals), and abilities (children with typical development, children with Developmental Language Disorders, children with Autism Spectrum Disorders) in order to address how they develop their language abilities, how they process language in real-time, and how language relates to other cognitive abilities. Towards that aim, we compare language acquisition and processing across languages and across language users to address theoretically informed research questions. Our research in grounded in theoretical linguistics as well as in psycholinguistic models and language acquisition theories.

Our research findings have important societal impact:

  • Understanding how language develops in children informs nursery teachers and teachers in schools about what to expect from the children in their classrooms and helps them prioritise strategies to support their language development.
  • Learning which domains of language are vulnerable in children with language impairment helps speech & language therapists identify children with language impairment and can sharpen their intervention protocols.
  • Knowing which language structures are difficult to process or create ambiguity can help everyone use language in a more effective way.
  • Knowing which structures are difficult to learn in another language helps teachers develop effective teaching methods and materials for children and adult learners from different backgrounds.
  • Knowing how details of grammar affect language processing is necessary for other areas of cognitive science, where language is often used as an experimental or diagnostic stimulus.

List of current projects

List of completed projects