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Research Themes

Theme 1: Language specific features (language typology) and language acquisition

This interest less to most research involving cross-linguistic set ups (L1 and L2 source and target languages); true for all projects involved.  

Theme 2: Linguistic versus cognitive determinants

Interest leads to direct comparisons between child L1 and adult L2 learners; 2L1 learners; L2 learners at different ages.Members of the cluster collaborate with theoretical and applied linguists in the department and with cognitive scientists working in other language-related departments in Cambridge (e.g. Experimental Psychology and the Cambridge Brain Science Unit).  

Theme 3: Difference

Difference between obligatory/categorical/grammatical features versus optional features/non-categorical/pragmatic-discourse features and the effect on language acquisition and in particular the phenomenon of variations.  

Theme 4: Cognitive learning mechanisms

Cognitive learning mechanisms, such as implicit and explicit learning, and statistical learning and their neural instantiation. The learnability of different facets of language by such mechanisms, and the role of prior language-specific and universal linguistic knowledge.  

Theme 5: Language processing in bilinguals and monolinguals

Comparing syntactic processing, or examining the representation and processing of meaning.