Elena 3 cropped

Elena Lieven

Professor

A bit about Elena Lieven

I did my undergraduate degree and PhD on individual differences in early language development in the Department of Psychology at the University of Cambridge. I came to Manchester in 1979. During my years at Manchester I developed close research links with members of the Department of Psychology in the University of California, Berkeley and the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics at Nijmegen and spent parts of my sabbatical leave in both places. I was Editor of the Journal of Child Language from 1996 - 2005. In 1998 I was granted long-term unpaid leave to work as a Senior Scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig. This funded the Max Planck Child Study Centre from 1998-2014 which was set up in the Manchester Department when I moved to Leipzig. In 2012, I moved back to work full time at the University of Manchester. In 2018, I was elected as a Fellow of the British Academy.

My principal areas of research are: The emergence and construction of grammar; The relationship between input characteristics and the process of language development; and variation in children’s communicative and linguistic environments.

My Role in LuCiD

I am the Director of LuCiD. I lead the Variation theme, which explores how children adapt to cross-linguistic and socio-cultural variation. I also lead two of LuCiD’s research projects. The first looks at how children develop verb endings in Polish, Finnish and Chintang (a Nepali language). The other project explores how children learn to manipulate word order, cross-linguistically, for communicative ends.

LuCiD publications (41) by Elena Lieven

MacDonald, R., Brandt, S., Theakston, A., Lieven, E. & Serratrice, L. (2018). Animacy and children's processing of subject and object relative clauses. Poster presented at the Child Language Symposium, Reading, UK

de Ruiter, L., Lieven, E., Brandt, S., Hargreaves, S., & Theakston, A. (2018). Improving 5-year-olds' comprehension of adverbial sentences: a classroom based training study. Poster presented at the Child Language Symposium, Reading, UK

Buckle, L., Lieven, E. and Theakston, A. (2017). The Effects of Animacy and Syntax on Priming: A Developmental Study. Front. Psychol., 20 December 2017. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.02246

De Ruiter, L., Theakston, A., Brandt, S. & Lieven, E. (2017). Effects of clause order and connective type on children’s and adults’ processing of complex sentences. Poster presented at the 30th Annual CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing (CUNY 2017) March 30–April 1, Cambridge, MA, USA

de Ruiter, L., Theakston, A., Brandt, S. & Lieven, E. (2017). The relationship between parental input and children’s spontaneous use of adverbial clauses containing after, before, because, and if. Paper presented at the 14th International Congress for the Study of Child Language (IASCL), July 17-21, Lyon, France.

de Ruiter, L., Brandt, S., Lieven, E. & Theakston, A. (2017). The role of information structure in children’s comprehension of complex sentences – testing two hypotheses. Paper presented at the 3rd LuCiD Language and Communicative Development Conference, July 7th, Lancaster, UK

de Ruiter, L., Theakston, A., Lieven, E., & Brandt, S. (2017). “You say ‘before’, I say ‘bevor”’ Testing the relative influence of iconicity, ambiguity, and language-specific frequencies on the processing of complex sentences in English and German. Paper presented at the Many Paths to Language workshop, October 6-8, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

de Ruiter, L., Lieven, E., Brandt S. & Theakston, A. (2017). The role of information structure in children’s comprehension of complex sentences –testing two hypotheses. Paper presented at The 23rd Architectures and Mechanisms of Language Processing Conference (AMLaP), September 7-9, Lancaster, UK

de Ruiter, L., Theakston, A., Brandt, S., Lieven, E. (2017). Iconicity affects children’s comprehension of complex sentences: the role of semantics, clause order, input and individual differences. Cognition, 143, 61-76.

Kolak, J., Granlund, S., Vihman, V., Engelmann, F., Ambridge, B., Pine, J., Theakston, A. & Lieven, E. (2017). An experimental study on the acquisition of noun case marking in Estonian, Finnish and Polish. Paper presented at the 50th Annual Meeting of Societas Linguistica Europaea (SLE), Zurich, Switzerland.

Engelmann, F., Kolak, J., Granlund, S., Szreder, M., Ambridge, B., Pine, J., Theakston, A. & Lieven, E. (2017). The acquisition of Polish and Finnish verb inflection in a connectionist model. Paper presented at the 50th Annual Meeting of Societas Linguistica Europaea (SLE), Zurich, Switzerland.

Engelmann, F., Kolak, J., Granlund, S., Ambridge, B., Pine, J., Theakston, A. & Lieven, E. (2017). The acquisition of complex verb morphology in Finnish and Polish: model and experiment. In Proceedings of the 39th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, London, UK.

Engelmann, F., Kolak, J., Granlund, S., Szreder, M., Ambridge, B., Pine, J., Theakston, A. & Lieven, E. (2017). The acquisition of verb inflection in a connectionist model. Paper presented at the 14th International Congress for the Study of Child Language (IASCL), Lyon, France.

Granlund, S., Kolak, J., Szreder, M., Engelmann, F., Ambridge, B., Pine, J., Theakston, A. & Lieven, E. (2017). Predicting errors in children’s production of verb morphology: evidence from person/number marking in Finnish and Polish. 14th International Congress for the Study of Child Language (IASCL), Lyon, France.

Engelmann, F., Granlund, S., Kolak, J., Ambridge, B., Pine, J., Theakston, A. & Lieven, E. (2017). Cross-linguistic acquisition of complex verb inflection in a neural network model. Paper presented at the Many Paths to Language (MPaL) workshop, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

Kolak, J., Granlund, S., Vihman, V., Engelmann, F., Ambridge, B., Pine, J., Theakston, A. & Lieven, E. (2017). An experimental study on the acquisition of nominal case marking in Estonian, Finnish and Polish. Poster presented at the Many Paths to Language (MPaL) workshop, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

Granlund, S., Kolak, J., Vihman, V., Engelmann, F., Ambridge, B., Pine, J., Theakston, A. & Lieven, E. (2017). Acquisition of noun case marking in morphologically complex languages. Poster presented at Architectures and Mechanisms of Language Processing (AMLaP), Lancaster, UK.

Engelmann, F., Granlund, S., Kolak, J., Ambridge, B., Pine, J., Theakston, A. & Lieven, E (2017). Cross-linguistic acquisition of complex verb inflection in a connectionist model. Poster presented at Architectures and Mechanisms of Language Processing (AMLaP), Lancaster, UK.

Lieven, E. (2017). The influence of children’s communicative environments. Talk presented at the Talk to your baby conference. London, UK

Engelmann, F., Granlund, S., Kolak, J., Ambridge, B., Pine, J., Theakston, A. & Lieven, E. (2017). Cross-linguistic acquisition of complex verb inflection in a neural network model. (1) Paper presented at The 3rd LuCiD Language and Communicative Development Conference, Lancaster, UK.

Granlund, S., Kolak, J., Szreder, M., Engelmann, F., Ambridge, B., Pine, J., Theakston, A. & Lieven, E. (2017). Predicting errors in children’s production of verb morphology: evidence from person/number marking in Finnish and Polish. (1) Paper presented at The 3rd LuCiD Language and Communicative Development Conference, Lancaster, UK.

Theakston, A. and Lieven, E. (2017). Multiunit Sequences in First Language Acquisition. Topics in Cognitive Science. doi:10.1111/tops.12268

de Ruiter, L., Theakston, A., Brandt, S. & Lieven, E. (2016). Temporal, causal and conditional sentences in English child-directed speech. Paper presented at “Sentence complexity at the boundary of grammatical theory and processing: A special challenge for language acquisition” Workshop (AG4) at the 38th Annual Conference of the German Linguistics Society (DGfS), Konstanz

de Ruiter, L., Theakston, A., Brandt, S. & Lieven, E. (2016). Additional complexity in complex sentences in child-directed speech. In T. Tenbrink (Ed.) Proceedings of the UK Cognitive Linguistics Conference, p.29.

de Ruiter, L., Theakston, A., Brandt, S. & Lieven, E. (2016). “You’ve always got to wash your hands before you eat food” - The role of the input in children’s acquisition of adverbial clauses in complex sentences. Paper presented at the 2nd LuCiD Language and Communicative Development conference, Manchester.

Lieven, E. (2016). Usage-based approaches to language development: Where do we go from here? Language and Cognition, 8(3), pp. 346–368

Kirjavainen, M., Lieven, E. V. M. and Theakston, A. L. (2016). Can Infinitival to Omissions and Provisions Be Primed? An Experimental Investigation Into the Role of Constructional Competition in Infinitival to Omission Errors Cognitive Science. doi:10.1111/cogs.12407

Engelmann, F., Szreder, M., Kolak, J., Granlund, S., Ambridge, B., Pine, J., Theakston, A., & Lieven, E. (2016). Modelling the acquisition of Polish verb inflection. Paper presented at the the 2nd LuCiD Language and Communicative Development Conference, Manchester, UK.

Lieven, E. and Theakston, A. (2016). What’s difficult about having conversations and telling stories? Talk presented at Stockport Early Years Improvement Team Annual Conference, Stockport, UK.

Brandt, S., Buttelmann, D., Lieven, E., & Tomasello, M. (2016). Children’s understanding of first- and third-person perspectives in complement clauses and false-belief tasks. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology.

Cameron-Faulkner, T., Theakston, A., Lieven, E., Tomasello, M. (2015). The Relationship Between Infant Holdout and Gives, and Pointing Infancy, 20, 5, 576-586

Schmerse, D., Lieven, E. and Tomasello, M. (2015). Young children use shared experience to interpret definite reference. Journal of Child Language, 42(5), pp. 1146–1157.

Koymen, B., Lieven, E., Brandt, S. (2015). Syntactic and semantic coordination in finite complement-clause constructions: a diary-based case study Journal of Child Language 43, 1, 22-42

Ambridge, B., Lieven, E., (2015). A Constructivist Account of Child Language Acquisition In The Handbook of Language Emergence, (eds B. MacWhinney and W. O'Grady), John Wiley & Sons, Inc, Hoboken, NJ, USA. pp478-510

Blything, R., Ambridge, B., Lieven, E. (2015). Children Use Statistics and Semantics in the Retreat from Overgeneralization PLoS ONE, 9, 10

Brandt, S., Lieven, E., & Tomasello, M. (2015). German children’s Use of Word Order and Case Marking to Interpret Simple and Complex Sentences: Testing Differences Between Constructions and Lexical Items, Language Learning and Development DOI: 10.1080/15475441.2015.1052448

Lieven, E. (2015). Other cultures, other languages. Talk given 8 November, Manchester Museum.

Lieven, E. (2015). Dog eats man. Nursery World Magazine, 19 October, 21-24.

Ambridge, B., Pine, J. M., & Lieven, E.V.M. (2015). Explanatory adequacy is not enough: Response to commentators on 'Child language acquisition: Why universal grammar doesn't help. Language: Perspectives, 91(3): E116-126

Noble, C., Lieven, E., Iqbal, F. & Theakston, A (2015). Converging and competing cues in the acquisition of syntactic structures: the conjoined agent intransitive. Journal of Child Language. doi: 10.1017/S0305000915000288

Theakston, A., Ibbotson, P., Freudenthal, D., Lieven, E. and Tomasello, M. (2015). Productivity of Noun Slots in Verb Frames. Cognitive Science, 39 (6), 1369-1395.

Search all Publications