Heather Lemen

PhD Student (Alumni)


University of Manchester

A bit about Heather Lemen

Born and raised in Canada, I received my Bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies from Brock University (St. Catharines, Ontario). After spending several years working in Scotland and New Zealand, I moved to the Netherlands, where I completed my Master’s degree in Linguistics at Radboud University (Nijmegen).  I am now a PhD student at the University of Manchester, where I am focusing on children’s acquisition of complex sentences.

My Role in LuCiD

My PhD research will investigate how children acquire complex sentences and the factors that influence their comprehension of them. This research is based in the Communication Theme of LuCiD, which focuses on how children learn to use sentence structures effectively and how their developing social understanding impacts their attainment of these communicative goals. In line with this, my work will examine how children interpret, use and derive meaning from complex sentences based on input and their own pragmatic understanding and language processing abilities.

LuCiD publications (3) by Heather Lemen

De Ruiter, L., Lemen, H., Lieven, E. V. M., Brandt, S., & Theakston, A. (2021). Structural and interactional aspects of adverbial sentences in English mother-child interactions: an analysis of two dense corpora Journal of Child Language, 48, 1150–1184.

Lemen, H., Lieven, E. V. M., & Theakston, A. (2021). A comparison of the pragmatic patterns in the spontaneous because- and if-sentences produced by children and their caregivers Journal of Pragmatics, 185,15-34.

Theakston, A., Bell, K., Lemen, H., Brandt, S., & Lieven, E. (2019). Form-meaning relations in acquisition: the case of polysemous constructions. Paper presented at the Societas Linguistica Europaea 52nd Annual Meeting, Leipzig, Germany.

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