Lieven for Website

Elena Lieven


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 at the University of Manchester and, as well as continuing as Director of the Child Study Centre, took on the role of Centre Lead in the newly formed Centre for Developmental Science and Disorders in the Institute of Brain, Behaviour and Mental Health. 

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 (17) by Elena Lieven

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

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.

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