Colin Bannard



University of Manchester

A bit about Colin Bannard

There are two strands to my research:

First, I study the processes of learning and memory that underlie language acquisition and use, particularly the contribution of habitual and automatic processes. Second, I develop data science and especially computational linguistic methods that allow us to study human development at ever greater scales without loss of detail.

My ideal research project is one where these two strands come together.

My PhD, from the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh, was primarily focused on computational linguistics/natural language processing. I then worked on developmental psychology and language acquisition as a postdoc at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. Before coming to Manchester I spent five years as an Assistant Professor of Linguistics at the University of Texas at Austin and seven years as LuCiD lecturer in Psychology at the University of Liverpool.

My role in LuCiD

I am a co-investigator on the project entitled Understanding the neural processes involved in word learning in typically developing children and children with DLDIn LuCiD1, I secured an International Networking grant from the ESRC to develop LuCiD's links with researchers at Kobe City University of Foreign Studies, Japan and at Yonsei University, Seoul, South Korea and extend some our crosslinguistic research into Japanese and Korean.

LuCiD publications (14) by Colin Bannard

Sawyer, H., Bannard, C. & Pine, J. M. (2024). Toddlers’ verb-marking errors are predicted by the relative frequency of uninflected sequences in well-formed child-directed speech: A pre-registered corpus analysis. Language Learning.

Ambridge, B., McCauley, S. M., Bannard, C., Davis, M., Cameron-Faulkner, T., Gummery, A., & Theakston, A. (2023). Uninversion error in English-speaking children’s wh-questions: Blame it on the bigrams? Language Development Research, 3 (1), pp. 121-155.

Freudenthal, D., Pine, J. & Bannard, C., (2023). Simulating children’s verb inflection errors in English using an LSTM language model. Proceedings of the 45th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 2602-2608).

McCauley, S.M., Bannard, C., Theakston, A., Davis, M., Cameron-Faulkner, T., & Ambridge, B. (2021). Multiword units lead to errors of commission in children's spontaneous production: “What corpus data can tell us? Developmental Science, 24: e13125.

Ambridge, B., Maitreyee, R., Tatsumi, T., Doherty, L., Zicherman, S., Pedro, P. M., . . . Mendoza, M. J. (2020). The crosslinguistic acquisition of sentence structure: Computational modeling and grammaticality judgments from adult and child speakers of English, Japanese, Hindi, Hebrew and K'iche' Cognition, 202.

Klinger, J., Mayor, J. & Bannard, C. (2016). Children's Faithfulness in Imitating Language Use Varies Cross‐Culturally, Contingent on Prior Experience. Child Development, 87(3), 820-833.

Bannard, C., Rosner, M. & Matthews, D. (2017). What’s worth talking about? Information theory reveals how children balance informativeness and ease of production. Psychological Science, 28(7), 954-966.

Donnellan, E., Bannard, C., McGillion, M., Slocombe, K. & Matthews, D. (2020). Infants’ intentionally communicative vocalizations elicit responses from caregivers and are the best predictors of the transition to language: A longitudinal investigation of infants’ vocalizations, gestures and word production. Developmental Science, 23(1), e12843.

Kelly, C., Morgan, G., Bannard, C. & Matthews, D. (2020). Early pragmatics in deaf or hard-of-hearing infants. Pediatrics, 146(S3), S262-S269

McCauley, S.M., Bannard, C., Theakston, A., Davis, M., Cameron-Faulkner, T., & Ambridge, B. (2019). Multiword units predict non-inversion errors in children’s wh-questions: “What corpus data can tell us? In A. Goel, C. Seifert, & C. Freksa (Eds.) Proceedings of the 41st Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

Samanta, S., Bannard, C., Pine, J. & The Language05 Team (2020). Can automated gesture recognition support the study of child language development? In Proceedings of the 42nd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Toronto, ON: Cognitive Science Society.

Martin, J., Bannard, C. & Pine, J. (2017). A training study to establish the cause of children's 'defaulting errors' in Spanish. Paper presented at the 14th Congress of the International Association for the Study of Child Language (IASCL), Lyon, France.

Ambridge, B., Barak, L., Wonnacott, E., Bannard, C., Sala, G. (2018). Effects of both preemption and entrenchment in the retreat from verb overgeneralization errors: Four reanalyses, an extended replication, and a meta-analytic synthesis. Collabra: Psychology, 4(1), 23.

Ambridge, B., Bannard, C., Jackson, G. (2015). Is grammar spared in Autism Spectrum Disorder? Data from judgements of verb argument structure overgeneralization errors. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 45(10), 3288-3296

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