Liam Blything


A bit about Liam Blything

Broadly, my research aims to reveal the role of different cognitive and language-related skills that underpin children’s understanding for sentence (or discourse) structures that express information about time (e.g., connectives: before, after), causality (e.g., connectives: because, so), and referential relations (e.g., ambiguous pronouns: he, she). My underpinning theoretical framework is to understand how these skills in turn reflect differences in frequency of exposure.

My initial interest in child language acquisition developed during my Psychology BSc at University of Liverpool, and I was fortunate enough to follow this up with 1+3 ESRC PhD funding at Lancaster University, supervised by Professor Kate Cain. I followed this with 2-year postdoctoral fellowships at Lancaster University and University of Alberta (with Professor Juhani Järvikivi), where I investigated the aforementioned research by primarily using corpus and eye-tracking techniques.

My role in LuCiD

I’m delighted to work with LuCiD as a postdoctoral fellow on the work package called Testing pragmatic accounts of complex linguistic constraints. The project team includes Ben Ambridge (lead), Silke Brandt, and Anna Theakston. We are using behavioural experiments and computational modelling to understand how children learn to infer the meaning of ambiguous pronouns.

LuCiD publications (3) by Liam Blything

Scholman, M., Blything, L., Cain, K., Hoek, J., & Evers-Vermeul, J. (2022). Discourse rules: the effects of clause order principles on the reading process. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience.

Blything, L., Iraola Azpiroy, M., Allen, S., Hert, R., & Järvikivi, J. (2021). The influence of prominence cues in 7- to 10-year-olds’ pronoun resolution: Disentangling order of mention, grammatical role, and semantic role Journal of Child Language, First View, 1-29.

Blything, L., Toth, A., Järvikivi, J., Arnold, A. (2021). The Influence of Focus Marking on Pronoun Resolution in Dialogue Context Frontiers in Psychology, 12: 684639.

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