Photo of Prof Ben Ambridge

Prof Ben Ambridge

Professor Psychological Sciences


    Please visit for downloadable copies of my papers.

    My research investigates children's first language acquisition, mostly using judgment and production methodologies. I am particularly interested in children's overgeneralization errors (e.g., *The joked giggled him; *I falled over) and errors involving question formation (e.g., *What he doesn't like?). I also study children's acquisition of morphology, focusing particularly on Optional Infinitive errors in English (e.g., *He play) and agreement/case-marking errors in morphologically rich languages, specifically Finnish and Lithuanian.

    I also have three sidelines: (1) Conducting studies that investigate alternative discourse/processing-based accounts of so-called "Universal Grammar" phenomena (e.g., subjacency; structure dependence), (2) Writing review articles/chapters (ideally controversial ones) and a textbook ("Child Language Acquisition: Contrasting Theoretical Approaches") and (3) Writing popular science, including my book Psy-Q (Profile/Penguin), which introduces readers to interesting findings from the Psychology literature by means of interactive tests, games, illusions and quizzes.

    Research Grants
    • Crosslinguistic Account of Sentence Structure (CLASS)
    • How do children restrict their linguistic generalizations? An empirical approach.
    • The formation and restriction of linguistic generalizations: Integrating experimental and computer-modelling approaches.
    • Comparing two new single-process accounts of the restriction of argument-structure generalizations
    • The Centre for Language and Communicative Development.
    • Ben Ambridge

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