AThEME and University of Reading

AThEME project logo
university of Reading logo


Summary of work so far

The University of Reading has appointed two of the three AThEME-funded PhD students (see “People working on AThEME”, below).

The team have developed protocols for looking at scalar implicatures in English/Spanish bilinguals. A scalar implicature is an example of how we often use and interpret language beyond the literal or logical meaning. For example, in theories of logic, “some” could be used to refer to “all of” or “every” – but in language, this is not the case. If I mention that watched some of last night’s football match, the implication is that I did not watch all of the football match – if I had done, I would probably have said that I watched all of it. So there is an implication here (that “some” does not mean “all”) which goes over above the logical interpretation of the sentence.

They will also be studying other kinds of implicature or implied meaning in Greek, and are currently preparing Greek-language materials in order to run these experiments.

The team will be using EEG to study how speakers of different languages process agreement. For example, in French, but not English, adjectives have to “agree with” the number and gender of the noun they describe, usually by changing their ending slightly (e.g., “le petit chien” vs. “la petite poisson”). Even in English, verbs need to agree with the person who does them (“I go to the shop”, but “he goes to the shop”). Researchers at Reading have been developing experiments and materials to investigate what happens to this “agreement” when someone speaks more than one language.

A fourth strand of research will focus on implicit learning tasks and on computational models of language representation. For example, we can create patterns or sequences called “artificial grammars”, and study how well people are able to detect these sequences without being asked to do so, simply by responding to lots of different examples. This kind of experiment will help us understand how people learn new languages from their environment.

AThEME-related outputs and publications

This section will be updated as the project progresses

AThEME researchers at University of Reading

Professor Doug Saddy

Professor of Language Sciences

Doug Saddy is Professor of Language Sciences and Director of the Centre for Integrative Neuroscience and Neurodynamics at the University of Reading.

Research interests - Typical and atypical language processing and language acquisition, Cognitive Neurodynamics and Neuroscience, Analysis and Computational Modelling of brain sinals.

Personal Link ×
Professor Doug Saddy

Professor Doug Saddy

Professor of Language Sciences

Professor Theo Marinis

Head of the Department of Clinical Language Sciences

Research interests: language acquisition and processing in bilingual/multilingual children with typical and atypical development; Specific Language Impairment; autism; morphology; syntax; working memory; and the effects of literacy in language development

Personal Link ×
Professor Theo Marinis

Professor Theo Marinis

Head of the Department of Clinical Language Sciences

Diego Krivochen

PhD candidate

Diego is an AThEME-funded PhD student at the University of Reading.

Personal Link ×
Diego Krivochen

Diego Krivochen

PhD candidate

David Miller

PhD Candidate

David is an AThEME-funded PhD student at the University of Reading.

×
David Miller

David Miller

PhD Candidate











In addition to the above AThEME-funded researchers, there is a larger constellation of researchers and students involved in closely related projects.

Researchers:
Prof. Jason Rothman
Dr. Jose Aleman Banon
Dr. Elizabeth Shirley
Dr. Ian Cunnings

PhD candidates:
Polyxeni Pata
Julia Hofweber
George Ponitikas
Evelyn Egger