Julian Mark Pine

Julian Mark Pine
University of Liverpool | UoL · School of Psychology

BA Honours Psychology, PhD

About

169
Publications
104,830
Reads
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6,289
Citations
Introduction
My research focuses on how children acquire their first language and on developing a constructivist model of the language acquisition process. This involves using naturalistic data to test theories of grammatical development, using computational modelling to investigate the relation between children’s early multi-word speech and the language to which they are exposed, and using experimental techniques to investigate the nature and scope of children’s early grammatical knowledge.
Additional affiliations
September 2004 - present
University of Liverpool
January 1993 - December 2004
University of Nottingham
Position
  • Lecturer
January 1990 - December 1992
University of Dundee
Position
  • Lecturer
Education
October 1986 - July 1990
The University of Manchester
Field of study
  • Psychology
September 1983 - June 1986
University of Liverpool
Field of study
  • Psychology

Publications

Publications (169)
Article
Full-text available
Shared book reading is thought to have a positive impact on young children’s language development, with shared reading interventions often run in an attempt to boost children’s language skills. However, despite the volume of research in this area, a number of issues remain outstanding. The current meta-analysis explored whether shared reading inter...
Article
Full-text available
Children with Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) have significant deficits in language ability that cannot be attributed to neurological damage, hearing impairment, or intellectual disability. The symptoms displayed by children with DLD differ across languages. In English, DLD is often marked by severe difficulties acquiring verb inflection. Suc...
Preprint
Full-text available
This study extends an existing cross-linguistic model of verb-marking error in children’s early multi-word speech (MOSAIC) by adding a novel mechanism that defaults to the most frequent form of the verb where this accounts for a high proportion of forms in the input. Our simulations show that the resulting dual-factor model not only provides a bett...
Preprint
Full-text available
Verb-marking errors such as 'she play football' and 'Daddy singing' are a hallmark feature of young children's speech. We investigate the proposal that these errors are input-driven errors of commission, arising from the high relative frequency of subject+unmarked verb sequences in well-formed child-directed speech. We test this proposal via a pre-...
Preprint
Verb-marking errors such as ‘she play football’ and ‘Daddy singing’ are a hallmark feature of young children’s speech. We investigate the proposal that these errors are input-driven errors of commission, arising from the high relative frequency of subject+unmarked verb sequences in well-formed child-directed speech. We test this proposal via a pre-...
Preprint
There is a wealth of evidence demonstrating that executive function abilities (EF) are positively, and significantly, associated with language development during the preschool years, such that children with good executive functions also have larger vocabularies and faster language development. However, why this is the case remains to be discovered....
Article
Full-text available
We used a multi-method approach to investigate how children avoid (or retreat from) argument structure overgeneralisation errors (e.g. *You giggled me). Experiment 1 investigated how semantic and statistical constraints (preemption and entrenchment) influence children's and adults' judgments of the grammatical acceptability of 120 verbs in transiti...
Article
Full-text available
Error-based theories of language acquisition suggest that children, like adults, continuously make and evaluate predictions in order to reach an adult-like state of language use. However, while these theories have become extremely influential, their central claim-that unpredictable input leads to higher rates of lasting change in linguistic represe...
Preprint
Error-based theories of language acquisition suggest that children, like adults, continuously make and evaluate predictions in order to reach an adult-like state of language use. However, while these theories have become extremely influential, their central claim - that unpredictable input leads to higher rates of lasting change in linguistic repre...
Chapter
Full-text available
Verb-marking errors such as ‘*That go there’ and ‘*We make this yesterday’ are a characteristic feature of children’s early language. In this chapter, we review work on the cross-linguistic pattern of verb-marking error that suggests that these errors reflect the incorrect use of non-finite forms in finite contexts (often referred to as ‘Optional I...
Article
Full-text available
All accounts of language acquisition agree that, by around age 4, children's knowledge of grammatical constructions is abstract, rather than tied solely to individual lexical items. The aim of the present research was to investigate, focussing on the passive, whether children's and adults' performance is additionally semantically constrained, varyi...
Article
Full-text available
By the end of their first year, infants can interpret many different types of complex dynamic visual events, such as caused-motion, chasing, and goal-directed action. Infants of this age are also in the early stages of vocabulary development, producing their first words at around 12 months. The present work examined whether there are meaningful ind...
Article
Full-text available
The acquisition of verb form morphology is often studied using categorical criteria for determining the productivity of a morpheme. Applying this approach to Japanese, an agglutinative language, we find no consistent order for morpheme acquisition and productivity could be explained by sampling effects. To examine morpheme acquisition using more gr...
Article
Full-text available
To acquire language, infants must learn how to identify words and linguistic structure in speech. Statistical learning has been suggested to assist both of these tasks. However, infants’ capacity to use statistics to discover words and structure together remains unclear. Further, it is not yet known how infants' statistical learning ability relates...
Preprint
By the end of their first year, infants are able to interpret many different types of complex dynamic visual events, such as caused-motion, chasing, and goal-directed action. The present work examined whether there are meaningful individual differences in infants' ability to represent dynamic causal events in visual scenes and whether these differe...
Preprint
Full-text available
Shared book reading is thought to have a positive impact on young children’s language development, with shared reading interventions often run in an attempt to boost children’s language skills. However, despite the volume of research in this area, a number of issues remain outstanding. The current meta-analysis explored whether shared reading inter...
Article
Full-text available
It is becoming increasingly clear that the way that children acquire cognitive representations depends critically on how their processing system is developing. In particular, recent studies suggest that individual differences in language processing speed play an important role in explaining the speed with which children acquire language. Inconsiste...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this large-scale, preregistered, cross-linguistic study was to mediate between theories of the acquisition of inflectional morphology, which lie along a continuum from rule-based to analogy-based. Across three morphologically rich languages (Polish, Finnish and Estonian), 120 children (mean age 48.32 months, SD = 7.0 months) completed an...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of the present work was to develop a computational model of how children acquire inflectional morphology for marking person and number; one of the central challenges in language development. First, in order to establish which putative learning phenomena are sufficiently robust to constitute a target for modelling, we ran large-scale elicite...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We present a computational model of the acquisition of German case that is evaluated against empirical data obtained from naturalistic speech. The model substitutes nouns into existing contexts, and proceeds through a number of stages that reflect increasing knowledge on the part of a child, both of the determiner-noun sequences that are legal in G...
Preprint
Full-text available
We used a multi-method approach to investigate how children avoid (or retreat from) argument structure overgeneralisation errors (e.g. *You giggled me). Experiment 1investigated how semantic and statistical constraints (preemption and entrenchment) influence children’s and adults’ judgments of the grammatical acceptability of 120 verbs in transitiv...
Preprint
(Note that a published version of this paper is available here: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/343425612_Syntactic_Representations_Are_Both_Abstract_and_Semantically_Constrained_Evidence_From_Children's_and_Adults'_Comprehension_and_ProductionPriming_of_the_English_Passive) A key question in language research is whether linguistic represe...
Poster
Full-text available
Baby sign – a set of gestures symbolising words such as ‘milk’ and ‘tired’ taught to hearing babies – is an increasingly popular activity amongst parents and their pre-verbal infants. Companies promoting baby sign claim it improves language development, decreases frustration and enhances parent-child bonding. However, it is unclear how, and whether...
Poster
Full-text available
Using data from the Language 0-5 Project (www.lucid.ac.uk), we explore whether participation in 'baby sign' affects: the pointing, reaching and showing gestures babies produce; the way mothers respond to the gestures; and children's vocabulary development.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper explores the relationship between children's oral-motor skills at 2 years, their vocabulary size at the same age, and their oral-motor and articulation skills a year later. Findings suggest that oral-motor skills develop similarly for the children in our study over time, and that they are related to concurrent, but not future, articulati...
Article
Full-text available
This study tested the claim of input-based accounts of language acquisition that children’s inflectional errors reflect competition between different forms of the same verb in memory. In order to distinguish this claim from the claim that inflectional errors reflect the use of a morphosyntactic default, we focused on the Japanese verb system, which...
Article
Full-text available
We used eye-tracking to investigate if and when children show an incremental bias to assume that the first noun phrase in a sentence is the agent (first-NP-as-agent bias) while processing the meaning of English active and passive transitive sentences. We also investigated whether children can override this bias to successfully distinguish active fr...
Data
Visual stimuli: Video clip pairs and their associated novel verbs used in the test trials of both eye-tracking and pointing tasks. (DOCX)
Data
Sentence stimuli. (NB: Order of verb-action pairs was counterbalanced according to Latin squares. Therefore only 1/8 children started with mabbing). (DOCX)
Poster
Full-text available
This Poster was presented at the Many Paths to Language (MPaL) workshop at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen in October 2017.
Article
Full-text available
This study aims to disentangle the often-confounded effects of input frequency and morphophonological complexity in the acquisition of inflection, by focusing on simple and complex verb forms in Japanese. Study 1 tested 28 children aged 3;3-4;3 on stative (complex) and simple past forms, and Study 2 tested 30 children aged 3;5-5;3 on completive (co...
Article
Full-text available
Four- and five-year-old children took part in an elicited familiar and novel Lithuanian noun production task to test predictions of input-based accounts of the acquisition of inflectional morphology. Two major findings emerged. First, as predicted by input-based accounts, correct production rates were correlated with the input frequency of the targ...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Early language skills are critical for later academic success. Lower socioeconomic status (SES) children tend to start school with limited language skills compared to advantaged peers. We test the hypothesis that this is due in part to differences in caregiver contingent talk during infancy (how often the caregiver talks about what is...
Preprint
Full-text available
We used eye-tracking to investigate if and when children show an incremental bias to assume that the first noun phrase in a sentence is the agent (first-NP-as-agent bias) while processing the meaning of English active and passive transitive sentences. We also investigated whether children can override this bias to successfully distinguish active fr...
Article
Full-text available
A child's first words mark the emergence of a uniquely human ability. Theories of the developmental steps that pave the way for word production have proposed that either vocal or gestural precursors are key. These accounts were tested by assessing the developmental synchrony in the onset of babbling, pointing, and word production for 46 infants obs...
Article
Full-text available
A child's first words mark the emergence of a uniquely human ability. Theories of the developmental steps that pave the way for word production have proposed that either vocal or gestural precursors are key. These accounts were tested by assessing the developmental synchrony in the onset of babbling, pointing, and word production for 46 infants obs...
Article
Full-text available
Noticing what a baby is attending to, and then talking to them about it, boosts language development. By Dr Danielle Matthews, Dr Michelle McGillion and Professor Julian Pine
Article
Full-text available
The present study investigated children’s early use of verb inflection in Japanese by comparing a generativist account, which predicts that the past tense will have a special default-like status for the child during the early stages, with a constructivist input-driven account, which assumes that children’s acquisition and use of inflectional forms...
Article
Full-text available
Many generativist accounts (e.g., Wexler, 1998) argue for very early knowledge of inflection on the basis of very low rates of person/number marking errors in young children’s speech. However, studies of Spanish (Aguado-Orea, 2004) and Brazilian Portuguese (Rubino & Pine, 1998) have revealed that these low overall error rates actually hide importan...
Article
Full-text available
In order to explain the phenomenon that certain English verbs resist passivization (e.g., *£5 was cost by the book), Pinker (1989) proposed a semantic constraint on the passive in the adult grammar: The greater the extent to which a verb denotes an action where a patient is affected or acted upon, the greater the extent to which it is compatible wi...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this paper we examine how a mechanism that learns word classes from distributional information can contribute to the simulation of child language. Using a novel measure of noun richness, it is shown that the ratio of nouns to verbs in young children's speech is considerably higher than in adult speech. Simulations with MOSAIC show that this effe...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this paper we evaluate a mechanism for the learning of word categories from distributional information against criteria of psychological plausibility. We elaborate on the ideas developed by Redington et al. (1998) by embedding the mechanism in an existing model of language acquisition (MOSAIC) and gradually expanding the contexts it has access t...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this paper we evaluate a mechanism for the learning of word categories from distributional information against criteria of psychological plausibility. We elaborate on the ideas developed by Redington et al. (1998) by embedding the mechanism in an existing model of language acquisition (MOSAIC) and gradually expanding the contexts it has access t...
Data
Data S1. Extended set of 475 verbs. Data S2. Animations.
Article
Full-text available
Poster
Full-text available
In this study, we used pointing and eye-tracking to measure how 25- and 42-month-olds interpret the English passive (the boy is being refted by the girl), which has traditionally been considered ‘late-acquired’. We tested a) whether 25- and 42-month-olds can, in fact, interpret the passive in tasks with low task demands, and b) whether any poor per...
Article
Full-text available
In this response to commentators on our target article ‘Child language acquisition: Why universal grammar doesn’t help’, we argue that the fatal flaw in most UG-based approaches to acquisition is their focus on describing the adult end-state in terms of a particular linguistic formalism. As a consequence, such accounts typically neglect to link acq...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper describes an extension to the MOSAIC model which aims to increase MOSAIC's fit to the cross-linguistic occurrence of Optional Infinitive (OI) errors. While previous versions of MOSAIC have successfully simulated these errors as truncated compound finites with missing modals or auxiliaries, they have tended to underestimate the rate of OI...
Article
Full-text available
Participants aged 5;2-6;8, 9;2-10;6 and 18;1-22;2 (72 at each age) rated verb argument structure overgeneralization errors (e.g., *Daddy giggled the baby) using a five-point scale. The study was designed to investigate the feasibility of two proposed construction-general solutions to the question of how children retreat from, or avoid, such errors....
Article
Full-text available
How children acquire knowledge of verb inflection is a long-standing question in language acquisition research. In the present study, we test the predictions of some current construc-tivist and generativist accounts of the development of verb inflection by focusing on data from two Spanish-speaking children between the ages of 2;0 and 2;6. The cons...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Research in children's language acquisition has recently benefited from the application of network theory to large sets of empirical data, which has illuminated interesting patterns and trends. Network theory is an extremely powerful modelling and analysis tool, and its full potential in terms of extracting useful information from raw data has yet...
Article
Full-text available
How do children eventually come to avoid the production of overgeneralisation errors, in particular, those involving the dative (e.g., *I said her ''no'')? The present study addressed this question by obtaining from adults and children (5-6, 9-10 years) judgements of well-formed and over-general datives with 301 different verbs (44 for children). A...
Article
Full-text available
Young English-speaking children often produce utterances with missing 3sg -s (e.g., *He play). Since the mid 1990s, such errors have tended to be treated as Optional Infinitive (OI) errors, in which the verb is a non-finite form (e.g., Wexler, 1998; Legate & Yang, 2007). The present article reports the results of a cross-sectional elicited-producti...
Article
Full-text available
Whilst some locative verbs alternate between the ground- and figure-locative constructions (e.g. Lisa sprayed the flowers with water/Lisa sprayed water onto the flowers), others are restricted to one construction or the other (e.g. *Lisa filled water into the cup/*Lisa poured the cup with water). The present study investigated two proposals for how...