Our people

Our people

CLaS executive members


Professor Rosalind Thornton

Thornton’s research focuses on children’s acquisition of morphology, syntax, semantics. Her research program assesses various aspects of Chomsky's theory of Universal Grammar to investigate which aspects of children’s linguistic knowledge are part of their genetic endowment and which aspects are learned from the environment. To see a summary of her research, watch this video.

Professor Linda Cupples

Deputy Director

Professor Linda Cupples

Cupples has research interests in the area of psycholinguistics, with a particular focus on sentence comprehension and production in: skilled language users; disorders of sentence comprehension and production following brain damage; and reading development (especially in children and adults with disabilities).

Distinguished Professor Stephen Crain

Director of ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders

Distinguished Professor Stephen Crain

The last decade of Crain’s research has focused on children’s acquisition of semantic knowledge, in particular young children’s knowledge of logical operators. Much of this research has been cross-linguistic, with a particular focus on Mandarin Chinese.

Distinguished Professor Katherine Demuth

Distinguished Professor Katherine Demuth

Demuth’s research focuses on language acquisition, including studies of speech and language perception and production. She is especially interested in the development of phonological and morphological representations, speech planning, and the development of language processing abilities in both typically developing, language-impaired children, and hearing-impaired children bilinguals and L2 learners. Much of her work is cross-linguistic, using acoustic analysis and a wide variety of behavioural and neural techniques to better understand the mechanisms underlying language acquisition.

Ian Giblin

Dr Iain Giblin

Giblin's research focuses on syntax and children’s acquisition of syntax. His research program is situated within Chomsky's theory of Universal Grammar and investigates the common structural basis of human language and how this knowledge is attained.

Mark Johnson

Professor Mark Johnson

Johnson’s research area is computational linguistics – ie. explicit computational models of language acquisition, comprehension and production. His recent work focused on probabilistic models for syntactic parsing (identifying the way words combine to form phrases and sentences) and semantic interpretation, and on Bayesian models of the acquisition of phonology, morphology and the lexicon.

CLaS advisory board members 2019-2021

  • Dr Mary Beth Brinson, Cochlear Ltd
  • Professor Anne Cutler, Western Sydney University (Chair)
  • Ms Aleisha Davis, The Shepherd Centre
  • Dr Brent Edwards, National Acoustic Laboratories
  • Professor Maria Teresa Guasti, University of Milano-Bicocca
  • Professor Simon Handley, Macquarie University (Ex-Officio)
  • Ms Samantha Harkus, Australian Hearing
  • Professor David McAlpine, Macquarie University
  • Professor Doug Saddy, University of Reading
  • Professor Mark Steedman, University of Edinburgh
  • Professor Gillian Wigglesworth, University of Melbourne

CLaS honorary members

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