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Professor Padraic Monaghan

Padraic Monaghan

Lancaster University

Fylde College



United Kingdom

Research Interests

Language acquisition, literacy, and language evolution

I am interested in children's early environment supports their language development. In particular, how phonology, prosody, gesture, distribution of words, and wider environmental information sources are combined by the child as she/he constructs knowledge of words and grammar.

I am also interested in how early language development influences literacy development, and how children's oral language skills relate to the effectiveness of different types of reading training.

I am also interested in the properties of languages that assist in learning - because languages change quickly, there is lots of scope for dialects that are easier to learn to be selected over dialects that are harder to learn. I plot the extent to which these learnability properties are embedded within the world's languages and can be tracked through diachronic studies of language change.


Thanks to my excellent lab group and generations of talented students, I have become intrigued by how sleep affects learning, memory, and problem solving. Kekule's famous discovery of the structure of Benzene during a dream seems to reflect a general truth: sleeping on it really does help.

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