Language Development and Disorders (LDD): research projects

PhD/MPhil studies

Case marking errors in early child language


The most common type of pronoun case errors in English speaking children, are those in which children replace the subject/nominative pronoun with other case forms, such as the accusative and the genitive form. This causes children to produce utterances such as, me-for-I errors; “Me open it” , my-for-I errors; “My make red table” , her-for-she errors; “Her have some tea”  and him-for-he errors; “Him can’t see” .  In specifically looking at English children’s pronoun case marking errors, it is clear that the rates of errors across children vary dramatically and the types of errors that they produce also can differ greatly.  In the current project we are investigating a wide range of theoretical accounts that aim to explain the origins and nature of these errors, with a specific focus on my-for-I errors.

Duration of the project

PhD Studentship 2011-2014

Funding body

Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology

Members of the project

Miss Stacey McKnightPhD student
Professor Anna TheakstonSupervisor
Professor Elena LievenSupervisor