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  2. MSc Projects with Chloe Marshall
School of Health Sciences

MSc Projects with Chloe Marshall

General research interests

I have a background in biology, education, linguistics and developmental psychology. My research programme combines these interests to address questions concerning the relationship between language and cognitive processes during typical and atypical development. Much of my current work is concerned with investigating the link between working memory and language development in hearing children with SLI and dyslexia, and in deaf children who are acquiring British Sign Language.

Suggested MSc projects

I am happy to supervise students in any area of typical and atypical language and cognitive development, including phonology, gesture, sign language and working memory. I am particularly keen to support students in developing their own research questions. I am also looking for students to take on the following projects:

Investigating "classfiers" in pantomime

Signed languages use particular constructions called entity classifiers to represent the movement and location of people, animals and objects. There is some discussion in the literature about whether classifiers are linguistic or gestural in nature, and whether hearing people with no experience of sign language use them in co-speech gesture. The answer to this question has potentially important ramifications for our understanding of how signed languages are learnt, and how they evolve in the first place. I want to investigate whether hearing people, when forced to describe the location of pictured objects without using spoken language, produce classifer-like constructions in their "pantomime".

Investigating "classfiers" in comedians' co-speech gestures

Same question as above, but investigated by analysing comedians' use of co-speech gesture, and by considering a wider variety of possible classifer-like constructions: entity classifiers, size and shape specifiers, and handling classifiers. It sounds wacky, but I think it would make a fascinating project!

Both these projects would suit students with some knowledge of BSL or another sign language, but that's not essential.

Previous and current MSc projects supervised

These include:

  • Investigating working memory in Greek children with dyslexia
  • Adapting the Grammar and Phonology Screening Test for Cantonese-speaking children
  • A validation study of the Grammar and Phonology Screening Test (published as part of a paper on language and reading in the Journal of Learning Disabilities)
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of Parent-Child Interaction Therapy in school-aged children with SLI (accepted for publication in the International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders)
  • Investigating scalar implicatures in language impaired and typically developing children (submitted to Language)