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IASCL - Child Language Bulletin - Vol 34, No 2: December 2014
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IN THIS ISSUE


Preliminary Information about the 14th International Congress for the Study of Child Language, Lyon, 10-14 July 2017

Sophie Kern & Harriet Jisa, Université de Lyon–CNRS, France

The next IASCL congress will be held in Lyon, France on 10-14 July 2017. The planned location for the conference is the CPE (Chimie, Physique, Electronique) high school in Lyon, located on the LyonTech-la Doua campus. General Information will be available very soon at http://www.iascl2017.org.


An Interview with our New President, Anne Baker

Angel Chan, Editor of IASCL Child Language Bulletin

Anne Baker
Anne Baker

Anne Baker obtained her BA (Honours) from Keele University (UK) in French, German, Psychology and Computer Science in 1971 and a teaching qualification (B.Ed.) in the same year. She completed her Ph.D. at York University in the field of Linguistics in 1975 and then in 1985 her Habilitation at Tübingen University (Germany) where she was lecturing. Both books were in the area of language acquisition. She then worked in York (UK) as a senior lecturer from 1986 to 1988 when she was appointed chair of Psycholinguistics, Language Pathology and Sign Linguistics in the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Amsterdam. She served on the Faculty Board as vice-dean (1994-1997) and was director of the research institute Amsterdam Centre for Language and Communication (2002-09). She was also a member of the Flemish Scientific Council from 2003-09), She is currently on the board of the Cognitive Science Center Amsterdam. She also serves on the scientific committee of NIAS. She is president of the Sign Language Linguistics Society.

Anne's research is in the field of psycholinguistics, specifically language acquisition of spoken and signed languages and developmental language pathologies. Her particular interest is in cross-linguistic investigation of acquisition and the relationship between language and cognition. Current projects involve the study of Specific Language Impairment in bilingual children, the acquisition of Sign Language of the Netherlands (NGT) and the relationship between language acquisition and executive functions. Twenty-six Ph.D. dissertations have been completed under her supervision and she is currently supervising 8 more. Her work has been published in many different international edited volumes and journals including Sign Language and Linguistics and Journal of Child Language. She has been awarded several national and international grants and was a NIAS Fellow in 1990-1991 and 2005-2006.

Angel Chan: Anne, you organized the IASCL congress in Amsterdam just the past summer. Do you have any expectations for the next congress?

Anne Baker: We thoroughly enjoyed organizing the conference and from the feedback given in the survey most people enjoyed it too. We did not focus on any one topic and that way there was something for everyone. We also introduced having sign interpretation for the plenary lectures making the conference more inclusive. I am sure that Sophie Kern and her team in Lyons will give IASCL 2017 their special French flavor.

Angel Chan: Anne, you have been working broadly on topics in language and cognition, multilingualism and language impairment. How did you become interested in studying child language? Looking back as you reflect on your career and the developments in the field over the years, were there particular moments or milestones that had the most impact to your views on child language acquisition?

Anne Baker: My interest goes back to my very first contact with the field of linguistics during my BA. I was intrigued by the relationship between cognition and language, particularly how that made second language acquisition different from first language acquisition. When I became a lecturer in Germany in 1976, so little was then known about child language acquisition that my focus shifted to the acquisition of German but then comparing that to the acquisition of other languages, in fact the Slobin cross-linguistic approach that has been so fruitful. Working together with the team that produced the three volumes The crosslinguistic study of language acquisition (1985) was of tremendous importance to me. My later move to Amsterdam in 1988 meant that I continued with that approach, including then Dutch in the comparisons. I have seen the great expansion of the CHILDES database which has been an immense contribution to the field.

Angel Chan: Could you share with us some of your recent research initiatives and/or findings? What are the issues/questions that have intrigued you recently?

Anne Baker: Because of my fundamental interest in language and cognition and multilingualism I was very enthusiastic about exploring areas of cognition in multilingual children with language disorders. This is both theoretically interesting but potentially practically relevant. The diagnosis of such children is complicated by the effects of bilingualism. If non-verbal cognition can support the identification of such children, they could be spotted earlier. In the COST network IS0804 Language Impairment in a Multilingual Society: Linguistic Patterns and the Road to Assessment (http://www.bi-sli.org, 2007-2013) we developed methods for studying such children and looked at their non-verbal profiles. There is still a great deal of work to do there though but the book on methods for studying such children will be out soon (Armon-Lotem, de Jong & Meir (eds), in press). Since being in Amsterdam I have worked on sign languages of the deaf, especially their acquisition. Together with Beppie van den Boagerde I have explored the bimodal bilingual input that children learning a sign language receive and how this affects their own development.

Angel Chan: How about your upcoming plans for research in child language?

Anne Baker: Beppie and I are writing a book on Sign Language Acquisition on the basis of the many analyses we have done of a large longitudinal corpus from both deaf and hearing children of deaf parents. When that is done, I am sure there still be a lot to do.

Angel Chan: You have also been very active in sign language acquisition in recent years. In your opinion, how could studying sign language acquisition enrich the study of child language in general? How do you see the future of sign language acquisition studies?

Anne Baker: Sign languages are in a different modality: they are visual-spatial. Looking at how children learn these languages and how acquisition is similar or different to that of spoken languages gives us greater insight into our capacity as humans to learn language. Since the situation around language input in a sign language is quite complex (parents are often not native signers; the input is bimodal etc.), studying the relationship input - acquisition here tells us more about how robust (or not) the acquisition mechanism is. It is very important to continue this research including children with a cochlear implant and other populations that use signing. The many submissions we have for the international conference on sign language acquisition for July 2015 in Amsterdam (http://www.icsla2015.nl) reflects the liveliness of the field. I also think it is important to consider the archiving of the data from the many projects that are running. Video data are more susceptible to privacy issues but these records are so important for future work (see for suggestions http://www.clarin.nl/sites/default/files/IPROSLA_0.pdf).

Angel Chan: What questions or issues do you particularly hope that child language researchers could take up in the coming years?

Anne Baker: Theoretically I still feel that we know far too little about the relationship between language and cognition. This needs to be studied in much more depth and in the context of different types of learners. Practically, archiving data from typically developing children and children with language problems is of tremendous importance and needs to be thought of at the start of a project so that for example all the necessary permissions are obtained. Future research depends on such archives as a recent project on archiving data on disorders showed (http://www.jbe-platform.com/content/journals/22117253). Furthermore the field should take seriously its social contribution as in the campaigns like Ralli to raise awareness of language impairment (https://www.youtube.com/user/RALLIcampaign). I feel that IASCL has a role in promoting such activities world-wide.

Angel Chan: Thank you very much Anne for sharing your thoughts with us!


Update from Journal of Child Language

Heike Behrens (Editor of Journal of Child Language) & Melissa Good (Commissioning Editor (Linguistics) of Cambridge University Press)

The Editorial Board of the Journal of Child Language met at the IASCL conference to discuss the future development of the Journal.

The number of subscriptions and downloads, as well as the response to email campaigns that highlight certain results, is very positive. As a result, the Impact Factor has increased again in 2014, to 1.505 for the past year and 2.032 for the past five years. This gives the journal a rank, by Impact Factor, of 21/166 in Linguistics and 56/84 in Experimental Psychology. However, the Impact Factor alone does not reflect the importance of our interdisciplinary and cross-linguistic journal, since it only counts citations in a limited range of publications.

The Board discussed which alternative measures might be used to trace an article's influence. Two such measures recently implemented by Cambridge for JCL are Altmetrics and Kudos. Altmetrics was installed on the journal's homepage: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayJournal?jid=jcl) during 2014. Altmetrics traces readers' use of social media to share and discuss an article, giving each paper an Altmetrics 'score'. Kudos is a platform on which authors can explain their article, add context to it and share it via social media and email. Authors published in JCL will soon receive an e-mail asking them to log on to the Kudos platform to do this if they wish.

The number of new submissions is healthy. From 2015, JCL will publish a sixth issue in order to accommodate the increasing number of papers and reduce the time span between online publication and appearance in print.

IASCL delegates and JCL print subscribers all received a copy of the 2014 supplementary issue "Reflections: 40 years of JCL", in which a number of leading figures in the field shared their thoughts on the past and the future of child language research. The online version is available for free until the end of this year under this link: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayIssue?jid=JCL&volumeId=41&issueId=S1)

In March 2015, a review and response article on the "Ubiquity of frequency effects in first language" will be published: Ben Ambridge, Evan Kidd, Caroline Rowland and Anna Theakston co-authored the target article. Inbal Arnon; Holger Diessel; Jan Edwards, Mary E. Beckman & Benjamin Munson; Nick Ellis & Dave C. Ogden; William O'Grady; Meredith Rowe; Richard C. Schwartz, Yasuhiro Shirai; and Charles Yang provide critical, elaborating or modifying commentaries.

In 2016, we hope to publish a Special Issue on "Age Effects in Child Language Acquisition", edited by Johanne Paradis (U Alberta) and Elma Blom (U Utrecht). The call for paper has just finished and the papers are currently under review.

As Heike's 5-year term as editor comes to an end in December 2016, we are very happy to announce that Johanne Paradis has agreed to become the new editor. She will start to handle the new submissions as of fall 2015.

At the end of this very busy year we wish to thank all Associate Editors, reviewers, authors and members of the production team for their hard work and continued support. We also wish to apologize to Edith Bavin for the misrepresentation of the years of her editorship in the introduction to the Supplementary Issue: Edith Bavin was Editor of JCL from 2006-2011, with Philipp Dale as Co-Editor from 2006-2010 and Heike coming in as Co-Editor in 2011.


New International Centre for Language and Communicative Development (LuCiD) Established in the UK

Anna Theakston & Elena Lieven, University of Manchester

LuCiD logo

Researchers from the Universities of Manchester, Liverpool and Lancaster in the NorthWest of England have secured one of the largest grants ever awarded by the UK's Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) to carry out research into how children learn to communicate. The new LuCiD Centre, directed by Elena Lieven (Manchester), with co-directors Anna Theakston (Manchester), Julian Pine and Caroline Rowland (Liverpool) and Padraic Monaghan (Lancaster) will receive a £9million cash injection over five years. The LuCiD team involves a number of other language researchers based in the NorthWest of England and internationally in the USA, Australia, Germany, Switzerland and Poland.

The Centre will explore how children learn language from what they see and hear around them; and look at how different kinds of evidence from behavioural studies, measures of brain activity and computational models can be integrated to understand how children learn language. The team will also look at how language delay may occur in young children and explore whether differences between children and differences in their environments affect how they learn to talk.

There will be five streams of research in the UK and abroad. The first four streams will focus on questions in four key areas: environment, knowledge, communication and variation. A fifth area will be the Language 0-5 Project following 80 English-learning children intensively from six months to five years. Centre programme leaders will also develop new multi-method approaches and create new technology products for parents, researchers, healthcare and education professionals.

Follow LuCiD on twitter@LuCiD_Centre

The ESRC International Centre for Language and Communicative Development (LuCiD) is a collaboration between the Universities of Lancaster, Liverpool and Manchester funded by ESRC grant ES/L008955/1

ESRC
Lancaster University
University of Liverpool
University of Manchester

New Article on Language Retention: Mapping the Unconscious Maintenance of a Lost First Language

Fred Genesee, McGill University

There is an article about language retention, titled "Mapping the unconscious maintenance of a lost first language” and recently published in PNAS, which has got a lot of media attention and might be of interest to readers of our IASCL bulletin. Below is a summary of the study.

Pierce PNAS

Optimal periods during early development facilitate the formation of perceptual representations, laying the framework for future learning. A crucial question is whether such early representations are maintained in the brain over time without continued input. Using functional MRI, we show that internationally adopted (IA) children from China, exposed exclusively to French since adoption (mean age of adoption, 12.8 mo), maintained neural representations of their birth language despite functionally losing that language and having no conscious recollection of it. Their neural patterns during a Chinese lexical tone discrimination task matched those observed in Chinese/French bilinguals who have had continual exposure to Chinese since birth and differed from monolingual French speakers who had never been exposed to Chinese. They processed lexical tone as linguistically relevant, despite having no Chinese exposure for 12.6 y, on average, and no conscious recollection of that language. More specifically, IA participants recruited left superior temporal gyrus/planum temporale, matching the pattern observed in Chinese/French bilinguals. In contrast, French speakers who had never been exposed to Chinese did not recruit this region and instead activated right superior temporal gyrus. We show that neural representations are not overwritten and suggest a special status for language input obtained during the first year of development.

Reference: Pierce L. J., Klein, D., Chen J.-K., Delcenserie, A., Genesee, F. (2014). Mapping the unconscious maintenance of a lost first language. PNAS 111 (48) 17314-17319; published ahead of print November 17, 2014, doi:10.1073/pnas.1409411111


Report on Fórum CHILDES BRAZIL

Leonor Scliar-Cabral, Fórum Organizer

The Fórum CHILDES Brazil, organized by Leonor Scliar-Cabral took place at the Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC) on September 29-30th, 2014. The event was sponsored by the Brazilian federal agencies CAPES and CNPq.

The invited speakers Madalena Cruz-Ferreira, Letícia Barros de Almeida, Ana Lúcia Santos, Susana Correa, Hanna Batoreo and Leonor Scliar-Cabral were the ones who offer the CHILDES Plataform with Portuguese data and they reported their experience to the audience on Monday morning. The only researcher who also provides the CHILDES Plataform with Portuguese data and could not attend was Ana Maria Guimarães, but she sent a paper to be published in the Proceedings. The audience composed namely of young Brazilian researchers. The other sessions were workshops to teach how to collect and organize the files in order to follow CHILDES Manual instructions and how to use Phono Bank and new tools created by Vera Vasilévsy to deal with Brazilian Portuguese data, namely the Programs Nhenhém and Laça-Palavras to derive the %mor Brazilian Portuguese lines. Specific problems were discussed, like those caused by polysemy.

We expect that very soon more Brazilian Portuguese corpora will be added to Romance language data bank.


Community-Augmented Meta-Analyses on Infant Speech Perception

Christina Bergmann, Sho Tsuji & Alejandrina Cristia, Laboratoire de Sciences Cognitives et Psycholinguistique, (ENS, EHESS, CNRS), Département d'Etudes Cognitives, Ecole Normale Supérieure, PSL Research University

In this note, we first introduce the concept of community-augmented meta-analyses (CAMAs), then announce the creation of 3 CAMAs, and end by pointing out the instructions for creating others.

What is a CAMA?

It is a cross between a meta-analysis and a repository. Like a meta-analysis, it provides an unbiased overview of studies on a specific research question. All studies in a CAMA are described by a number of variables that encode methodological and experimental features, as well as outcome measures together with their standardized measure of effect size. Like repositories, CAMAs can be viewed, used, and even updated by users. For example, users can calculate how many participants are necessary for planned experiments in a straightforward manner. By submitting new, possibly unpublished data, CAMAs accumulate evidence and remain up-to-date. For a detailed introduction of the concept, please refer to Tsuji, Bergmann, & Cristia (2014; open access via http://pps.sagepub.com/content/9/6/661.abstract).

What can I gain from using CAMAs?

You can gain a quick overview of the literature on a specific research question, finding studies that you might have otherwise missed. You can also query CAMAs regarding specific methodological factors (such as the typical familiarization time in segmentation studies). This can greatly facilitate decisions for studies that you are currently designing. Further, since effect sizes have been calculated for each entered study, prospective power can be calculated before running a study. Finally, you can use data from a CAMA to bolster your case when composing a response to a reviewer (who e.g. thinks that your effect size is too small or too large - you can actually refer to the meta-analysis for a fair comparison).

A detailed guide on the many ways to profit from a CAMA has been published for InPhonDB at https://sites.google.com/site/inphondb/what-can-you-do-with-inphondb and applies to other databases as well.

What CAMAs on child language topics are already available?

At present, there are those three:

  1. Infant Phonology Acquisition Database: http://inphondb.acristia.org. At present, the database contains published work on infant vowel discrimination experiments, including a tool for easy data visualization http://www.lscp.net/persons/acristia/inphondb_visualizer.html. We are currently working on extending it to consonant discrimination studies and to studies with a word-object association design. We also invite contributions of unpublished work.
  2. Infant Word Database: http://inworddb.acristia.org. At present, the database contains studies on infant word segmentation from natural speech in multiple languages based on published work. We invite contributions to this database in form of recent studies and work that has so far been confined to the file drawer. Future extensions can include segmentation from artificial speech, recognition of isolated words learned outside the lab or taught in cross-modal settings; we are actively seeking collaborations on these and other possible extensions of the database.
  3. Individual Variation in Infants: http://invarinf.acristia.org. At present, it contains all studies published before 2011 which reported on the statistical relationship between a measure of infant speech perception, and some other measure (e.g., vocabulary size) taken concurrently or longitudinally. We would welcome contributions of studies with other types of predictors taken in infancy (e.g., caregiver speech, child pointing, etc.)

How can I contribute?

You can extend the existing CAMAs by adding other published or unpublished studies that are relevant to the topic (specialized instructions exist in each of the sites).

You can also create your own CAMA on a topic of your interest. This is extremely easy if you have already conducted a meta-analysis or a prospective power calculation. Instructions are provided here: http://camas.acristia.org/create-your-own-cama


Feedback on the CLEX (Cross Linguistic Lexical Norms) Website

Philip Dale, for the CDI Advisory Board

Have you used the CLEX (Cross Linguistic Lexical Norms) website? The CDI Advisory Board will be considering some modifications and/or extensions of the website, and we would very much appreciate your feedback. This should take only 5-10 minutes. Please send your responses to these questions (just indicate by number, no need to copy the questions) to me at dalep@unm.edu.

(And if you are interested in early vocabulary development in English or ten other languages, but haven't used CLEX, have a look at http://www.cdi-clex.org/)

  1. Which language or languages have you obtained information about using CLEX?
  2. What kinds of questions have you asked of the CLEX data? (indicate as many as are appropriate; and if in a language other than English, please indicate which)
    • Norms for a single word or group of words
    • Identification of words for intervention/teaching studies
    • Confirmation that the words to be used in experimental stimuli are appropriate for a given level, when the study is not directly about vocabulary development
    • Exploration of the relationship of development between two or more words within a single language
    • Comparison of conceptually related words across two or more languages
    • Other (please give a brief indication)
  3. Have you found the interface easy to use, moderately complex, or difficult? Do you have any suggestions for improvement?
  4. Are there questions you would have liked to explore with the existing CLEX vocabulary data, but were unable to do so with the present system?
  5. Has your use of CLEX contributed to actual publications in which CLEX is cited?

Thanks so much your help; we appreciate it.


New Book and Conference on Bilingualism and SLI

Jan de Jong, University of Amsterdam & Sandrine Ferré, Rabelais University, Tours, France

Last year saw the formal end of COST Action IS0804, Language Impairment in a Multilingual Society: Linguistic Patterns and the Road to Assessment (http://www.bi-sli.org/index.htm). However, the Action has an active afterlife.

On the 2nd and 3rd of July 2015 a subsequent conference will be organized in Tours (France), entitled 'Bi-SLI 2015: Bilingualism and Specific Language Impairment'. The identification of Specific Language Impairment (SLI) in children growing up in bilingual contexts poses a major challenge for researchers, and has clear clinical and educational repercussions: How do we know if a child's language difficulties are due to SLI or due to insufficient exposure to the language being assessed? Bi-SLI 2015 aims to bring together all researchers who wish to share results of studies on language development in children acquiring language in contexts of bilingualism associated with SLI (Bi-SLI) and on how these can be distinguished from contexts of bilingualism associated with typical development (Bi-TD). European COST Action IS0804 "Language Impairment in a Multilingual Society: Linguistics Patterns and the Road to Assessment" (http://www.bi-sli.org/) developed a series of tools, dubbed LITMUS (Language Impairment Testing in Multilingual Settings), designed to disentangle Bi-SLI from Bi-TD by tapping specific linguistic and executive function skills. Part of the conference will be specifically devoted to results on LITMUS tasks. In addition to oral presentations, Bi-SLI 2015 will include a poster session. The keynote speaker is Sharon Armon-Lotem, Bar-Ilan University. A call for abstracts can be found at the conference website: http://bisli2015.univ-tours.fr/ (submission deadline : 1 Feb 2015).

During the Action, a number of assessment tools have been developed that specifically target bilingual children. The tools will be available as freeware from the website. In the spring, Multilingual Matters will publish a volume in which all tools will be described, in terms of their background theory as well as design. The full title is: Sharon Armon-Lotem, Jan de Jong & Natalia Meir (eds.), Assessing Multilingual Children Disentangling Bilingualism from Language Impairment. Many Action members have contributed chapters to the book. For further information, see:
http://www.multilingual-matters.com/display.asp?sort=sort_date/d&sf1= title_exact&st1=assessingmultilingualchildren


Child Language Symposium 2015

Katherine Messenger, University of Warwick

We are delighted to announce that the call for papers for the 2015 Child Language Symposium is now open!

The 2015 Child Language Symposium (formerly the Child Language Seminar) will be held at the University of Warwick on Monday 20th and Tuesday 21st July, 2015. The conference will consist of two days of talks and two lunchtime poster sessions. Our keynote speakers are Prof. Julie Dockrell, Prof. Susan Goldin-Meadow, Prof. Marilyn Vihman and Dr Bob McMurray. For further details, please see the conference website: https://www.regonline.co.uk/childlanguagesymposium2015

The Child Language Symposium is an interdisciplinary conference that provides a forum for research on language acquisition and developmental language disorders. Proposals are invited for papers and posters related to all aspects of child language. We encourage proposals covering the full breadth of research relating to child language learning and developmental language disorders. To illustrate, proposals will be considered on children's first, simultaneous and/or subsequent language development, in areas such as, but not limited to: dialects, discourse and narrative, gesture, grammar, input and interaction, language disorders, lexicon, morphology, phonology, pragmatics, psycholinguistic processing, reading and literacy, semantics, sign language, sociolinguistics, speech production and perception.

The Child Language Symposium is a peer-reviewed research conference and all proposals will be reviewed anonymously by the abstract committee.

Abstract Format:
Abstracts must represent original, unpublished research.
Abstracts must be written in English.
Abstracts are limited to 300 words and should give a summary of research undertaken.
Authors should indicate whether a paper or poster presentation is preferred. The organising committee views both formats as having equal value but reserves the right to switch formats to suit the programme. Presenters will be notified about the final format of their presentation at the time their proposal is accepted.

Submission:
Abstracts and author details must be submitted via the online submission form found here: https://www.regonline.co.uk/submissionsforcls2015

The deadline for submissions is Friday 30th January 2015 at midnight GMT.

If you have any questions or to join our mailing list, please contact: cls2015@warwick.ac.uk


International Conference on Sign Language Acquisition (ICSLA2015)

Beppie van den Bogaerde, University of Amsterdam

ICSLA logo

After a successful first meeting in Lisbon in May 2013 it was decided to make this conference a regular event. The next meeting of the International Conference on Sign Language Acquisition (ICSLA2015) will be held in Amsterdam on July 1st to July 3rd, 2015, three full days of presentations. The conference languages will be English and International Sign.

Keynote speakers are prof. Gladys Tang (Chinese University of Hong Kong), dr. Robin Thomson (University of Birmingham and prof. Paula Fikkert (Radboud University Nijmegen).

The meeting will cover all linguistic aspects of first and second sign language acquisition and include bilingual/bimodal acquisition, atypical populations, sociolinguistic aspects including emergence, diagnostic instruments, methodology and archiving, processing, and literacy in a sign language. There will be both signed or spoken plenary presentations as well as poster sessions. There will be no parallel sessions. Poster sessions form an important part of the conference and provide an opportunity to show and share data also via laptops. On Friday afternoon the focus will be on SL1 and SL2 acquisition in relation to education, with posters, activities and exchange of ideas between practitioners and researchers.

For more information, please visit our website http://icsla2015.nl/home-2/.
(NB Call for papers is closed).


Meeting on the Cognitive Advantages of Bilingualism in Children

Tessel Boerma, Utrecht University

This is an announcement for a discussion with guest speaker and panel of discussants on the topic of the cognitive advantages of bilingualism in children.

Language Acquisition Meeting (LAM): 'Questioning the bilingual advantage'
Date: Friday, January 23, 15.00-17.00
Location: Boothzaal, University Library, Heidelberglaan 3, Uithof, Utrecht
Guest speaker: Dr. Jon Andoni Duñabeitia (Basque Center on Cognition, Brain and Language)

Together with colleagues, Duñabeitia has recently published several articles in which he critically discusses the so-called 'bilingual advantage'. His visit is an excellent opportunity to further address advantages and disadvantages of bilingualism, along with their prerequisites and implications. Therefore, we have also invited a panel of discussants: Prof. Dr. Anne Baker (University Of Amsterdam), Prof. Dr. Rick de Graaff (Utrecht University), Prof. Dr. Paul Leseman (Utrecht University) and Dr. Sharon Unsworth (Radboud University Nijmegen) will respond to our guest speaker and start an interactive discussion. We warmly invite you to this event.

The LAM organizing committee:
Elena Tribushinina (E.Tribushinina@uu.nl)
Elma Blom (W.B.T.Blom@uu.nl)
Mona Timmermeister (M.Timmermeister@uu.nl)
Anna Sara H. Romøren (A.S.H.Romoren@uu.nl)
Tessel Boerma (T.D.Boerma@uu.nl)


The Japanese Society for Language Sciences 17th Annual International Conference (JSLS2015)

Hiroko Kasuya, Conference Publicity Committee

The Japanese Society for Language Sciences (JSLS) invites proposals for our Seventeenth Annual International Conference (JSLS2015). JSLS2015 will be held at Beppu International Convention Center (B-ConPlaza, http://www.b-conplaza.jp/), Beppu, Oita Prefecture, Japan. Beppu International Convention Center is located close to Oita, 1 hour 30 minutes from Narita International Airport, and 1 hour from Oita Airport using the airport express bus.

We welcome proposals for two types of presentations: (1) oral presentations and (2) poster presentations. Submissions are invited in any area related to language sciences. Oral presentations are eligible for the 7th JCHAT Award (Best Paper, and Best Paper Using JCHAT/CHILDES, respectively). JSLS is a bilingual conference and papers and posters may be presented in either English or Japanese. Please be aware that the Conference Handbook abstracts will be accessible in pdf form on the JSLS homepage. This is a service exclusively for JSLS members.

Conference Dates: July 18th (Sat) – July 19th (Sun), 2015
Place: Beppu International Convention Center (B-ConPlaza), Beppu, Oita Prefecture, Japan
Plenary: Prof. Francesca Happé (Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, Director of the Social, Genetic & Developmental Psychiatry Centre, King's College London) 'How is language affected by cognitive deficits and differences in Autism Spectrum Disorder?'

The deadline for submission of abstracts is February 10th (Tue.), 2015 (Japan Standard Time). For more detailed information on the submission process, please visit the conference webpage: http://www.jslsweb.sakura.ne.jp/jsls2015/wiki.cgi?page=JSLS2015English

JSLS2015 Conference Committee Chair: Harumi Kobayashi (Tokyo Denki University, Japan)

For inquiries, please contact us at jsls-conf@googlegroups.com
JSLS: http://www.jsls.jpn.org/


Workshop on Infant Language Development (WILD 2015)

Ellen Marklund & Iris-Corinna Schwarz, Co-Chairs of the Organizing Committee WILD 2015

WILD 2015

The Workshop on Infant Language Development WILD 2015 takes place June 10-12 in Stockholm. WILD 2015 carries on the tradition of the very successful WILD 2013, held in San Sebastian, Spain, and offers a forum for vibrant discussions between researchers working on different aspects of infant language development.

http://www.stockholmbabylab.se/WILD2015

WILD 2015 keynote speakers:
Ghislaine Dehaene-Lambertz (CNRS/INSERM)
Anne Fernald (Stanford University)
Paula Fikkert (Radboud University Nijmegen)
Christine Kitamura (University of Western Sydney)
Linda Polka (McGill University)

Abstract submission will open November 3 and close December 15, 17.00 Central European Time.

We call for abstracts in the following areas:

  1. Novel techniques in infant language acquisition research
  2. Bilingual language development in infancy
  3. Infant speech perception
  4. Early speech production
  5. Early language comprehension and lexical development
  6. Social factors of language acquisition
  7. Sign language acquisition
  8. Infant-directed speech
  9. Neurodevelopmental aspects of language acquisition
  10. Language acquisition and cognition
  11. Modelling infant language acquisition
  12. Null results in well-designed and theoretically sound experiments: What could they mean? (Posters only)

Conference location is the baroque palace "Piperska Muren", situated in a picturesque park in the heart of Stockholm, only a short stroll away from the City Hall where the Nobel Prize is awarded each year.

We are looking forward to welcoming infant language development researchers from all across the globe to Stockholm!


NEWS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

Forthcoming Conferences and Workshops

What: The 89th Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America
When: 8-11 Jan 2015
Where: Portland, USA
Where: http://www.linguisticsociety.org/event/lsa-2015-annual-meeting

What: ICFLTAL 2015: International Conference on Foreign Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics
When: 19 –20 Jan 2015
Where: London, UK
Where: https://www.waset.org/conference/2015/01/london/ICFLTAL

What: The 6th Bi-Annual Conference on Generative Approaches to Language Acquisition - North America (GALANA 6)
When: 19-21 Feb 2015
Where: University of Maryland, USA
Where: https://sites.google.com/site/2015galana/

What: Conceptualizing, Investigating, and Practicing Multilingualism and Multiculturalism
When: 27-28 Feb 2015
Where: Washington DC, USA
Where: https://sites.google.com/site/gugradconference/home

What: Big Data: New Opportunities and Challenges in Language Acquisition Research
When: 4 Mar 2015
Where: Leipzig, Germany
Where: https://sites.google.com/site/chbergma/bigdata

What: The 37th Annual Conference of the German Linguistic Society (DGfS 2015)
When: 4-6 Mar 2015
Where: Leipzig, Germany
Where: https://sites.google.com/site/bollavetisyan/workshop-universal-biases/call

What: Workshop on Universal Biases on Phonological Acquisition and Processing
When: 4-6 Mar 2015
Where: University of Leipzig, Germany
Where: http://www.online.uni-marburg.de/dgfs2014/index.php?sprache=english&seite=homep

What: Second Language Acquisition and Teaching Roundtable (SLAT Roundtable)
When: 6 – 7 Mar 2015
Where: Arizona, USA
Where: http://slat.arizona.edu/slat-interdisciplinary-roundtable

What: The 3rd Anpoll International Psycholinguistics Congress
When: 16-24 Mar 2015
Where: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Where: http://ipcinrio.sciencesconf.org/

What: The 28th CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing
When: 19-21 Mar 2015
Where: University of Southern California, USA
Where: Email to Elsi Kaiser

What: Workshop on Multilingual Language Acquisition, Processing and Use
When: 20-21 Mar 2015
Where: Tromso, Norway
Where: https://castl.uit.no/index.php/conferences/l3-workshop

What: International Conference on Bilingualism 2015
When: 23-25 Mar 2015
Where: Valletta, Malta
Where: http://www.um.edu.mt/events/bilingualism2015

What: The 27th North American Conference on Chinese Linguistics (NACCL-27)
When: 3 –5 Apr 2015
Where: California, USA
Where: http://chineselinguistics.org/Events/NACCL-27/index.html

What: The 10th International Symposium on Bilingualism (ISB 10)
When: 20 –24 May 2015
Where: New Jersey, USA
Where: http://isb10.rutgers.edu/index.html

What: 2015 International Conference of Applied Linguistics
When: 30-31 May 2015
Where: Minghsiung, Chiayi, Taiwan
Where: http://www.ncyu.edu.tw/dfl/content.aspx?site_content_sn=45760

What: Summer School: Infant Studies on Language Development in Europe (ISOLDE)
When: 4-9 Jun 2015
Where: Stockholm, Sweden
Where: http://www.uni-potsdam.de/isolde

What: LOT Summer School 2015
When: 15 – 26 Jun 2015
Where: KU Leuven, Belgium
Where: http://www.lotschool.nl/link.php?url=http://www.lotschool.nl/files/schools/2015_Summerschool_Leuven/

What: The 23nd Annual Conference of the International Association of Chinese Linguistics (IACL-23)
When: 19-21 Ju 2015
Where: Hanyang University, Seoul, Korea
Where: http://iacl23.hanyang.ac.kr/

What: Utrecht Summer School 2015
When: Jul- Aug 2015
Where: Utrecht, Netherlands
Where: http://www.utrechtsummerschool.nl/

What: International Conference on Sign Language Acquisition (ICSLA2015)
When: 1–3 Jul 2015
Where: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Where: http://www.icsla2015.nl

What: The 14th International Pragmatics Conference
When: 26 – 31 Jul 2015
Where: Antwerp, Belgium
Where: http://ipra.ua.ac.be/main.aspx?c=.CONFERENCE14&n=1468

What: 4th Barcelona Summer School on Bilingualism and Multilingualism (BSBM)
When: 14-18 Sept 2015
Where: Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain
Where: http://www.upf.edu/bsbm/en/


Conference and Workshop Calls

What: 2015 SLA Graduate Student Symposium – Language Learning: A Social Adventure
When: 11-12 Apr 2015
Where: University of Iowa, USA
Where: http://www.uiowa.edu/flares/call
Submission Deadline: 19 Jan 2015

What: The Asian Conference on Language Learning 2015 (ACLL 2015)
When: 30 Apr –3 May 2015
Where: New Jersey, USA
Where: http://iafor.org/iafor/conferences/acll2015/
Submission Deadline: 1 Jan 2015

What: The 27th International Conference on Foreign/Second Language Acquisition (ICFSLA 2015)
When: 21-23 May 2015
Where: Szczyrk, Poland
Where: http://uranos.cto.us.edu.pl/~icfsla/index.htm
Submission Deadline: 31 Jan 2015

What: The 6th Conference of the French Cognitive Ling. Assoc.: Language, Cognition and Society (AFLiCo6)
When: 26-28 May 2015
Where: Grenoble (French Alps), France
Where: http://aflico6.sciencesconf.org/
Submission Deadline: 5 Jan 2015

What: Workshop on Cognitive Modeling and Computational Linguistics 2015 (CMCL-2015)
When: 4 Jun 2015
Where: Denver, Colorado, USA
Where: http://cmcl.mit.edu/
Submission Deadline: 6 Mar 2015

What: The second Workshop on Infant Language Development
When: 10-12 Jun 2015
Where: Stockholm, Sweden
Where: http://www.stockholmbabylab.se/WILD2015/index.html
Submission Deadline: 12 Jan 2015

What: Language contact: Situations, Representations, Realizations
When: 11-12 Jun 2015
Where: University Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris III
Where: rjc-ed268@univ-paris3.fr
Submission Deadline: 28 Feb 2015

What: International Conference on Interdisciplinary Advances in Statistical Learning
When: 25-27 Jun 2015
Where: San Sebastian, Spain
Where: http://www.bcbl.eu/events/statistical-learning/en/
Submission Deadline: 1 March 2015

What: The 12th International Symposium of Psycholinguistics
When: 1-4 Jul 2015
Where: Valencia, Spain
Where: http://www.psyling2015.com/
Submission Deadline: 16 Feb 2015

What: Bilingualism and Specific Language Impairment (Bi-SLI 2015)
When: 2–3 Jul 2015
Where: Tours, France
Where: EMail to Laurie Tuller
Submission Deadline: 1 Feb 2015

What: Experimental Pragmatics 2015 (XPRAG 2015)
When: 16–18 Jul 2015
Where: Chicago, IL, USA
Where: http://xprag2015.uchicago.edu
Submission Deadline: 15 Jan 2015

What: Japanese Society for Language Sciences 16th Annual International Conference (JSLS2015)
When: 18-19 Jul 2015
Where: Beppu, Oita Prefecture, Japan
Where: http://www.jslsweb.sakura.ne.jp/jsls2015/wiki.cgi?page=JSLS2015English
Submission Deadline: 10 Feb 2015

What: Child Language Symposium 2015 and Gesture in Language Development Workshop
When: 19–21 Jul 2015
Where: University of Warwick, UK
Where: https://www.regonline.co.uk/builder/site/default.aspx?EventID=1628415
Submission Deadline: 30 Jan 2015

What: The 2015 Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2015)
When: 23-25 Jul 2015
Where: Pasadena, California, USA
Where: http://cognitivesciencesociety.org/conference2015/index.html
Submission Deadline: 1 Feb 2015

What: Association for Linguistic Typology 11th Biennial Meeting (ALT11)
When: 1-3 Aug 2015
Where: Albuquerque, NM, USA
Where: http://www.unm.edu/~alt2015/
Submission Deadline: 15 Jan 2015

What: The 6th International Symposium on Bilingualism and Bilingual Education in Latin America-Bilinglatam VI
When: 12-15 Aug 2015
Where: Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, Lima, Perú
Where: Email to simposio-bilinguismo@pucp.pe
Submission Deadline: 16 March 2015

What: The 5th Conference of the Scandinavian Association for Language and Cognition (SALC 5)
When: 19-21 Aug 2015
Where: Trondheim, Norway
Where: Email to Mila Vulchanova
Submission Deadline: 15 Jan 2015

What: The 19th Workshop on the Semantics and Pragmatics of Dialogue (SemDial 2015)
When: 24-26 Aug 2015
Where: Gothenburg, Sweden
Where: http://www.illc.uva.nl/semdial/#upcoming
Submission Deadline: To be announced

What: The 25th Annual Conference of the European Second Language Association (EUROSLA25)
When: 26-29 Aug 2015
Where: Aix-en-Provence, France
Where: http://eurosla25.sciencesconf.org/
Submission Deadline: 27 Feb 2015

What: International Symposium on Monolingual and Bilingual Speech 2015 (ISMBS 2015)
When: 7-10 September 2015
Where: Great Arsenali, old Venetian harbor, Chania, Crete, Greece
Where: http://www.ismbs.eu
Submission Deadline: 10 Feb 2015

What: The British Psychological Society Developmental Section Annual Conference 2015
When: 9-11 September 2015
Where: The Palace Hotel, Manchester, United Kingdom
Where: http://www.bps.org.uk/events/conferences/developmental-section-and-social-section-annual-conference-2015
Submission Deadline: 15 April 2015

What: The 19th Meeting of the European Society for Cognitive Psychology
When: 17-20 September 2015
Where: Paphos, Cyprus
Where: http://www.escop2015.org/
Submission Deadline: 30 April 2015

What: Second Language Research Forum (SLRF)
When: 29-31 October 2015
Where: Georgia State University, USA
Where: http://artsandsciences.sc.edu/ling/activities/slrf2014/sites/sc.edu.ling.activities.slrf2014/files/files/slablurb_one_b%26w.pdf#overlay-context=program
Submission Deadline: To be announced

What: The 2015 ASHA Convention
When: 12-14 November 2015
Where: Colorado Convention Center, Denver, Colorado
Where: http://www.asha.org/Events/convention/Future-Conventions/

What: 2nd International Conference on Teaching Deaf Learners
When: 22-24 March 2017
Where: Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Where: http://www.teachingdeaflearners.com
Submission Deadline: to be announced

What: The 14th International Congress for the Study of Child Language (IASCL 2017)
When: 2nd or 3rd Week of July 2017
Where: Lyon, France
Where: http://iascl2017.org/
Submission Deadline: to be announced


Book Announcements

Editors: Joanne Arciuli & Jon Brock
Title: Communication in Autism
Series Title: Trends in Language Acquisition Research, 11
Publisher: John Benjamins
ISBN: 978-90-272-4400-0 (hardback) 978-90-272-7032-0 (e-book)

Communication in Autism adopts a multidisciplinary approach to explore one of the most common developmental disorders associated with communication impairment. Perhaps the most fascinating thing about communication in autism is that variation is as extreme as it could possibly be. While some individuals with autism have age-appropriate language, a number have exceptional language skills; others have little or no spoken language. In between these extremes are individuals who experience significant linguistic impairments. These impairments can affect peer relations and literacy skills. The chapters in this volume provide comprehensive coverage of both the theoretical underpinnings and the practical aspects of autistic communication. The result is a volume that showcases the wide range of methodologies being used in this field of research. It is invaluable for scientists, service providers, parents, individuals with autism, and students learning about communication and autism (e.g., in psychology, speech pathology, and education).

More information: https://benjamins.com/#catalog/books/tilar.11/main

Editors: Andrea DeBruin-Parecki, Anne Van Kleeck & Sabra Gear
Title: Developing Early Comprehension: Laying the Foundation for Reading Success
Publisher: Brookes Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-59857-034-2

How does early comprehension develop in young children, and how can we better prepare preschoolers to become successful readers? This important volume compiles today's best research on the often-overlooked topic of prereader comprehension: what we know about it now, and what we need to know to build a stronger foundation for children's future reading skills. More than two dozen literacy experts clearly describe theoretical models of early comprehension, demystify current research, recommend effective practices for boosting comprehension, and identify critical research priorities for the near future. An essential text and reference for reading specialists, program administrators, SLPs, preservice professionals, and researchers, this volume is key to helping children develop the early comprehension skills that support later reading success.

Key Topics Covered:

More information: http://products.brookespublishing.com/Developing-Early-Comprehension-P831.aspx

Editors: Theres Grüter & Johanne Paradis
Title: Input and Experience in Bilingual Development
Series Title: Trends in Language Acquisition Research, 13
Publisher: John Benjamins
ISBN: 978-90-272-4402-4 (hardback) 978-90-272-6945-4 (e-book)

Children acquiring two languages, either simultaneously or sequentially, have more variation in their linguistic input than their monolingual peers. Understanding the nature and consequences of this variability has been the focus of much recent research on childhood bilingualism. This volume constitutes the first collection of research solely dedicated to the topic of input in childhood bilingualism. Chapters represent a range of theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of childhood bilingualism, covering a variety of language combinations and sociocultural contexts in Europe, Israel, North and South America. As a reflection of the field's current understanding of the intricate relationship between experience and development in children growing up with two or more languages, this volume will be of interest to scholars and practitioners working with bi- and multilingual learners in various sociolinguistic and educational contexts.

More information: https://benjamins.com/#catalog/books/tilar.13

Author: Marilyn A. Nippold
Title: Language Sampling with Adolescents: Implications for Intervention (2nd ed.).
Publisher: Plural Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-59756-570-7

This revised Language Sampling with Adolescents: Implications for Intervention, now in its second edition, provides guidelines for analyzing spoken and written language production in adolescents. It is geared toward graduate students and speech-language pathologists who work with middle school and high school students (Grades 5-12). Included within the book are tables, figures, and practical exercises (with answer keys) to help readers understand how to analyze the content and structure of the different adolescent language genres--conversational, narrative, expository, and persuasive--and how to utilize this information in establishing functional language goals and implementing intervention activities for adolescents with language disorders.

The second edition includes revised and updated content along with two new chapters: "Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders," which addresses how to adjust standard language sampling procedures for adolescents with ASD, and "Analyzing Language Samples from Adolescents," which provides speaking and writing language samples from various genres elicited from adolescents with typical language development (TLD).

Adolescents' ability to express themselves with clarity, precision, and efficiency is essential for success in contemporary educational settings. Language Sampling with Adolescents: Implications for Intervention, Second Edition, is a must-have resource for those working with students to achieve that success.

More information: https://www.pluralpublishing.com/publication_lswa2e.htm

Editors: J. Bruce Tomblin & Marilyn A. Nippold
Title: Understanding Individual Differences in Language Development Across the School Years
Publisher: Psychology Press/Taylor & Francis
ISBN: 978-1-84872-533-1 (Paperback) 978-1-84872-532-4 (Hardback)

This volume presents the findings of a large-scale study of individual differences in spoken (and heard) language development during the school years. The goal of the study was to investigate the degree to which language abilities at school entry were stable over time and influential in the child's overall success in important aspects of development.

The methodology was a longitudinal study of over 600 children in the US Midwest during a 10-year period. The language skills of these children -- along with reading, academic, and psychosocial outcomes -- were measured. There was intentional oversampling of children with poor language ability without being associated with other developmental or sensory disorders. Furthermore, these children could be sub-grouped based on their nonverbal abilities, such that one group represents children with specific language impairment (SLI), and the other group with nonspecific language impairment (NLI) represents poor language along with depressed nonverbal abilities. Throughout the book, the authors consider whether these distinctions are supported by evidence obtained in this study and which aspects of development are impacted by poor language ability. Data are provided that allow conclusions to be made regarding the level of risk associated with different degrees of poor language and whether this risk should be viewed as lying on a continuum.

The volume will appeal to researchers and professionals with an interest in children's language development, particularly those working with children who have a range of language impairments. This includes Speech and Language Pathologists; Child Neuropsychologists; Clinical Psychologists working in Education, as well as Psycholinguists and Developmental Psychologists.

More information: http://www.psypress.com/books/details/9781848725331/

Editors: Gabriella Vigliocco, Pamela Perniss, Robin Thompson & David Vinson
Title: Language as a Multimodal Phenomenon: Implications for Language Learning, Processing and Evolution
Publisher: Royal Society Publishing

For many decades, the scientific study of language has treated linguistic processes as special and separable from other elements of communication and thought, with languages made up of arbitrary collections of symbols and rules that govern their use. This way of thinking is largely related to the way language has been studied: considering speech or written text in isolation, and focusing mainly on English and other related languages with very similar properties. However, we seldom communicate just using language by itself; face-to-face communication includes meaningful information conveyed by the tone of voice, facial expressions, and movement of the hands, head and body. Moreover, the arbitrary nature of linguistic symbols becomes less certain with a wider scope across the world's languages, including spoken languages with many more sound-symbolic forms and especially sign languages for which visual resemblance between language and things in the world is far more evident.

This theme issue discusses how taking a broader, multimodal approach to language, seeing language as part of a broader system of human communication, may change the way we think about the nature of language: how it is learned, how it is used, and how it may have developed in the first place.

More information: http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/language-multimodal-phenomenon-implications-language-learning-processing-and-evolution


Thesis Announcements

Author: Akke de Blauw
Title: Precursors on Narrative Ability: An In-Depth Study of Three Dutch Children
Institution:: University of Amsterdam

This study examines nonpresent talk (NPT) in early parent-child interaction and its relation to later narrative ability. It analyses data obtained from a longitudinal study of three children in two monolingual Dutch families. A longitudinal design combined analyses of spontaneous interaction between age 1;9 and 3;9 and experimental data when the children were seven years old. Narrative ability was assessed focusing on three components: narrative productivity, narrative story structure and narrative complex language. The results of the study show that the child who was engaged the most in NPT, scored highest on narrative productivity. Other potential precursors were found in child behaviour such as: initiating NPT by the child, fast tense marking development and topic elaboration and were related to the other components. The present study draws therefore attention to child factors relating to later narrative ability. Most previous research focused on parental factors influencing narrative ability. However, child factors may be equally important. Future research has to further explore the potential precursors that were suggested by this study.

This dissertation is of interest to scholars in the field of language acquisition and adult-child interaction. It is particularly relevant to professionals in the field of school curriculum, early childhood education and parent involvement.

More information: info@akkedeblauw.nl

Author: Christine Cox Eriksson
Title: Children's Vocabulary Development: The Role of Parental Input, Vocabulary Composition and Early Communicative Skills
Institution:: Stockholm University

The aim of this thesis is to examine the early vocabulary development of a sample of Swedish children in relation to parental input and early communicative skills. Three studies are situated in an overall description of early language development in children. The data analyzed in the thesis was collected within a larger project at Stockholm University (SPRINT- "Effects of enhanced parental input on young children's vocabulary development and subsequent literacy development" [VR2008-5094]).

Data analysis was based on parental report via SECDI, the Swedish version of the MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventories, and audio recordings. One study examined parental verbal interaction characteristics in three groups of children with varying vocabulary size at 18 months. The stability of vocabulary development at 18 and 24 months was investigated in a larger study, with focus on children's vocabulary composition and grammatical abilities. The third study examined interrelations among early gestures, receptive and productive vocabulary, and grammar measured with M3L, i.e. three longest utterances, from 12 to 30 months.

Overall results of the thesis highlight the importance of early language development. Variability in different characteristics in parental input is associated with variability in child vocabulary size. Children with large early vocabularies exhibit the most stability in vocabulary composition and the earliest grammatical development. Children's vocabulary composition may reflect individual stylistic variation. Use of early gestures is associated differentially with receptive and productive vocabulary.

Results of the thesis have implications for parents, child- and healthcare personnel, as well as researchers and educational practitioners. The results underscore the importance of high quality in adult-child interaction, with rich input fine-tuned to children's developmental levels and age, together with high awareness of early language development.

Downloadable as pdf at http://su.diva-portal.org/smash/record.jsf?pid=diva2%3A753731&dswid=4503

Or can be ordered as a book: http://www.sub.su.se/home/online-shop/series-in-acta-universitatis-stockholmiensis/titles-in-the-series/acta-universitatis-stockholmiensis/?id=12861

Author: Núria Esteve-Gibert
Title: The integration of prosody and gesture in early intentional communication
Institution:: Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona, Spain)

This dissertation comprises four experimental studies which investigate the way infants integrate prosody and gesture for intentional communicative purposes. The first study is a longitudinal analysis of how a group of infants produce gesture and speech combinations in natural interactions, with results that show that already at 12 and 15 months of age infants temporally align prosodic and gesture prominences. The second study uses a habituation/test procedure to test the infants' early sensitivity to temporal gesture-prosodic integration, showing that 9-month-old infants are sensitive to the alignment between prosodic and gesture prominences. The third study analyzes the longitudinal productions of four infants at the pre-lexical stage and provides evidence that infants use prosodic cues such as pitch range and duration to convey specific intentions like requests, statements, responses, and expressions of satisfaction or discontent. Finally, the fourth study examines how infants responded at 12 months of age to different types of pointing-speech combinations and shows that infants use prosodic and gestural cues to comprehend communicative intentions behind an attention-directing act. Altogether, this dissertation shows that the temporal integration of gesture and speech occurs at the early stages of language and cognitive development, and that pragmatic uses of prosody and gesture develop before infants master the use of lexical cues. I further claim that infants' integration of prosody and gesture at the temporal and pragmatic levels is a reflex of an early emergence of language pragmatics.

Author: Shenai Hu
Title: Intervention Effects and the Acquisition of Relativization and Topicalization in Chinese
Institution:: Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca

This thesis is about the acquisition of relativization and topicalization in Chinese. Through a series of experimental studies, I obtain the following results. First, a disadvantage of object relatives holds in comprehension and in production for children from three to seven years of age. Second, subject relatives are also difficult to comprehend and elicit a variety of errors from children up to six years of age. Third, a large use of resumptive NPs is observed in production across age groups (including adults); for many adult native speakers of Mandarin Chinese, relative clauses with resumptive NPs are acceptable in spoken Chinese. Fourth, children from three to six years of age understand sentences featuring object topicalization as well as those featuring subject topicalization; on both structures children perform at ceiling at five years of age.

The noted difficulty of object relatives is captured by the Relativized Minimality approach. I propose that structural intervention of the subject within the chain connecting the relative head and its copy is the source of the difficulty. With respect to topicalization, the results are interpreted by assuming that topicalization in Chinese does not involve A'-movement, but an anaphoric relation between the empty category pro and the base-generated topic.

Permanent link: https://boa.unimib.it/handle/10281/53875


BOOK REVIEW

Rachel Yifat, University of Haifa

Review of Teubal, E., and Guberman, A. (2014). Graphic texts - Literacy enhancing tools in early childhood. Sense Publishers.

The book Graphic texts - Literacy enhancing tools in early childhood explores the potential contribution of non-verbal graphic texts to the enhancement of learning, thought, expression and communication processes in general and in young children in particular. The book refers practitioners and researchers alike to a relatively neglected area – children's appropriation of visual representations, an area that should have been explored much more extensively in light of the increasing role of visualizations in our society (Kress, 2003). By an original combination of a theoretical and practical approach the book presents readers with tools that support children's externalization and consolidation of their experiences and conceptualizations. An example of such tool use would be the weekly calendar that enables children to represent days with tangible graphic units, in which they can anchor, share and plan their weekly activities, thus providing support for abstract deictic time concepts as "yesterday" and "tomorrow". This feature makes the book very useful for researchers, educators and other professionals who work with young children, such as psychologists, speech and language pathologists and occupational therapists.

The pedagogical approach guiding the book is an ecological one (Bronfenbrenner, 1979), whereby learning and human knowledge develop within social, cultural and material contexts and with cooperation between people of different backgrounds, abilities or attitudes (Vygotsky, 1978).

The book provides a comprehensive overview of various graphic texts (drawings, photographs, icons, maps and calendars), encompassing research, theoretical and historical background. It describes each one of these external representations in terms of their characteristics, meanings, the contexts in which they are produced, the ways they are used and most importantly, the development of children's understanding of nonverbal graphic texts while engaged in their appropriation in relevant situations.

Children exposed to the various types of graphic representations, also learn about their functions (e.g., photographs as a record; icons as a warning) and what they empower (e.g., to retain information over a long period and return to the information at different times; to share information with others and communicate about it in a non-synchronic way). The many examples given in each chapter of the book are evidence of a striking range of representational tools children are able to manage as early as preschool. For instance, by means of icons or drawings preschool children can draw up lists of items needed to take with them on a shopping trip with their parents; or they can make a photographic record of places or events relevant to them in order to share their experiences with others. Such activities allow children to realize the advantages to be obtained through the use of nonverbal graphic texts, thus motivating them to appropriate these tools.

An interesting issue that the authors raise is that non-verbal graphic texts can contribute to enhancing spoken language in a variety of ways. The presence of a non-verbal text (such as a photograph) contributes to the creation of a long and coherent spoken text more than might otherwise be possible in its absence. Oral discourse can be enhanced when children are able to "read" and interpret the information they need from a graphic text, which frees them from a total reliance on memory. Moreover, this is an especially important tool for children who do not possess the necessary language skills and have developmental difficulties. Hence, the experience with graphic texts in contexts relevant to children serves two goals at the same time: 1) The texts can enhance children's ability to achieve specific goals in any activity and motivate them to explore and master the "world on paper" (Olson, 1994); 2) Children get acquainted with the affordances of the different texts, thus nurturing literacy development even before children are introduced to formal reading and writing instruction.

The book opens with a general introduction explaining the characteristics of non-verbal graphic texts as relatively permanent external representations in relation to oral and written verbal texts. Each of the other chapters can stand on its own and is devoted to a single kind of non-graphic text.

The originality of the book is to a large extent the addressing two kinds of audience rarely convened simultaneously by the same text: practitioners are challenged to get involved in theoretical discussions, and researchers to deal with concrete teaching/learning situations. This is one more reason which makes the book worth reading.

Graphic texts - Literacy enhancing tools in early childhood has been published in Hebrew (Mofet, 2013), Spanish (Paidós, 2014) and finally in English (Sense, 2014).

References

Bronfenbrenner, U. (1979). The ecology of human development: Experiments by nature and design. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Kress, G.R. (2003). Literacy in the new media age. New York: Routledge.

Olson, D. (1994). The world on paper: The conceptual and cognitive implications of writing and reading. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Vygotsky, L.S. (1978). Mind in society. London: Harvard University Press


From the Editor

The Child Language Bulletin is the official newsletter of the IASCL Association, and it is published twice a year on the website. All members of the association will receive an e-mail message each time a new issue of the Bulletin is published.

I encourage members to submit news and information that might be relevant to our research community, for instance, report on a conference or workshop, announcements about forthcoming conferences and workshops, new CHILDES corpora, books, and completed PhD Theses, conference and workshop calls, book reviews, and surveys. We need your contributions to keep the Bulletin abreast of developments in our field.

Please send any items that are of interest to the IASCL community to editor.iascl.clbulletin@gmail.com.

I look forward to receiving your submissions!

Angel Chan
Room GH632
Department of Chinese and Bilingual Studies
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Hunghom, Hong Kong SAR
China

editor.iascl.clbulletin@gmail.com; angel.ws.chan@polyu.edu.hk


IASCL Donation Drive

The IASCL is a worldwide organization, which means that it aims to serve child language researchers in all countries of the world. Child language research is important everywhere, both from a theoretical perspective (cf. for instance the significance of cross-linguistic evidence) and from a more applied point of view (cf. for instance the need for good description to allow for the assessment of language learning problems). Unfortunately financial considerations are often a hindrance to the development of scientific disciplines in countries with severe economic problems. The IASCL has always been supportive of would-be IASCL members working in such countries by waiving membership fees for them.

IASCL funds are limited, though. In the past, donations from regular IASCL members have been very helpful in supporting colleagues from economically disadvantaged countries. In order to continue offering that support, your donations are very welcome indeed.

To make a donation, please make your payment via Paypal, using the appropriate button at http://www.iascl.org/join.html. Once you reach the 'Thank you for your payment' page on the Paypal site, you will be offered the option of printing a receipt (useful perhaps for tax purposes). If you experience any difficulties making your payment, please contact the Treasurer.

The IASCL as a whole will be sure to benefit from the more diversified nature of its membership as a result of your donations. Many thanks in advance!

Anna Theakston, IASCL Treasurer
anna.theakston@manchester.ac.uk


Membership

If you attended the IASCL conference in Amsterdam 2014, you will remain a member of IASCL until the first day of the 2017 congress. If, however, you did not attend the last conference, and have not since renewed your membership, you can do so now. Current membership fees are £55 for regular members and £30 for students. Members are eligible for a substantial discount for volumes 1-6 of TiLAR, and for a reduced subscription fee to the following journals: the Journal of Child Language, First Language, and the International Journal of Bilingualism. Your fees will contribute to the organization of the upcoming Congress and they will be especially valuable in the provision of student travel bursaries.

Fees:

Membership (£55 for regular members; or £30 for students*) is for three years, and expires on the first day of the next triennial Congress, to be held in the summer of 2017 in Lyon, France. Members in countries with nonconvertible currencies or currency transfer restrictions or other economic difficulties should request a waiver of the membership fee. Additional contributions/donations for the support of colleagues and program in countries with currency and/or economic difficulties are welcomed.

To join IASCL, to renew your membership, or to make a donation please make your payment via Paypal, using the appropriate button at http://www.iascl.org/join.html. Once you reach the 'Thank you for your payment' page on the Paypal site, you will be offered the option of printing a receipt. From the 'Thank you' page, you should also use the button on that page to return to IASCL, where you can complete your full membership details. If you experience any difficulties making your payment or completing your registration details, please contact the Treasurer.

*Students are asked to send proof of their status to the treasurer of IASCL at the address below, or by scanning and emailing proof of status to the Treasurer. Proof of student status: a letter on headed paper signed by authorised personnel from the Faculty, or a copy of a currently valid dated and signed student registration card or equivalent.

Dr Anna Theakston
IASCL Treasurer
Coupland Building 1
School of Psychological Sciences
University of Manchester
Oxford Road
Manchester M13 9PL
UK