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IASCL - Child Language Bulletin - Vol 22, No 1: May 2002





Many of us are busy preparing our presentations for the upcoming IASCL/SRCLD meeting in Madison, as we look forward to learning about new work and reestablishing contacts with old friends. Because this is a joint meeting of the IASCL and the SRCLD (Society for Research in Child Language Development), there will be a rich selection of papers on language disorders, including work on children with William’s Syndrome, autism, otitis media, SLI, hearing impairments, and mental retardation. However, the majority of the papers will examine normal development in areas of traditional interest such as phonology, syntax, narrative, lexicon, and pragmatics.

You may have had a chance to go to the conference web site at Eventually, you can navigate to and you will be able to glance over the impressive program that Jon Miller and colleagues have organized. It is an exceptionally diverse program that illustrates how much research in child language continues to blossom internationally. This blossoming continues a development that began with the highly successful IASCL meeting in San Sebastián/Donostia in 1999. That meeting had over 600 registered participants – nearly twice the registration of previous IASCL meetings. The fact that the Madison meeting will also have over 500 registered participants indicates a pattern of long-term growth for our association. This growth has continued despite the high level of the dollar and the difficult aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11. We can well expect that this pattern will continue during the meeting in Berlin in 2005.

The $300 non-student registration fee for Madison includes a charge of $75 for IASCL dues. This fee is substantially up from the $35 level we used in 1999. There are three reasons for this increase. First, membership now includes free copies of volumes in the new TILAR book series edited by Steven Gillis and Annick De Houwer with special editors for particular volumes. This book series is our way of showcasing some of the most interesting new empirical work on selected topics in language acquisition. Second, the higher dues have also allowed us to send a free copy of the 1999 Proceedings on CD-ROM to all members. Third, this higher dues level allows us to solve an ongoing problem with IASCL funding. This is the fact that, before each meeting, the organization typically has inadequate funds to help fund the costs of organizing the conference. This forces organizers to take out loans from the universities. After Madison, we hope to correct this problem by ending up with a sizeable balance in our account.

Perhaps this is a good time to draw attention to two significant challenges facing our association. The first challenge relates to maintaining the fully international nature of our association. The study of language acquisition thrives on linguistic and cultural diversity, since it allows us to understand the range of plasticity of the human language capacity. To maintain this diversity, we need to continue to encourage participation from speakers of many different languages. Unfortunately, the rising costs of travel have made it difficult for researchers from countries with weaker currencies to attend our meetings. There are a number of procedures we can institute to minimize this problem. We can locate low-cost housing and travel and provide some limited financial support. We can rotate the location of the conference, Additionally, we may want to consider allowing people with inadequate funding to submit presentations in absentia. It seems to me that we need to address this challenge with a combination of various methods.

The second challenge facing our association involves broadening our conceptual scope to include two underrepresented areas. The first is work in experimental analyses of acquisitional processes. Although we have a good representation of experimental work at Madison, we may want to provide a somewhat more organized approach to the scheduling of symposia on specific experimental approaches. The second underrepresented area involves formal linguistic analysis in areas such as syntax, semantics, and phonology. It seems to me that it would be good for our association to make sure that both of these intellectually important approaches be given full representation in our meetings, publications, and communications.

This is the last letter that I will compose as President of IASCL. I have worked hard to stabilize several aspects of our organizational structure and I am happy with the results. I look forward with much enthusiasm to our meetings in Madison and Berlin, the continuation of interesting IASCL publications, and the transition to a new set of officers. Please try to attend the IASCL business meeting Friday afternoon in Madison, where we can further discuss important issues facing our association.

Brian MacWhinney


Directions in Sign Language Acquisition, edited by Gary Morgan and Bencie Woll

Any minute now we expect the publication of the second volume in the series 'Trends in Language Acquisition Research' (TiLAR). As an official publication of the International Association for the Study of Child Language, the TiLAR Series aims to publish two volumes per three year period in between IASCL congresses. All volumes in the IASCL-TiLAR Series are invited (but externally reviewed) edited volumes by IASCL members that are strongly thematic in nature and that present cutting edge work which is likely to stimulate further research to the fullest extent.

Besides quality, diversity is also an important consideration in all the volumes: diversity of theoretical and methodological approaches, diversity in the languages studied, diversity in the geographical and academic backgrounds of the contributors. After all, like the IASCL itself, the IASCL-TiLAR Series is there for child language researchers from all over the world.

The new volume on sign language acquisition includes original contributions by leading researchers in the field. The unusual combination in one volume of reports on various different sign languages-in-acquisition makes the book quite unique. We are very grateful to the editors, Gary Morgan and Bencie Woll, for making it all happen.

We would also like to thank IASCL President Brian MacWhinney for his continued support, Seline Benjamins and Kees Vaes of John Benjamins Publishing Company for their enthusiasm, patience and trust, and the external reviewers for their role in 'quality control'.

'Trends in Language Acquisition Research' is made for and by IASCL members. We hope it can become a source of information and inspiration which the community of child language researchers can continually turn to in their professional endeavors.

Annick De Houwer and Steven Gillis, TiLAR General Editors


  1. Introduction - Gary Morgan & Bencie Woll
  2. Foundations of Communication and the Emergence of Language in Deaf Children - Mark Marschark
  3. Phonology Acquisition in Brazilian Sign Language - Lodenir Becker Karnopp
  4. Transcription as a tool for understanding - Nini Hoiting & Dan Slobin
  5. The development of Italian Sign Language in deaf preschoolers - Elena Pizzuto
  6. The Acquisition of Verb Agreement in ASL: pointing out arguments for the linguistic status of agreement in signed languages - Richard Meier
  7. The expression of grammatical relations by Deaf Toddlers learning ASL - Brenda Schick
  8. Faces: The acquisition of Non-manual Morphology in ASL - Judy Reilly & Diane Anderson
  9. Bilingualism and Sign Language - Beppie van den Bogaerde & Anne Baker
  10. Language emergence in a language ready brain: acquisition - Judy Kegl
  11. The development of Complex sentences in British Sign Language - Gary Morgan, Bencie Woll & Rosalind Herman
  12. Last words - Elena Lieven
  13. Conclusions - Gary Morgan & Bencie Woll


The International Association for the Study of Child Language (IASCL) would like to issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) for sites that might be interested in hosting our meeting in 2008. The full text of this RFP is located at We will be meeting in Madison this year and in Berlin in 2005. Making this RFP at this time reflects our interest in planning meetings well in advance to allow organizers time to settle out local details, as well as our interest in allowing members to evaluate alternative proposals during our business meetings which only occur each third year. Proposals are due by July 1 this year and should be sent to me at Proposals submitted by this time will be presented to the business meeting at Madison. Please send any questions directly to Brian MacWhinney at


Madison, Wisconsin July 16-21, 2002

Jon Miller

The Symposium on Research in Child Language Disorders (SRCLD) will host the International Association for the Study of Child Language (IASCL) for a joint meeting, July 16 – 21, 2002, in Madison Wisconsin. This is the first joint meeting of the two groups who have been actively promoting research in language development and disorders for more than 20 years. Informing developmental theory and the nature of language disorders through research, is the special emphasis topic for the meeting. Each day of the meeting will feature a plenary address by an internationally recognized researcher in child language. The plenary speakers include Dorothy Bishop (Oxford University), Paul Fletcher (University of Hong Kong), Laurence Leonard (Purdue University), Annick de Houwer (University of Antwerp), and Michael Tomasello (Max Planck Institute). Each of these speakers will address some aspect of the special emphasis topic. The meeting will also feature more than 40 symposia, each addressing specific research issues. Some examples of symposia titles include:

In addition, more than 300 posters have been accepted for presentation and 250 papers. There will be 3–5 simultaneous sessions every day following the plenary presentation. The program has been organized so that an array of topics will be presented at each session, allowing participants the opportunity to attend sessions on a range of topics.

Program features

Each day will begin with a complementary continental breakfast, followed by a plenary presentation. Simultaneous session will follow through the rest of the day. The overall environment for the conference emphasizes interaction and information exchange through the several session types on the program.

A shuttle buss will provide transportation from conference hotels to the convention center throughout the day. City tours have been planned each day for accompanying persons not attending the conference. No conference activities have been planned for Thursday afternoon, July 18th, to provide time to visit Madison and the surrounding area. Six guided tours of the Madison area will be offered including a tour of Frank Lloyd Wright’s home, school and farm, Taliesin. Visit the SRCLD web site for further information.

You can register online at the SRCLD web site. We encourage you to register as soon as possible. We have made every effort to make this meeting as affordable as possible. Registration fee includes admission to all conference session for the six days of the meeting, complementary continental breakfast each day, refreshments during the afternoon break, the banquet on Thursday evening with music and dancing, and membership dues for the International Association for the Study of Child Language for 2002-2005. Visit the web site at:


The SRCLD has evolved from a regional meeting to an international forum for research on language disorders in children. Through funding from the National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders it has promoted the development of new researchers by funding students to attend the meeting. Last year more than 30 students were supported to present their research, half of them from under represented minority groups. The goal of the SRCLD meeting has been to promote excellence in research and to encourage new investigators to pursue research careers in the field of child language development and disorders.



This workshop will take place at the University of Warwick, UK, Tuesday 17th – Thursday 18th September 2002 and is sponsored by the British Psychological Society. The overall purpose of the seminars is to provide practical hands-on experience of the database. In particular, we aim:

a) to introduce researchers unfamiliar with CHILDES, but planning to do empirical psycholinguistic work, to the basics of transcription and coding of new material to include in the database;

b) to teach researchers who have already started collecting data but are unfamiliar with the coding practices of CHILDES;

c) to teach researchers who have a basic knowledge of the database but want an advanced course and need help in addressing specific research questions within CHILDES.

The seminars will be taught by the following CHILDES experts:

Prof. Stephen Gillis (University of Antwerp)
Dr. Caroline Rowland (University of Liverpool)
Dr. Gary Jones (University of Derby)
Dr. Fernand Gobet (University of Nottingham)
Dr. Anna Theakston (University of Manchester)
Dr. Kate Joseph (University of Manchester)

The course is limited to 20-25 people. Researchers and graduate students are welcome to apply. A more detailed program will be circulated soon. Also a number of grants will be made available for postgraduate students. Please send any queries and/or a request of participation to:

Luca Onnis (local organiser)
Dpt. Of Psychology


This new corpus donated by Fred Genesee can be found in genesee.sit in the /biling directory on

The children and their families all lived in a bilingual community in Montreal or surrounding areas. The children were being raised in homes where French and English were used on a regular basis and the children and their parents were recorded in the children's homes -- often in the living room, playroom, or kitchen. The recordings were done by an assistant or graduate student who was otherwise uninvolved in the interactions. The parents were asked to interact and talk with their children as they normally would using whichever language(s) they would normally use and to ignore the assistant as much as possible.

The research based on these data was funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Ottawa, Canada, to Fred Genesee. Twenty to thirty minutes of each session with each child were transcribed using the CHAT transcription system. The following publications were based, in part, on these transcripts:


This section includes a discussion about rhotacizm and the relationship between talking and walking. The messages have been taken from info-childes:


Date: 5 Feb 2002
From: Simackova Sarka

I am writing a paper about a non-standard pronunciation of apical trill in Czech. It involves retracted articulation resulting in a French-sounding 'r'. Retracted pronunciation is perceived as defective and is treated by speech therapists. It is a relatively frequent defect, which even has its folk name. According to some older sources, approximately 22% of reported speech defects among Czech school children concern rhotacizms. From informal reports I learned that retracted pronunciation of tongue tip trill is quite common across languages (Italian, Finnish, Bulgarian, Russian, Polish, and Indonesian). I am looking for cross-linguistic information about acquisition of apical trill. I have the following questions:

  1. Czech speech therapists say that children who substitute a non-rhotic sound for /r/ are more likely to get rid of the substitution. On the other hand, children who substitute a back rhotic often keep this pronunciation till adulthood. Could anyone confirm this for another language (other languages)?
  2. /r/ is a difficult sound to acquire and children use all sorts of substitutes before they can produce it properly around the age 4. Prototypical variants are [j], [v], [w], [h], and in the later stage most frequently [l]. It seems to me that children who grow up to speak without an apparent defect rarely substitute a back trill. There are not many longitudinal studies of phonological development of Czech children, which I could use to verify this idea. I wonder whether anyone might know about relevant data from e.g. Italian, Spanish, Finnish, etc.
  3. The defective pronunciation of /r/ in Czech is often characterized by excessive trilling. Is this the case in other languages?
  4. Speech pathologists, who recognize several types of rhotacizm, describe the retracted /r/ as a velar trill (the rear edges of the velum are vibrating or the edges of the back of the tongue). They point out that velar trill is the most frequent type of rhotacizm in Czech and that it is different from the uvular trill which is quite rare. I wonder whether the velar variant of the trill is also described in other languages.
  5. Do children acquiring French or German have a hard time with the uvular 'r'? Do speech therapists have to pay special attention to 'r'? Is rhotacizm a common speech defect?

I will be glad to make a summary of your responses and send them to the list. Thank you for your help.

Sarka Simackova

Date: 5 Feb 2002
From: Marilyn Vihman

I can offer a few comments on the acquisition of trilled /r/ - Estonian also has a trilled /r/, both long and 'extra-long', as well as a single tap-r (like the two-r pair in Spanish). I can say anecdotally that some Estonians have a speech defect consisting of uvular r production instead of the expected apical trill; I knew a father and son who shared this defect, and I have very occasionally heard it in others.

Of my two children, who grew up bilingual in Estonian and English, my daughter was trilling her r's quite appropriately before she was three (I remember her nursery school teacher trying in vain to imitate this feat!), while my son was first able to produce a trilled r just short of his 5th birthday. He substituted the American English glide-r for a while, but mainly [l]. The other Estonian children I have seen described, and the one other child I followed in California (Stanford Papers and Reports in Child Language Development, 3, 1971), also typically substitute [j] or [l]. I know of no cases of [w] being substituted for either Est. [r] or [l]. I don't know of any cases of [v] or [h] either.

Marilyn Vihman

Date: 9 Feb 2002
From: Rosa Graciela Montes

I have noticed the pronunciation you describe [uvular r] among adult speakers of Spanish in the Puebla region of Mexico. I only have anecdotal observations but it seems to be fairly frequent in certain localities (e.g. Atlixco).
The trilled sound seems to be one of the last sounds to be acquired by Spanish speaking children [3 to 4 years] and they have a lot of intermediate substitutions along the way: [r], [y], [l], [d], so that "perrito" might become [perito], [pelito], [peyito], [pedito].

The children I've looked at had all four at some point, but didn't have the uvular. This summer I observed a strategy used by my little niece (3). Her spontaneous replacement for trilled r's was [r]. But when she self-corrected or monitored her speech she would insert a consonant before the 'r': pedrito for "perrito".

As a summary, with respect to Spanish: The early pronunciations for 'r' don't survive into adulthood. I don't know, however, how uvular 'r' started out, for those speakers that maintain it in adult speech.

Rosa Graciela Montes

Date: 12 Feb 2002
From: Hanne Gram Simonsen

Some more cross-linguistic info on /r/ acquisition - from Norwegian. Norwegian has both apical and dorsal /r/, depending on dialect. The apical /r/s are most often not trilled, but rather produced as a tap.

For Norwegian children, /r/ is recognised as a problematic sound, but it is only the apical /r/ which causes problems even up to 4 and beyond (being typically substituted with [l], [j] but never with [w]). For some, the (apical) /r/ problem persists into adulthood. The dorsal /r/ does not cause the same problems and is acquired earlier. It is not uncommon for speech therapists to teach children from "apical r dialects" to produce a dorsal /r/ instead of an apical one when they have /r/ problems. This functions well, also because the dorsal /r/ is acceptable and occasionally found in speakers with "apical r dialects" as a result of contact with "dorsal r dialects", and then not at all considered a speech defect, but normal (and even rather posh).

Hanne Gram Simonsen

Date: 12 Feb 2002
From: Annick De Houwer

Much the same as described for Norwegian is happening with Dutch as spoken in Flanders, Belgium, with the more dorsal /r/ rapidly gaining ground, and heard much more frequently on the spoken mass media than even 10 years ago. Many older speakers in Flanders consider the 'French r' (but it is decidedly not a real French r) to be a 'speech defect', but that view is on the way out as more and more people use this variant. Dorsal /r/ now seems to run in families, but mainly among the children in the families. An anecdote from my own daughter, who until age 3 heard no other children speak Dutch (she lived in the US) and had been substituting /r/ by /j/ when she spoke Dutch (I myself and other adults in my family, i.e., my daughter's models, use the apical /r/, not the dorsal): the very day that she met up with another Dutch-speaking three- year-old, who happened to use the dorsal r, my daughter started using the dorsal /r/ herself and stopped substituting /r/ by /j/ altogether. I must confess I did not like her use of dorsal /r/ (didn't fit my own sociolinguistic identity...) - when at the age of 5 my daughter was still using the dorsal /r/ I decided perhaps I'd try to teach her the apical /r/ while we were away from Belgium (and continued exposure to dorsal /r/ from other children and some adults), and after an hour or so in the car of having her repeat briefly trilled /r/'s in all manner of words and song snippets my daughter proudly said words with apical r's, and she never went back to the dorsal /r/. But now at age 13 she tells me it was silly of me to try and get her off the dorsal /r/. She's probably right...

Annick De Houwer


Date: 9 April 2002
From: Jussi Niemi

An old "wisdom" claims that children with a relatively early onset (and subsequent fast pace?) of L1 acquisition are less skilled in their bodily motor functions (e.g. in standing upright, walking) than children with a more balanced language and motor path of development, not to speak of the mirror images of these "early talkers", viz., the "early walkers", who are claimed to be linguistically delayed. This type of "dissociation" would --I think -- run counter to Piagetian views of language development in ontogeny, but this type of thinking does prevail outside the academic world.

In order to say anything more definite about this to the person who specifically asked me about this asymmetry, do any of the members of the Info-Childes List know a systematic study of this topic? (if not, somebody should check the files of the infant and maternity care clinics in countries where pregnant women and their eventual offspring have for decades been systematically monitored for these variables, e.g. in the Nordic Countries).

I would be grateful for any hint of a study on this issue, and I will post on our List -- as is the custom -- the synopsis of the results of my inquiry.

Jussi Niemi

Date: 9 April 2002
From: Jean Berko Gleason

Another, and related, claim I've seen is that children who are just learning to walk may pause in their language development and not make much progress for a while as they concentrate on their feet, so to speak. Any thoughts or evidence on that?

Jean Berko Gleason

Date: 9 April 2002
From: Elizabeth Bates

Back in 1979, our group did a longitudinal study of The Emergence of Symbols from 9-13 months, and within each age level found no correlation between major motor milestones and language milestones (positive or negative). Note, however, that there is a strong positive correlation reported in multiple laboratories between the onset of 'hand banging' and reduplicative babble around 6 months. and of course various positive correlations between language and hand gestures later on (in hearing children). so there does seem to be a positive link (though complex) between hand gestures and language milestones, but as far as I know Eric Lenneberg's predicted links between major motor milestones and language (we are talking here about crawling, sitting up, walking, etc.) have not held up. There are good neuroanatomical reasons for expecting positive correlations between oral-motor and manual fine-motor developments but not with trunk movements.

Liz Bates

Date: 9 April 2002
From: John D. Bonvillian

This information may not be precisely what you need, but I have examined the onset of language and motor milestones in children (hearing and deaf) learning American Sign Language as their first language from their deaf parents. In general, those children who achieved early language milestones at a younger age were those children who attained subsequent milestones at a younger age. Similarly, those children who attained early motor milestones at a younger age typically were those children who achieved subsequent motor milestones at a younger age.There was no discernible relationship between achievement of motor milestones and attainment of language milestones. Thus, early language development predicted later language development and early motor development predicted subsequent motor development, but motor and language development were not related. If you will send me your address, I will be happy to send you a copy of this paper.

John Bonvillian

Date: 9 April 2002
From: Lois Bloom

In response to your query, the following summarizes some relevant findings from my longitudinal study of 14 infants (beginning at 9 months until after the emergence of syntax at 2 years on average).

"We used two measures of general maturation: age of walking and block building (stacking 1-in. cubes to form a tower). On both measures, the children developed within normal limits [according to published 'norms']. The mean age of walking (2 independent steps unaided) was 12.6 months, and the range was from 10 to 14 months. The block building task was administered at home every 3 months. Of the 11 children who were presented with the task, none succeeded in building a tower of six blocks without direct help at 18 months; 7 succeeded at 21 months and the 4 others succeeded subsequently. The important finding was that both progress in walking and the ability to stack the 1-in. cubes were unrelated to any other developments in language, affect expression, or play with objects, as will be shown in the later chapters. We have interpreted these results to mean that the developmental interactions we observed among language, affect expression, and object play were a function of fundamental underlying cognitive processes and not simply attributable to maturation" (Bloom, 1993, p. 118).

Lois Bloom

Date: 9 April 2002
From: Joanne Volden

Three of my colleagues (Darrah, Hodge & Magill-Evans) recently completed a study on this question. Their longitudinal study with 102 infants showed no correlation between communication and gross motor abilities at 9, 11, 13, 16 and 21 months of age.

Joanne Volden

Date: 11 April 2002
From: Lois Bloom

There are, indeed, complementary effects in development, both competitive and collaborative, and these occur at both the molar and the molecular levels. For an example of large developmental effects over longitudinal time between progress in language (first words and a vocabulary spurt), and object play (specifically, constructing thematic relations between objects) (result: developments in the two occur together), see:

And between these same achievements in language and emotional expression (result: the two compete with each other developmentally), see:

And between emotional expression and the emergence of syntax, see:

However, the question that began the present discussion in Childes had to do with such molar developments in language and walking and, so far, I have seen no report of such effects one way or the other. We didn't find them.

However, I would not be surprised to find more molecular effects in the microgenetic unfolding of such actions. I suspect, for example, that the one-year-olds we studied were not saying words, much less phrases and simple sentences (or expressing emotion), while trying to stack the 1-in. cubes to make a tower, or while taking their first steps. Those are empirical questions, but we didn't ask them.

However, we did find such microgenetic effects in real time between language and emotional expression, see:

And between language (child and mother speech), emotional expression, and object play; see Bloom & Tinker (2001). For a vintage study showing competition as well as collaboration within the domain of language (lexicon, syntax, and discourse), see:

Effects such as these may or may not have to do with questions of modularity. But there are other ways of looking at them (e.g., Bloom & Tinker, 2001; Bloom, 1993).

Lois Bloom



JULY 16-21 2002


Gillis, S. & De Houwer, A. (eds) (1998)
The Acquisition of Dutch. Amsterdam/New York: John Benjamins (new paperback edition).

Guasti, M.T. (2002)
Language Acquisition : The Growth of Grammar . Bradford.

Masahiko Minami, M. (2002)
Culture-Specific Language Styles: The Development of Oral Narrative and Literacy Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters.

Okita, T. (2002)
Invisible Work. Bilingualism, Language Choice and Childrearing in Intermarried Families. Amsterdam/New York: John Benjamins

Oller, D.K. & Eilers, R.E. (eds) (2002)
Language and Literacy in Bilingual Children. Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters.

Santelmann, L.; Verrips, M. & Wijnen, F. (2001)
Annual Review of Language Acquisition. Volume 1 Portland State University / Utrecht University

Zhu Hua, Z. (2002)
Phonological Development in Specific Contexts. Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters.



July 6-7 Nishi-Ikuta, Japan
4th Annual Conference of The Japanese Society for Language Sciences (JSLS)

July 16-21 Madison, Wisconsin (US)
9th IASCL Conference/SRCLD 2002

September 18-21 Basel, Switzerland
12th Annual Conference of the European Second Language Association (EUROSLA)

October 7-9 Budapest, Hungary
Linguistic Socialization, Language Acquisition and Language Disorders dedicated to the memory of Zita Reger

October 23-26, Vigo, Spain
Second University of Vigo International Symposium on Bilingualism

November 30 Groningen, The Netherlands
Going Romance 2002. 16th Symposium on Romance Linguistics

November 1-3, Boston, US
Boston University Conference on Language Development

November 8-10 Cambridge, MA, US
Conference of the North East Linguistic Society

December 16-21 Singapore
13th World Congress of Applied Linguistics (AILA)


April 30-May 3, Tempe, Arizona, US
4th International Symposium on Bilingualism

July 13-18, Toronto, Canada
8th International Pragmatics Conference

September 4-6 Tralee, Ireland
3rd International Conference of Third Language Acquisition and Trilingualism



Jerrold J. Katz

Jerrold J. Katz, semanticist and philosopher, died in Manhattan on 7 February 2002 at age 69. Jerrold Jacob Katz was born July 14, 1932, in Washington. In 1954, he got his bachelor's degree from George Washington University and he earned his Ph.D. from Princeton in 1960. His career at CUNY began in 1975. In Semantic Theory (Harper & Row, 1972), he helped define the relationship between syntax (word arrangement) and semantics (meaning) and in Language and Other Abstract Objects (Rowan & Littlefield, 1981), he explored the analogy between linguistics and mathematics and worked to establish a scientific approach to meaning. His book Sense, Reference and Philosophy will be published posthumously by the Oxford University Press.

Harold Goodglass

Harold Goodglass, PhD, Professor of Neurology and Director of the Boston University Aphasia Research Center, 1969-1996, died on March 18 at the age of 82. Dr. Goodglass got an MA in Psychology in 1948 in New York University and a Ph.D. degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Cincinnati in 1951. Dr. Goodglass developed a special interest in aphasia early in his career and he published research articles on disorders of naming in aphasia, on category specific disorders of lexical comprehension and production, on the comprehension of syntax and on the syndrome of agrammatism. He also carried out a program of studies on cerebral dominance. He was the author of over 130 research articles, and of the books Psycholinguistics and Aphasia (with Sheila Blumstein), The assessment of Aphasia and Related Disorders and the Boston Diagnostic Aphasia Examination (with Edith Kaplan)


The Bamford-Lahey Children's Foundation through its Grants Program has made its first Grant Awards. During 2001, the Foundation reviewed a large number of letters-of-inquiry and invited a smaller number of applicants to submit complete proposals. Based on reviews of the completed applications by at least three colleagues and on a reading of the application by the Foundation itself, two proposals were selected for funding of $20,000 each. One of the grants was awarded to Drs. Hossein Sadrzadeh and Elena Plante from the University of Arizona. Their project is entitled "Role of oxidative stress in pathogenesis of developmental language disorders." The second grant was awarded to Dr. Lori Swanson from the University of Tennessee and Dr. Marc Fey from the University of Kansas. The title of their project is "Use of story retelling and story generation to facilitate the syntactic and narrative skills of children with specific language impairment." Abstracts of both studies can be found on our website at

The Foundation is currently completing the processing of additional completed applications and by mid year should have an announcement of one or two more awards. Inquiries about receiving a grant award should be in the form of a letter-of-inquiry following the procedures outlined on our website Before submitting an inquiry, applicants for future awards are requested to carefully read the sections Objectives, Orientation, and Grants on the website. Consideration is only given to projects that are related to developmental language disorders in children and can be completed in one year with maximum funds of $20,000. Applications for either research or development projects will be considered. However, projects whose results are limited to particular children or particular clinics are not eligible.

For further information please contact: Peg Lahey (


Hans Basbøll, Dorthe Bleses, Teresa Cadierno, Anne Jensen, Hans Jørgen Ladegaard, Thomas O. Madsen, Sharon Millar, Chris Sinha, and Pia Thomsen

The Odense Language Acquisition Project, a collaborative venture of nine researchers from linguistics, psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics, and psychology, represents the largest study to date of the acquisition of Danish as a first language. Working within a cognitive-functional framework, one intention was to build up new acquisition corpora. At the project’s core are four main corpora - supplemented by experimental and observational datasets - which comprise the base for a cluster of related subprojects addressing different issues and employing a variety of methodologies. A short presentation of each of these corpora and the main groups of subprojects follows.

The Odense Twin Corpus is an intensive, small-sample longitudinal survey based on regular, home-based, audio-video recordings of spontaneous speech of six twin pairs (from 9 months to 3 years) and their families. The twins were selected to represent mono- and dizygotic same and single sex pairs. The corpus is being transcribed following CHAT conventions, and the transcripts are semi-automatically coded using a digital system which was developed for this purpose as one of the subprojects, the OLAM-project.

The Odense Longitudinal CDI-Survey is a large-scale database of an extensive birth cohort of 200 informants from three different regions. It uses our Danish language adaptation of the MacArthur Parental Report, the CDI, which allows for longitudinal, cross-sectional and cross-regional analyses (Fenson et al. 1992).

The Odense Frog-Story Corpus3 is a cross-sectional survey of spoken and written narratives based on the elicitation instrument Frog, Where Are You? (see Berman & Slobin 1994). These data were collected from 4 to 17 year-olds and adults.

The Odense Awareness Corpus is a cross-sectional survey of the development of metalinguistic awareness in 75 children aged 6 to 9, with 13 adult controls. It is based on four metalinguistic tasks.

The subprojects can be divided into three main groups. The common focus of the first group was the interaction between phonetics and other linguistic building blocks, primarily lexical and morphological items, in language acquisition. Danish has a high degree of morphophonetic opacity, due to reduced pronunciation of weak syllables, and a system of models was developed to facilitate the empirical study of these phenomena. The role of morphophonetic opacity is being investigated in relation to segmentation, early speech perception, early lexical and grammatical development, and early writing, in particular the impact of speech on the acquisition of written forms (see Bleses et al. (in press), Bleses & Thomsen (in press)).

The second group, which consisted of one major project, is exploring the development of metalinguistic abilities across linguistic variants and its possible correlation with social factors such as age, gender, and social background, as well as degrees of literacy.

The third group has focused on interindividual differences according to gender, as well as gender identity construction and verbalization and possible influences on these, e.g. parental input, age and social background (see Ladegaard submitted).


AILA Symposium

At AILA 2002 there will be an AILA Child Language Commission Symposium on "The Early Acquisition of More than One Language from Infancy with Special Reference to Chinese".


  1. Bilingual First Language Acquisition and research on children's acquisition of Chinese in addition to another language.
    Annick De Houwer
  2. Title of submission: Self and other pronominal reference in a Mandarin-English Bilingual Child
    Ruying Qi, Bruno Di Biase and Stuart Campbell
  3. Cross-linguistic influence in Hong Kong children's bilingual development: Integrating input ambiguity and dominance
    Virginia Yip and Stephen Matthews
  4. First Language Acquisition of the Determiner Phrase of Mandarin Chinese
    Meiyun Chang-Smith

organized by Annick De Houwer (Antwerp University, Belgium) and Yamamoto Masayo (Kwansei Gakuin University, Japan), AILA Scientific Commission on Child Language co-conveners


The IASCL is a worldwide organisation, which means that is 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 hinderance 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. At the last IASCL congress in Spain the IASCL was able to financially support several participants from less well-off countries who without that support would not have been able to present their work.

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. Each donation, whatever the amount, will be acknowledged by a receipt signed by the IASCL Treasurer (useful perhaps for tax purposes). You may send donations in either EURO or American dollars.

(1) For amounts in EURO, please send your donations to:

Dr. Annick De Houwer
IASCL Treasurer
University of Antwerp
Universiteitsplein 1

You may also transfer your EURO donation to postal checking account number 000-1595604-51 in the name of Annick De Houwer, Hoge Aardstraat 97, B2610-Antwerpen, Belgium.

(2) For American dollar amounts, please send your donations to:

Dr. Shanley Allen
IASCL Treasurer Assistant
School of Education
605 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, Massachusetts
U.S.A. 02215

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!

Annick De Houwer, IASCL Treasurer