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IASCL - Child Language Bulletin - Vol 23, No 2: December 2003




Brian MacWhinney announced that the National Institutes of Health has decided to fund the CHILDES (Child Language Data Exchange System) project for another five years. The highly positive reviews cited the ongoing importance of these data to researchers in child language and related disciplines, as documented through letters from nearly 300 researchers. In the next five years, CHILDES will pursue several new directions. These include:

  1. Linkage of transcripts to audio and video media, along with the ability to browse audio and video from transcripts directly over the web.
  2. Completion of the reformatting of the corpus into XML and the construction of new web-based and desktop versions of the analysis programs.
  3. Development of new systems for phonological analysis, including linkage of CHILDES to new versions of ChildPhon from Yvan Rose.
  4. Development of taggers for additional languages and grammatical relation parsing systems for English.
  5. Development of a new system for collaborative commentary.
  6. Expansion of the database.

Details regarding these new facilities will be included in the May newsletter.



The Hess corpus
A new corpus of Spanish child language data from Karina Hess Zimmermann at the Colegio de México in Mexico City is now available on CHILDES. This corpus is the basis of a Ph.D. thesis directed by Rebeca Barriga Villanueva that examines narrations from children aged 6, 9, and 12 in five different narrative tasks. 12 of the children come from private schools and 12 from public schools. The data can be found in the Spanish directory in the database and the documentation is now in the PDF file for Romance languages. Thanks to Karina and Rebeca for this excellent corpus.

New addition to the Yip-Matthews corpus
A fourth child has now been added to the Yip-Matthews Hong Kong corpus of Cantonese-English bilingual children. The three children previously included were Timmy, Sophie, and Kathryn. The new child is Llywelyn. Half of the files involve primarily English conversations and half primarily Cantonese conversations. One very important feature of this new corpus is the fact that all of the utterances are fully linked to good quality MP3 files that can also be downloaded from the web. The MP3 files and transcripts can be found in This new corpus is now the third large audio-linked corpora in the databas (MacWhinney and MiyataTai are the other two).

New tagged English corpora
Brian MacWhinney has now produced a new set of morphologically tagged and disambiguated files for all of the English data, both from the USA and the UK. Thesecorpora can be found from the CHILDES data page at Note the two links there labeled “tagged” -- one for the USA and one for the UK. The accuracy of the tagging seems quite high, close to 95%.

Having now nearly finished tagging English, Brian and his colleagues will probably turn their attention back to finishing the MOR tagging for Spanish. Other languages that should receive attention soon include Mandarin, Cantonese, and Italian, since they already have the beginnings of grammars and lexicons for them. The status of tagging for French, Dutch, and German is still in need of clarification.

York corpus
A new corpus on the acquisition of French as a native language is now available on CHILDES. The York corpus has been contributed by Bernadette Plunkett with assistance from Cecile De Cat. It includes case studies across 18 months each of three children, one in Belgium, one in France, and one in Canada. Following are the first sections of the documentation for the corpus. The full documentation can be found in the electronic version of the database manual for Romance.

Cantonese corpus
A new cross-sectional corpus from Cantonese has now been added to the CHILDES database. The corpus include 70 files of interviews with 70 children ages 2;6 to 5;6. The main lines are romanized and there is an accompanying %mor line. There are plans to add a line with Chinese characters soon.

Digitized audio is also available, although it is not yet linked to the files. The construction of this database was funded by a grant from the Hong Kong Government Language Fund to Paul Fletcher, Thomas H-T. Lee, Samuel Leung and Stephanie Stokes and from a Hong Kong University Grant to Zehava Weizman and Paul Fletcher. The present form of the database was produced by Dr Zehava Weizman and Emily Ma. In the database, the folder name for this corpus is simply “HKU” for Hong Kong University.

Database of Oral L2 Corpora: German, Spanish, English
As part of a research project at the University of Southampton in the UK, a database of French Learner Language Oral Corpora is now available at This web-based database contains a range of corpora of learners at various levels, and includes digital soundfiles and transcripts in CHAT format (the CHILDES transcription system) of all the data, as well as morphosyntactic outputs for most of the transcripts. All the data is freely downloadable from the site (provided the ground rules are adhered to).


The 28th Boston University Conference on Language Development,
Boston University,
October 31-November 2, 2003

Barbora Skarabela
Boston University

Since 1976 it has become a tradition for researchers in the field of language development to meet during the first weekend in November at Boston University. This year was no exception: From October 31st to November 2nd, scholars from around the world gathered in Boston to exchange their latest research findings from diverse areas of language acquisition at the 28th Boston University Conference on Language Development (BUCLD). Presentations included work from both generative and non-generative perspectives, with topics ranging from the acquisition of morphosyntax and phonology, to word learning and speech segmentation, or the role of child-directed speech and the development of literacy and reading skills. The last few years have seen an increase in the number of studies on the role of cognition and gesture in language acquisition, as well as research investigating the development of skills in sentence processing and consequent representational models for language learning. This year in particular was marked by an increased number of studies on statistical and probabilistic learning as well as specific language impairment, themes related to the keynote and plenary addresses.

As in recent years, BUCLD 28 included almost 90 twenty-minute papers presented in three parallel sessions, from Friday morning to Sunday early afternoon. In addition, keynote and plenary speakers delivered talks on Friday and Saturday evenings. This year for the first time, BUCLD also included two one-day poster sessions totalling 46 posters. This was a welcome response to suggestions from last year’s BUCLD business meeting, increasing the acceptance rate to 42% and providing novice student presenters with a more accessible way to participate in the conference. Several other changes have occurred in the last few years, largely as a result of financial support provided by NSF and NIH conference grants. For example, 19 student presenters were awarded travel stipends this year to enable them to attend BUCLD, all presenters are now able to use LCD projectors for PowerPoint presentations at no additional cost, and the Saturday lunchtime symposium has been revived.

This year’s lunchtime symposium was entitled What can language development tell us about linguistic relativity?. Four eminent speakers shared their views on linguistic relativity and language development, a topic that has been recently reintroduced to linguists and psychologists, and has become widely popular, as demonstrated by the jam-packed auditorium. The first presenter, Lila Gleitman (University of Pennsylvania), structured her talk around the premise that language and thought are not the same phenomenon. She pointed out that, whether or not scholars believe that language determines thought, primarily depends on their view of language. If language is understood as a system of underlying universal structures, then it is more likely to argue against linguistic relativity. On the other hand, if each language is understood as a system of diverse surface structures, then linguistic relativity is clearly going to be favoured. The second speaker, John Lucy (University of Chicago), gave a useful overview of the history of linguistic relativity, and reviewed results of his own empirical research. Focusing on the difference between grammatical encoding of plural markers in Yukatec Maya and English, he showed that both adult and child (age 9) speakers of these languages are in fact influenced in their performance on cognitive tasks by grammatical structures of their native language. In his talk, Lucy suggested that early understanding of the world gradually matures into an adult view of the world as determined by linguistic structures of one’s native language, resulting in a semantic accent. The third talk was presented by Anna Papafragou (University of Pennsylvania) who explored the relation between linguistic and conceptual representations as manifest in her work on evidentiality in child English and Korean. By comparison to English, Korean grammatically (and obligatorily) encodes evidentiality. If indeed language shapes children’s perception of the world, Korean children, rather than the English-speaking children, are predicted to perform better on tasks of evidentiality as a result of different linguistic structures available in their native languages. However, the results of this study did not indicate any differences in the performance of Korean and English-speaking children, leading Papafragou to the conclusion that language does not shape cognition. Finally, Lera Boroditsky (MIT) presented her research on time perception in English and Indonesian bilinguals. In her study, speakers of these two languages were found to pay more attention to cognitive categories if these were explicitly encoded in the linguistic structure of their language. Boroditsky suggests that perception of time and temporal relations might be influenced by linguistic structures available in a particular language. It is interesting to note that conclusions in favour of linguistic relativity tend to emerge from examinations of language domains with more cross-linguistic variation, while less favourable conclusions tend to follow from investigations of cross-linguistically more restricted structures. We can expect that the question of the relation between language and cognition will generate much further research and many future symposia.

It has been a long-term tradition of the conference to invite outstanding researchers whose accomplishments have left lasting effects on the field of language acquisition. This year Janet Dean Fodor (City University of New York) presented Friday’s Keynote Address, and Mabel Rice (Kansas University) presented Saturday’s Plenary Address. They both delivered stimulating presentations, representing recent trends in two cutting-edge areas of language development research.

In her talk entitled Evaluating Models of Parameter Setting, Fodor explored the relevance of Chomsky’s Universal Grammar and the concept of parameter setting to statistical models of learning. Her experimental work suggests that algorithms, such as Structural Triggers Learner designed at CUNY, achieve the best results when they are restricted and guided by UG.

Rice’s paper was entitled Language Growth of Children with SLI and Unaffected Children: Timing Mechanisms and Linguistic Distinctions. Rice reviewed the results of her longitudinal studies on the acquisition of grammatical tense marking in different populations of children (children with SLI, children with cognitive deficit, and unaffected children). She showed that children with SLI tend not to achieve a complete growth of this particular aspect of language as a result of disrupted timing mechanisms. She argued that growth and maturation play a crucial role in the developing language system, concluding that language acquisition is a biological process guided by our genetic inheritance.

As stated previously, Janet Fodor’s talk reflected an increasing interest in models of language learning mechanisms that incorporate innate linguistic knowledge and probabilistic linguistic properties identified in the input of individual languages. A number of studies presented in the general session explored this area of research. Stephen Hockema (Indiana University, Bloomington) found that phonetic transition probabilities that are present in American English speech might be used by learners in word segmentation. In the same session, Susan Thompson and Elissa Newport (University of Rochester) presented results of a study on the acquisition of a miniature language, arguing that structured statistical learning plays an important role in the acquisition of syntax. The session was concluded by a talk by Rebecca Gomez and Jill Lany (University of Arizona) and Katherine Chapman (University of Chicago) whose research also indicates that learners attend to statistical distribution of linguistic structures in artificial languages.

Mabel Rice’s presentation inspired a number of researchers to present their work on SLI and other language disorders. Her talk highlighted the importance of detailed longitudinal studies in populations of both typically and atypically developing children in order to better understand the role of genetics in language impairments, as well as to improve the methods of detecting potential language problems and implementing successful intervention strategies. Judith Rispens and Pieter Been (University of Groningen) compared morphosyntactic and literacy development in children with developmental dyslexia and SLI, while Carien Wilsenach and Frank Wijnen (Utrecht University) presented results of a longitudinal study conducted to identify linguistic precursors of dyslexia. The results of their experiments showed that at-risk children as young as 1;6 do not respond differently to grammatical vs. ungrammatical patterns as found in typically developing children of the same age. Another study conducted by Susan Ebbels and Heather van der Lely (University College London) and Julie Dockrell (University of London) explored whether phonological impairment causes morphosyntactic deficit found in SLI children. The results of their study suggest that phonological structure might have impact on some single word level tasks. Despite many detailed studies and impressive results, the exact nature and character of SLI in various languages as well as the nature of other language impairments require further exploration.

The full text of the majority of the paper presentations can be found in the BUCLD Proceedings due to be published by Cascadilla Press in Spring 2004. In addition, written versions of the poster presentations will be available through on-line proceedings organized by BUCLD and hosted on Cascadilla’s website at Next year’s BUCLD is scheduled to take place from November 5 to November 7, 2004 at Boston University. Abstracts are due on May 15; electronic notifications with more precise information about the timetable and requirements are distributed via LinguistList, InfoChildes, and other mailing lists from mid-January. More information is also available on the conference website at


Ludovica Serratrice

Fred Genesee is Professor of Psychology at McGill University, Montreal, Quebec. Professor Genesee is one of the world’s leading experts on bilingualism, a field in which he has conducted extensive and pioneering research for many years. His interests are far ranging, from grammatical, pragmatic and cognitive aspects of bilingual acquisition in pre-school children and pre-linguistic infants, to models of bilingual education.

In this interview Professor Genesee talks about his personal commitment to the study of bilingualism, his views on the state of the art of current contributions in the field, and his future research plans.

Ludovica Serratrice: Professor Genesee, what is your personal experience of bilingualism? Were you brought up bilingually?

Fred Genesee: I was raised in English in an English-speaking area of Ontario, Canada. As a high school student in the small town where I grew up, I was always interested in languages and learning other languages. And when I went to university, I gravitated towards language again -- I did my first research project as part of my undergraduate studies on language processing and the brain. But, at that time, bilingualism was not something that I saw as a research topic. I decided to do graduate studies at McGill University in Montreal because Montreal and Quebec were predominantly French-speaking and I wanted to immerse myself in a community where I could learn another language.

L.S.: You have been involved in research on a variety of aspects of bilingualism for several years, how have your interests changed over time?

F.G.: My interest in language started off with work on language and the brain -- I did an undergraduate research project under the supervision of Doreen Kimura who was a leading scholar studying hemispheric differences in language processing. That was an era when there were no sophisticated electronic methods for studying the link between language and the brain; one could only use behavioral techniques. When I came to McGill in 1969 as a graduate student, my interest in language shifted and I developed an interest in language acquisition and, in particular, second language acquisition in children. Second language immersion programs had just been introduced in Montreal and this provided a very fertile context for studying how well children acquire second languages in semi-naturalistic settings.

So for approximately 15 years, I did a lot of research on both the language development (first and second) and academic development of children who were educated through the medium of a second language. It was this research and contact with educational professionals that got me interested in the applied educational aspects of language acquisition research. I have always found that language educators are quite interested in what research has to say about language acquisition so that they can adapt their instruction to reflect what we scientists believe is going on from a scientific point of view. To this day, I see myself as a kind of “broker” who tries to make the results of research on language acquisition available to professional educators and policy makers who want to develop instructional programs that reflect current scientific knowledge. Then in about 1986, I developed an interested in pre-school language learners. I was invited to write a chapter on pre-school bilingualism and realized that there was remarkably little research on how pre-school children learn more than one language. In particular, I realized that with the exception of a few classic studies by Ronjat, Leopold and others, there was little known about bilingual acquisition. Jürgen Meisel and his colleagues in Hamburg and Barbara Pearson and her colleagues in Miami were doing work, but there was not much else. I also felt that the early studies, as important as they were, were somewhat biased to view bilingual acquisition as a risky situation for children. It was not uncommon in this early work for researchers to interpret a lot of their data as evidence of deficits in bilingual children's acquisition and performance. I had seen similar concerns in the educational research on bilingualism. My research on bilingual education had indicated that school-age children were far more capable of learning two languages and through two languages than many people realized. I was intrigued to get involved to see if there was really any solid basis for the pessimistic views of bilingual education that were evident in the early research and in the minds of many professionals and parents. So, a primary goal of my research on pre-school bilingual acquisition is to examine children's capacity for language learning by studying how children learn and manage two languages simultaneously.

L.S.: In addition to working on theoretical aspects of bilingualism, you are also heavily involved in issues surrounding bilingual education. What impact have immersion programmes had in Quebec and in other Canadian Provinces over the last thirty years? What lessons can be learned for models of bilingual education elsewhere?

F.G.: The research on immersion programs that was first done by Wally Lambert and Dick Tucker and subsequently myself and other Canadian researchers has really changed the educational landscape in Canada. There are immersion programs across Canada now. The research on Canadian immersion programs was also responsible I think for encouraging parents and educators in other communities in the U.S. and around the world to experiment with alternative forms of immersion. As the world becomes increasingly inter-connected, bilingual forms of education become increasing important and the early research on immersion has played an important role in fostering experimentation and evaluation. I personally have been involved as a consultant in the development of immersion programs in a number of centres in the U.S., Spain, Japan, Estonia, Russia, and Italy.

I think that one of the most important lessons we have learned is that children have a much greater capacity to learn additional languages and learn through a second language than many people were willing to give them credit for. This is evident even among children who are often at-risk for difficulty or failure in school -- children from socio-economically disadvantaged homes, children with language and academic challenges, and so on.

We have also learned that children acquire new cognitive skills and academic knowledge even when they are taught through the medium of a second language, provided instruction is in the hands of competent and dedicated teachers. We now know that children who come to school speaking the societally-dominant language can learn everything they would in a conventional school program and, at the same time, acquire functional proficiency in a second language. Second language immersion programs are remarkably effective for a wide range of students.

We have also learned that exposure to a second language in school is not enough if you want children to acquire truly native-like competence in the language. To achieve such competence, children must have contact with other children who speak the target language natively so that they could learn the full repertoire of language skills that native-speakers possess.

I think we have also learned that bilingual education has to be adapted to fit the needs and resources of each community. While the so-called Canadian model has been important, it often has to be adapted to fit local realities.

L.S.: Do you think that parents and educators’ attitudes towards raising and educating children bilingually are different now from what they were thirty years ago?

F.G.: Yes and No. I sense that there is a growing interest in raising children bilingually or educating them bilingually so that they have the kinds of language competencies that will serve them well in a multilingual world. In Montreal, for example, it is very common for children and adolescents to speak two or more languages. With the global village comes more and more mixed language marriages and parents who want their children to learn both their languages. At the same time, I also see than many parents and often professionals continue to believe that dual language learning puts children at risk for delayed or deviant language development. It is still common to find speech/language professionals counseling parents to limit children to one language if the child exhibits any difficult learning language, despite the total lack of evidence that this is a good idea. Many of the old fears about educating children bilingually or raising them bilingually continue. We need to do much more research on children with language difficulties and we need to do a much better job communicating the results of our research to parents, educators, and other professionals who work with dual language children.

L.S.: What are the most significant contributions and implications of studies on the simultaneous acquisition of two languages for current models of language acquisition?

F.G.: I think there are several significant contributions:

i) research during the preceding 15 years has indicated quite clearly that, given extended and consistent exposure to two languages, children are able to acquire full proficiency in two languages at the same time. This implies that the language faculty is able to assimilate two linguistic systems in virtually the same timeframe as monolingual children learn one. This is evident even in cases of children with impaired capacity for language learning. We need to do much more research to understand how they do this. Most current models of language acquisition do not consider the case of dual language learning, whether they be generative theoretical models or cognitive-connectionist models. Ultimately, to be complete, a model of language acquisition must be able to accommodate dual language acquisition as well as single language acquisition.

ii) research findings on child bilingual code-mixing indicates that, for the most part, they are able to mix their two languages on-line during production in ways that respect the grammatical constraints of the two participating languages. This has fascinating implications for how language is represented neuro-cognitively. It implies that even very young bilingual children are able to access the grammars of both languages at the same time and, thereby, co-ordinate them during code-mixing so that they do not violate the grammatical principles of either language. In other words, both systems can be activated and accessed simultaneously.

iii) Research on the communication skills of bilingual children indicates that they are able to handle the communicative demands of bilingual communication very effectively from very early in development. Even their code-mixing which some people interpret as fusion of the two languages is more appropriately viewed as the child’s attempt to stretch their linguistic resources so that they can communicate with others. Research in our lab has also shown that young bilingual children are able to interpret subtle cues from others that they are using the correct or incorrect language. Clearly, the added challenges of learning and using two languages falls within the socio-cognitive capacities of most children.

L.S.: How do you see the field of childhood bilingualism developing in the near future?

F.G.: I think we will see much more research on pre-verbal and very young verbal bilingual children – from birth to two years of age. This is a stage in development that is producing very rich findings in monolingual learners, and I think we will see much more of this kind of research with dual language learners.

Much of the research during the preceding decade has emphasized the similarities between bilingual and monolingual acquisition. I think we will begin to see more interest in those areas where bilinguals are not the same as monolinguals – for example, lexical development and syntactic processing. Bilinguals are clearly different from monolinguals and uncovering differences, as well as similarities, and explaining them is likely to become a new focus for research on childhood bilingualism.

There is also likely to be more research on children with impaired capacities for language learning who are exposed to two languages early in life. This will also extend to young second language learners – school-age children with impaired capacity for learning language but who must acquire an additional language for schooling. This is a major issue in educational circles and calls for much more research than is currently available.

I think we may also begin to see more work on bilingual children from 3 years of age onward – research on lexical representation and processing, for example, that will complement adult research on bilinguals’ representation of language. I think this research will examine processing issues in bilinguals in comparison to monolinguals and, in particular, the extent to which language processing in bilinguals is different from that of monolinguals and in what ways.

L.S.: What are your current research plans?

F.G.: My current research plans include research on infants and very young children with dual language exposure. To the present, my research has examined children from about 2 years of age to 3 1/2 years of age. But, we are beginning work on children in the pre-verbal and very early verbal stages, from 10 to 18 months of age. The goal of this research is, again, to examine the capacity of children to acquire two languages. By looking at really young children, we are looking for the earliest evidence of their ability to analyze and acquire more than one language. We are also beginning research on two groups of very young second language learners. Most research on second language learners has examined adolescents or adults. There is remarkably little on pre-school second language learning. So, we have initiated two studies, one on internationally-adopted children who put aside their birth language and begin to acquire a new language around 12 months of age. At the same time, we are also looking at children who are attending daycare centres in a second language, beginning around 1 year of age. This is quite a common phenomenon in Montreal and it affords us the opportunity to see how quickly these children can begin to learn the second language and to see what their developmental path looks like in comparison to monolingual and simultaneous bilingual children. In a sense, we are looking to see if there are age effects at this early age.

L.S.: Professor Genesee thank you very much for your time.


Later Language Development: Typological and Psycholinguistic Perspectives

Ruth Berman (Ed.)

In the three-year-period between the 1999 and 2002 IASCL conferences the first two volumes in the newly constituted IASCL series 'Trends in Language Acquisition Research' (TiLAR) appeared. Both Volume 1, 'Trends in Bilingual Acquisition' edited by Jasone Cenoz and Fred Genesee, and Volume 2, 'Directions in Sign Language Acquisition' edited by Gary Morgan and Bencie Woll have been very well received and have already found their way into bibliographies all over the world.

All volumes in the IASCL-TiLAR Series are invited (but externally reviewed) edited volumes by IASCL members that are strongly thematic in nature. They are meant to represent the best available research in a given area that is likely to stimulate further research to the fullest extent. TiLAR3 focuses on language development beyond the early years, and draws together data from various languages that have been studied by researchers from many different countries. This ties in with TiLAR's editorial policy to ensure that on top of quality, a TiLAR volume represents some of the diversity that exists within the IASCL community. We are very grateful to the editor of TiLAR3, Ruth Berman from Tel Aviv University in Israel, for taking on the task of coordinating this new and exciting volume in the TiLAR series, and we are very happy to announce that the manuscript is nearing completion. We look forward to soon being able to announce its publication.

TiLAR3 will be available to all IASCL members as part of their membership.

Annick De Houwer and Steven Gillis
TiLAR General Editors

Later Language Development: Typological and Psycholinguistic Perspective
Edited by Ruth Berman
Publication expected in 2004

The IASCL series 'Trends in Language Acquisition Research' is published by John Benjamins, Publishing Company (



Cambridge University Press is reducing the price to members of Journal of Child Language to reflect the importance of the relationship between the journal and the society. The price to IASCL members for 2004 had been advertised at £30/$45, but Cambridge has reduced it down to £22/$34. To take advantage of this new offer, you can print off an order form at, and either mail it or fax it back to the address shown. For more information about the journal, including abstracts, tables of contents and a free online sample issue, visit

Please note: if you have already renewed your subscription at the higher rate, Cambridge University Press will be in touch with you shortly to make sure you don't miss out on the offer.

If you have any queries about any aspects of this offer, please email


García Mayo, María del Pilar & María Luisa García Lecumberri (eds) (2003).
Age and the Acquisiton of English as a Foreign Language. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.

Barnard, Roger & Tedd Glynn (eds) (2003).
Bilingual Children’s Language and Literacy Development. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.

Hoffmann, Charlotte & Jehannes Ytsma (eds) (2003).
Trilingualism in the Family, School and Community. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.


The Fourth Biennial International Conference on Practical Linguistics
San Francisco State University 3-4/04/04

5th Tokyo Conference on Psycholinguistics (TCP2004)
Keio University on 12-13/03/04.

6th General Linguistics Conference
Santiago de Compostela (Spain) 3-7/05/04

The Romance Turn. Workshop on the Acquisition of Syntax on Romance Languages
Madrid (Spain), 17-18/09/04
Deadline for receipt of abstracts: 01/02/04.

Second Lisbon Meeting on Language Acquisition with special reference to Romance Languages
Lisbon, Portugal, 1-4/06/04
Deadline for receipt of abstracts: 31/12/03

LabPhon 9
Change in Phonology

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 24-26/06/04

IVth Linguistic Studies Workshop
University of Nantes, 5-6-7/05/04

JURE “Research: from theory to practice”
Istanbul, 5-9/07/04

Stanford Child Language Research Forum
University of Standford, 16-17/04/04

International Conference on Language, Culture and Mind Integrating perspectives and methodologies in the study of language
University of Portsmouth, England, 18-20/07/04


Anne Purcell Kolatsis (2003).
The Nature of Nurture: Measuring Environmental Correlates of First Language Acquisition.
University of Queensland.


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 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. 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 pounds sterling or American dollars.

(1) Cheques in pounds sterling payable to IASCL can be sent to:

Dr Anna Theakston
IASCL Treasurer
University of Manchester
Department of Psychology
Oxford Road
Manchester M13 9PL

Cash payments in pounds sterling can also be made by prior arrangement with Dr Theakston ( at the above address.

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

Prof. Judith Becker Bryant
IASCL Assistant Treasurer
Department of Psychology, PCD 4118G
University of South Florida
Tampa, FL 33620-7200

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


The Child Language Bulletin is the newsletter of the International Association for the Study of Child Language. It is distributed free to all members of IASCL and it is published twice a year.

The Bulletin is available on the IASCL Web page and all members of the association will receive an e- email message each time a new issue of the Bulletin is published. A hard copy of the Bulletin will only be sent to those members who ask for it by sending a message to the editor.

I encourage members to submit news and information that might be relevant to our research community. I would especially like to hear from doctoral students on new theses being completed. They are often a wonderful source of new data and new ideas that are not always easily accessible before publication.

Please do send any items to the address below. I am looking forward to your submissions!

Dr Ludovica Serratrice
University of Manchester
Faculty of Education
Language and Literacy Studies
Oxford Road
Manchester M13 9PL