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IASCL - Child Language Bulletin - Vol 31, No 2: December 2011
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The 12th International Congress for the Study of Child Language

By Henri Cohen, Université du Québec à Montréal & Université Paris Descartes - CNRS
(From the Welcome Message in the IASCL 2011 Program Book)

The 12th meeting of the International Association for the Study of Child Language (IASCL 2011) was held at the campus of Université du Québec à Montréal on 19 – 23 July 2011. The IASCL conference is the largest interdisciplinary event in the field, bringing together researchers from diverse horizons with a common interest in child language.

An excellent program was offered, including 63 thematic symposia (250 oral presentations) and 343 posters. We received a high volume of submissions (over 600 poster abstracts, and 98 symposium submissions). All proposals were reviewed by a minimum of two external referees who paid special attention to originality, coherence, methodology and significance to the field. Many thanks go to all who graciously contributed their time to evaluate large number of abstracts for the conference.

There were several special events beginning with Tuesday’s reception and opening plenary session, including an evening at Pointe-à-Callières Museum, special poster, training and student competition sessions, and a fun end of day with a special comedy presented by Thomas Fraps on Friday.

IASCL 2011 was organized by Henri Cohen with the professional assistance of NeuroSolutions. The conference was sponsored by the Cognitive Science Institute, UQÀM. Special thanks are owed to Elena Lieven and Martha Crago who generously contributed their time, advice and help with many aspects of this conference. Our gratitude also goes to Suzanne Caillloux-Cohen, Sanja Obradovic and Jennifer Desrochers for their tireless efforts and attention to detail in organizing this conference.

We very much hope that, in addition to enjoying and learning from the conference, you had a chance to explore the UQÀM campus and the many cultural events that Montreal was offering this summer. And we hope that you will join IASCL in Amsterdam, summer of 2014.

Recipient of the Inaugural Roger Brown Award: Brian MacWhinney

By Ludovica Serratrice, The University of Manchester, IASCL Secretary

I am delighted to inform our colleagues that Prof. Brian MacWhinney (Carnegie Mellon University) was the recipient of the inaugural Roger Brown Award. The triennial award, sponsored by the International Association for the Study of Child Language, is in recognition of theoretical and methodological contributions to the field of child language.

Prof. MacWhinney’s major theoretical input through the development of the Competition Model with Elizabeth Bates, and his field-defining methodological contribution with the establishment of CHILDES with Catherine Snow are only two of his many extraordinary achievements in our field. Prof. MacWhinney was awarded the prize during the recent meeting of the IASCL Association held at UQAM in Montreal in July 2011.

Nominations for the next Roger Brown Award will be solicited from IASCL members in 2013 ahead of the next meeting of the Association at the University of Amsterdam in July 2014.

Obituary: Melissa Bowerman

By Eve Clark, Stanford University, IASCL President

It's with great personal sadness that I announce the death of Melissa Bowerman, on 31 October 2011, in Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

For the past forty years Melissa Bowerman has been a central force in the field of child language development, contributing influential data and theory on the relations between language and cognition in both children and adults. She was one of the first to look closely at what children's errors could reveal about semantic development and published classic studies of her own children's causative verbs and prepositional choices in locative constructions. What she discovered from her analyses was that children extract systematic but quite abstract patterns in the semantic structure of the language being acquired. Moreover, some errors emerge rather late, after a period of apparently correct usage. This strongly suggested that children don't come to language with ready-made meanings to attach to word-forms. Rather, they have to discover those patterns first and then put them to use.

Bowerman was always interdisciplinary in her work: she drew on findings from developmental psychology, cognitive and linguistic anthropology, and linguistics. She was a pioneer in the use of experimental and ethnographic data, across a range of languages, as she examined how language shapes both cognitive and linguistic development in the young child, and how different languages subtly influence adult categorization of such spatial relations as containment and support.

She was an innovator in the methods she used in her research, using correspondence analysis and multidimensional scaling to analyze data as she explored the conceptual bases of semantic categories. She made especially important contributions in her research on spatial cognition and language, linguistic argument structure, event representation, and children's emerging linguistic expressions of causality. On the theoretical side, she always sought to disentangle what might be innate from what could be learned in first language acquisition, and her insights as well as her findings cast new light on typology, language universals, and human cognition. Throughout her life, she focused on how individual languages could have particular effects on the course and content of language development, and what the implications were for adult mental life.

Melissa Bowerman had a perpetually inquiring mind, and was fascinated by all kinds of domains - from birds, plants, knots, and dreams to her flute music. She would always find a new angle on the domain under discussion and pursue it with curiosity and interest, so lunchtimes at the Max-Planck-Institute of Psycholinguistics where she spent most of her professional life, were a constant source of enjoyment for whoever was there. She was modest, generous, lucid, and always scholarly in her approach.

She is survived by her husband Wijbrandt van Schuur, her three daughters - Christy, Eva, and Claartje - and four grandchildren.

David Crystal Books Freely Available Online

By Thomas Klee, Child Language Centre, University of Canterbury

Digitized copies of three classic textbooks in clinical linguistics are now available for the first time. The books – Grammatical Analysis of Language Disability2nd Edition (1989), Working with LARSP (1979), and Profiling Linguistic Disability (1992) – have been out of print for many years. The books and associated profile charts may be freely downloaded from the University of Canterbury’s on-line research repository:

David Crystal, with his colleagues Paul Fletcher and Michael Garman, co-authored the first of these books, Grammatical Analysis of Language Disability (GALD), in 1976. Up to that time, Speech and Language Therapists assessed children with language difficulties by testing them. Crystal, Fletcher and Garman’s innovation was to develop a more naturalistic, ecologically valid approach to assessment that involved recording a sample of the child’s language while playing with a parent or therapist – a far less intrusive approach than testing – and devising a linguistically-principled clinical procedure for transcribing and analyzing the language sample. The first of their clinical procedures was called LARSP and has been used by Speech and Language Therapists throughout the English-speaking world for the past 30 years. Since then, LARSP has been adapted into many other languages and these have been brought together in a new book to be published in 2012:

Subsequent to LARSP, the authors developed clinical linguistic analyses aimed at assessing other areas of children’s language development, including vocabulary and speech. These were first introduced in Profiling Linguistic Disability (PLD).

Professor Crystal is an honorary professor of linguistics at the University of Bangor, Wales. Since 1984, he has worked from his North Wales home as a writer, editor, lecturer and broadcaster on linguistics, applied linguistics and English language studies. He founded the Journal of Child Language in 1974 and Child Language Teaching and Therapy in 1985.

UC Repository Coordinator Grant Barrie worked with the authors to obtain copyright releases and coordinate the digitization and hosting of the titles at the University of Canterbury.

On a related note Paul Fletcher, an emeritus professor at University College Cork who co-authored one of the books, will be coming to the University of Canterbury in February next year as an Erskine Fellow. While there he will teach a course in Linguistics and Language Acquisition to students in the Department of Communication Disorders. He will also be working with postgraduate research students in the new Child Language Centre at the University of Canterbury.

A Brief Update from the PhonBank Project

By Yvan Rose, Memorial University of Newfoundland & Brian MacWhinney, Carnegie Mellon University

We released version 1.5.1 version of Phon just before the IASCL meeting in Montréal. Among other features, this version incorporates functions to link a (partially) annotated session transcript to a media file. This feature supports research protocols which concentrate on elicited productions. For example, a transcript template can be created by the researchers to incorporate Orthographic and IPA Target transcriptions as well as other annotations, as needed. The recorded media containing the forms produced by a participant can then be time-aligned to a copy of this template, which only requires IPA Actual transcriptions to be readied for analysis. This version also introduces a high level of interoperability with the CHAT format supported by CLAN, through the Chatter and PhonTalk file conversion utilities available from

Version 1.5.2 is now around the corner. This version will offer a fully redesigned approach to query reports (including aggregated data reports, particularly useful for the longitudinal tracking of phonological patterns). This version will also provide support for the ExtIPA character set for Disordered Speech as well as a number of bug fixes and optimizations of already-existing facilities.

After we release version 1.5.2, we will turn our attention to further developments of Chatter and PhonTalk, in order to make more CHILDES corpora available within PhonBank. We appreciate all the data contributions and feedback received for PhonBank thus far and look forward to working with our active members in the new year.

We are also happy to announce that PhonBank will receive funding for the NIH for the next five-year period. The community's embrace of this project has been a central element in this wonderful outcome. We want to express our gratitude to every direct and indirect contributor to this project, and look forward to continuing our work with you during the next period.

New Journal on Language Acquisition: Language, Interaction & Acquisition (LIA)

By Maya Hickmann, Université de Paris 8

Aims and Scope of LIA
LIA is a bilingual English-French journal that publishes original theoretical and empirical research of high scientific quality at the forefront of current debates concerning language acquisition. It covers all facets of language acquisition among different types of learners and in diverse learning situations, with particular attention to oral language and/or to signed languages. Topics include the acquisition of one or more foreign languages, of one or more first languages, and of sign languages, as well as learners’ use of gestures during speech; the relationship between language and cognition during acquisition; bilingualism and situations of language contact, for example pidginisation and creolisation. It also welcomes contributions about language impairments, however with emphasis on oral language. LIA offers a unique space to cover all of these topics and their interrelations in an interdisciplinary perspective (linguistics, psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics).

The bilingual nature of LIA aims at reaching readership in a wide international community, while simultaneously continuing to attract intellectual and linguistic resources stemming from multiple scientific traditions in Europe, thereby remaining faithful to its original French anchoring. LIA is the direct descendant of the French-speaking journal AILE. It first appeared in 2009 under the transition name AILE...LIA and is published by John Benjamins since 2010:

Website :

LIA appears twice a year. Since its beginning in 2009 and until the end of 2011, it has published special issues that were submitted spontaneously by guest editors around particular topics. From 2012 it will also publish independent articles submitted spontaneously. Articles must be written in French or in English and must provide abstracts in both languages. All articles are evaluated by at least two reviewers in a two-way anonymous procedure.

Until the end of 2014, 50 copies of each issue of LIA are available at promotional prices (15€; 10€ for students). Orders should be sent to the following address:

Editor-in-Chief: Maya HICKMANN
Associate Editors: Dominique BASSANO, Sandra BENAZZO, Marion BLONDEL, Marianne GULLBERG, Daniel VÉRONIQUE

Summary of LIA Publications 2009-2011

2009 – AILE...LIA 1 (double issue)
S. Benazzo (ed.)
At the crossroads of different types of acquisition: why compare and how?
Au croisement de différents types d’acquisition : pourquoi et comment comparer ?

2009 – AILE...LIA 2
J-Y. Dommergues (ed.)
Phonology, bilingualism and second language acquisition
Phonologie, bilinguisme & acquisition des langues secondes

2010 - LIA 1:1
M.-A. Sallandre & M. Blondel (eds.)
Acquiring sign language as a first language
Acquisition d’une langue des signes comme langue première

2010 - LIA 1:2
D. Véronique (ed.)
The processing of input in second language acquisition
Le traitement de l’input dans l’acquisition des langues étrangères

2011 - LIA 2:1
D. Bassano & M. Hickmann (eds.)
Grammaticalization and language acquisition: Nouns and verbs across languages
Grammaticalisation et acquisition du langage : noms et verbes à travers les langues

2011 - LIA 2:2 (to appear December 2011)
M. Schmid & B. Köpke (eds.)
First language attrition
L’attrition de la langue première

For more details and tables of contents:


Forthcoming Conferences and Workshops

What: Global Conference on Disorders in Auditory Processing, Literacy, Language and Related Sciences 2012 (APLL2012)
When: 4-7 Jan 2012
Where: Hong Kong, China

What: Input and Syntactic Acquisition (Satellite Workshop of the LSA Annual Meeting)
When: 5 Jan 2012
Where: Portland, Oregon, USA

What: Psychocomputational models of Language Acquisition (Satellite Workshop of the LSA Annual Meeting)
When: 5 Jan 2012
Where: Portland, Oregon, USA

What: The 86th Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America
When: 5-8 Jan 2012
Where: Portland, Oregon, USA

What: What if the Study of Language Started From Signed Rather than Spoken Languages?
When: 7-8 Jan 2012
Where: London, UK

What: Postgraduate Workshop on Methods for Studying Infant Communication and Child Language
When: 17 Jan 2012
Where: University of Sheffield, UK

What: Socio-Cognitive Mechanisms of Symbolic Communication
When: 26 Jan 2012
Where: Tilburg University, The Netherlands

What: Experimental Methods in Language Acquisition Research (EMLAR VIII)
When: 1-3 Feb 2012
Where: Utrecht, The Netherlands

What: The Society for Research in Child Development 2012 Biennial Meeting (SRCD 2012 Biennial Meeting)
When: 9–11 Feb 2012
Where: Florida, USA

What: Variation in Language Acquisition (ViLA)
When: 10-11 Feb 2012
Where: Münster, Germany

What: Workshop on Conceptual Salience and Early Child Morphology
When: 11-12 Feb 2012
Where: Vienna, Austria

What: Workshop on L2 Proficiency Assessment
When: 24-25 Feb 2012
Where: Montpellier, France

What: Second Language Acquisition and Teaching Roundtable (SLAT Roundtable)
When: 2-3 March 2012
Where: Tucson, USA

What: Workshop on East Asian Languages (WEAL)
When: 3 March 2012
Where: Santa Barbara, USA

What: Workshop on “Phonology-Morphology Interface in Language Acquisition and Language Disorders” (DGfS-2012, AG 8; part of the 34th Annual Conference of the German Linguistic Society (DGfS))
When: 7-9 March 2012
Where: Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Enquiries: ;

What: Workshop on “Grammar between Gradience and Frequency” (DGfS-2012, AG 8; part of the 34th Annual Conference of the German Linguistic Society (DGfS))
When: 7-9 March 2012
Where: Frankfurt am Main, Germany

What: The 13th Tokyo Conference on Psycholinguistics 2012 (TCP2012)
When: 9-10 March 2012
Where: Tokyo, Japan

What: Discourse Cohesive Means in Acquisition (Dicma)
When: 11-13 March 2012
Where: Berlin, Germany

What: CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing (CUNY 2012)
When: 14-16 March 2012
Where: New York, USA

What: The 35th International LAUD Symposium (LAUD)
When: 26-29 March 2012
Where: Landau, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
Enquiries: Martin Pütz (; Monika Reif (

What: The Bilingual and Multilingual Interaction
When: 30 March – 1 April 2012
Where: Bangor, United Kingdom

What: The British Psychological Society Developmental Section Annual Conference 2012
When: 18-20 April 2012
Where: The Grand Connaught Rooms, London, UK

What: The Fifth International Conference on Language, Culture and Mind (LCM V)
When: 27–29 June 2012
Where: The Catholic University of Portugal, Lisbon, Portugal

What: The 14th Meeting of the International Clinical Phonetics and Linguistics Association
When: 27–30 June 2012
Where: Cork, Ireland

What: LOT Summer School 2012
When: July 2012
Where: Utrecht, The Netherlands

What: International Society for the Study of Behavioural Development 2012 Biennial Meeting
When: 8-12 July 2012
Where: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

What: The 4th UK Cognitive Linguistics Conference (UK-CLC4)
When: 10–12 July 2012
Where: London, UK

What: Summer School in Bilingualism
When: 16–27 July 2012
Where: Bangor, Wales, United Kingdom

What: Measuring Behavior 2012: The 8th International Conference on Methods and Techniques in Behavioral Research
When: 28-31 August 2012
Where: Utrecht, The Netherlands

What: The 2012 ASHA Convention
When: 15-17 November 2012
Where: Atlanta, USA

What: The 12th International Cognitive Linguistics Conference (ICLC 12, 2013)
When: announced later
Where: Edmonton, Canada

What: The 5th International Conference of Cognitive Science (ICCS2013)
When: May 2013
Where: Tehran, Iran

What: Association for Linguistic Typology 10th Biennial Meeting (ALT10)
When: 15-18 August 2013
Where: University of Leipzig, Germany

Conference and Workshop Calls

What: Workshop on “Multimodality and Corpus
When: 23-24 March 2012
Where: Paris, France
Submission Deadline: 5 Jan 2012

What: 2012 SLA Graduate Student Symposium
When: 13-14 April 2012
Where: Madison, USA
Submission Deadline: 31Jan 2012

What: The 6th Conference on Language, Discourse and Cognition (CLDC 2012)
When: 4–6 May 2012
Where: National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
Submission Deadline: 31 Jan 2012

What: International Conference on Bilingualism and Comparative Linguistics
When: 15–16 May 2012
Where: Hong Kong, China
Submission Deadline: 15 Jan 2012

What: L3 Acquisition: A Focus on Cognitive Approaches
When: 24-25 May 2012
Where: Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain
Submission Deadline: 9 Jan 2012

What: The International Child Phonology Conference (ICPC) 2012
When: 4-6 June 2012
Where: University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, USA
Submission Deadline: 15 Jan 2012

What: The 24th North American Conference on Chinese Linguistics (NACCL-24)
When: 8-10 June 2012
Where: San Francisco, USA
Submission Deadline: 15 Jan 2012

What: Japanese Society for Language Sciences 14th Annual International Conference (JSLS2012)
When: 30 June -1 July 2012
Where: Nagoya, Japan
Submission Deadline: 10 Feb 2012

What: The 11th international Conference of the Association for Language Awareness (ALA 2012) 
When: 8-11 July 2012
Where: Montreal, Canada
Submission Deadline: 9 Jan 2012

What: The 2012 Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, CogSci 2012)
When: 1-4 August 2012
Where: Sapporo, Japan
Submission Deadline: 1 Feb 2012

What: The 22nd Annual Conference of the European Second Language Association (EUROSLA22)
When: 5-8 September 2012
Where: Poznań, Poland
Submission Deadline: 5 Feb 2012

What: The 8th International Conference on Third Language Acquisition and Multilingualism
When: 13-15 September 2012
Where: Castelló, Spain
Submission Deadline: 31 Jan 2012

What: Second Language Research Forum (SLRF)
When: 18-21 October 2012
Where: Pittsburgh, USA
Submission Deadline: announced later

What: Maryland International Conference on Chinese as a Second Language (MICCSL1)
When: 10-11 Nov 2012
Where: College Park, Maryland, USA
Submission Deadline: 31 May 2012

What: Early Language Acquisition 2012 (ELA 2012)
When: 5-7 December 2012
Where: Lyon, France
Submission Deadline: 1 March 2012

What: The 9th International Symposium on Bilingualism (ISB9)
When: 10 -13 June 2013
Where: Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Submission Deadline: 31 Oct 2012

New CHILDES Corpus

New Bilingual Corpus

A new bilingual corpus has been contributed by Johanne Paradis of the University of Alberta. This is a study of the learning of English in Alberta, Canada, by 25 immigrant children. The average age of the children was 5;8 at the onset of the project when children had been exposed about 9 months already to English. Subsequently, the children were recorded five times at six-month intervals.

Book Announcements

Author: Jean Aitchison
Title: The Articulate Mammal
Sub Title: An Introduction to Psycholinguistics
Series Title: Routledge Classics
Publisher: Routledge (Taylor and Francis)
ISBN: 978-02-038-2824-3 (Electronic) 978-04-156-1018-6 (Paperback)

A classic in its field for almost forty years, "The Articulate Mammal" is a brilliant introduction to psycholinguistics. In lucid prose Jean Aitchison introduces and demystifies a complex and controversial subject: What is language and is it restricted to humans? How do children acquire language so quickly? Is language innate or learned? She explains the pioneering work of Noam Chomsky; how children become acclimatized to speech rhythms before birth; the acquisition of verbs; construction and cognitive grammar; and aphasia and dementia. She also considers new topics such as language and evolution and the possibility of a "language gene", bringing the field right up to date.

More information:

Editors: Inbal Arnon & Eve V. Clark
Title: Experience, Variation, and Generalization: Learning a First language
Series Title: Trends in Language Acquisition Research 7
Publisher: John Benjamins
ISBN: 978-90-272-8504-1 (Electronic)
ISBN: 978-90-272-3477-3 (Hardback)

Are all children exposed to the same linguistic input, and do they follow the same route in acquisition? The answer is no: The language that children hear differs even within a social class or cultural setting, as do the paths individual children take. The linguistic signal itself is also variable, both within and across speakers - the same sound is different across words; the same speech act can be realized with different constructions. The challenge here is to explain, given their diversity of experience, how children arrive at similar generalizations about their first language. This volume brings together studies of phonology, morphology, and syntax in development, to present a new perspective on how experience and variation shape children’s linguistic generalizations. The papers deal with variation in forms, learning processes, and speaker features, and assess the impact of variation on the mechanisms and outcomes of language learning.

More information:

Editors: Jill de Villiers & Tom Roeper
Title: Handbook of Generative Approaches to Language Acquisition
Series Title: Studies in Theoretical Psycholinguistics
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 978-94-007-1687-2

Modern linguistic theory has been based on the promise of explaining how language acquisition can occur so rapidly with such subtlety, and with both surprising uniformity and diversity across languages. This handbook provides a summary and assessment of how far that promise has been fulfilled, exploring core concepts in acquisition theory, including notions of the initial state, parameters, triggering theory, the role of competition and frequency, and many others, across a variety of syntactic topics that have formed the central domains of investigation and debate. These topics are treated from the unique perspective of central actors in each domain who have helped shape the research agenda. The authors have presented a summary of the data, the theories under discussion, and their own best assessments of where each domain stands. Providing as well the agenda for future work in the field showing both particular needs and general directions that should be pursued in the coming decades.

More information:

Editor: Erika Hoff
Title: Research Methods in Child Language: A Practical Guide
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISBN: 978-1-4443-3124-0 (hardcover); 978-1-4443-3125-7 (paperback); 978-1-4443-4401-1 (e-book)

This is a comprehensive and accessible guide to the methods researchers use to study child language, written by experienced scholars in the study of language development.

More information:

Author: Victoria Kazakovskaya
Title: Question and Answer in “Adult --- Child” Dialogue
Publisher: M.: KD "LIBROCOM"
ISBN: 978-5-397-02000-8

The work deals with linguistic and psychological regularities of child’s dialogue competence and its development at an early age. The reader is introduced into a functional and semantic typology of question-answer units and is given some insight into the role of such units in linguistic and cognitive ontogenesis. The volume presents results of longitudinal research in “adult --- child” dialogue interaction; analyzing relevant issues, the author involves the reader into a number of intricate problems related to development of child’s communicative skills. Cognitive conditions and social factors that influence development of child’s dialogue competence as well as the process of acquiring semantic categories at the initial stage remain in the focus of attention. Communicative failures that occur in dialogue with child receive special consideration. The book may be of interest to linguists, psychologists, and teachers; it waits for every person interested in the issues related to child speech.

More information:

Editor: Evan Kidd
Title: The Acquisition of Relative Clauses
Sub Title: Processing, Typology and Function
Series Title: Trends in Language Acquisition Research 8
Publisher: John Benjamins
ISBN: 978-9-02-728340-5 (Electronic)
ISBN: 978-9-02-723478-0 (Hardback)

Explaining the acquisition and processing of relative clauses has long challenged psycholinguistics researchers. The current volume presents a collection of chapters that consider the acquisition of relative clauses with a particular focus on function, typology, and language processing. A diverse range of theoretical approaches and languages are bought to bear on the acquisition of this construction type, making the volume unique in its coverage. The volume will appeal to students and scholars whose interest lies in the acquisition and processing of syntax with a particular focus on complex sentences in cross-linguistic and functionalist perspective.

More information:

Editors: Sharynne McLeod & Brian Goldstein
Title: Multilingual Aspects of Speech Sound Disorders in Children
Publisher: Multilingual Matters
ISBN: 978-1-847695-12-3

Multilingual Aspects of Speech Sound Disorders in Children translates research into clinical practice for speech-language pathologists working with children. The book explores both multilingual and multicultural aspects of children with speech sound disorders. The 30 theoretical and clinical chapters have been written by 44 authors from 16 different countries about 112 languages and dialects.

More information:

Editors: Sue Roulstone & Sharynne McLeod
Title: Listening to Children and Young People with Speech, Language and Communication Needs
Publisher: J & R Press
ISBN: 978-1-907826-08-5

The importance of listening to children and young people has received considerable attention in the literature, but little has been written about the particular challenges of listening to those with speech, language and communication needs. This book includes:

Part I provides views about the importance of listening to children written by advocates for children with speech, language and communication needs.

Part II unpacks the complexities and issues, providing theoretical perspectives about the listening process.

Part III contains real life examples of listening to children and young people through structured reports of research and clinical projects.

More information:

Authors: Shek Kam Tse & Hui Li
Title: Early Child Cantonese
Sub Title: Facts and Implications
Series Title: Studies on Language Acquisition [SOLA] 42
Publisher: De Gruyter Mouton
ISBN: 978-3-11-024009-2 (electronic)
ISBN: 978-3-11-024004-7 (hardback)

This book will be the first publication on record that systematically and comprehensively addresses the acquisition and development of Cantonese in early childhood. It draws upon evidence from up-to-date reviews of associated literature, on the outcomes of numerous research studies conducted by the authors and on the outcomes of an in-depth study of the largest corpus of early childhood Cantonese. To supplement and illuminate published trends in the literature, carefully gathered reliable and valid empirical data will be critically scrutinized. The evidence will be used to clarify and examine theoretical assumptions and to outline putative developmental trends in early childhood Cantonese pragmatics.

More information:

Further Announcements

Journal of Child Language: Changes to the Editorial Team

By Heike Behrens, Basel University

After five years of thoughtful and dedicated work for the journal, Edith Bavin will retire as editor. The editorial team would like to thank her warmheartedly for the great job she has done! As a highlight of the forthcoming journals, there will be a special issue on language impairment edited by her and Letitia Naigles.

Three new Associate Editors will start in 2012. Welcome to Caroline Rowland (University of Liverpool), Carol Stoel-Gammon (University of Washington), and Aylin Küntay (Koç University, Istanbul). They join continuing Associate Editors Letitia Nagles, Misha Becker and Stephanie Stokes. We would like to thank the Associate Editors whose terms have finished (Shanley Allen, Erika Hoff, and Margaret Kehoe-Winkler) for their contributions to the journal during their terms.

We hope that the Journal of Child Language will continue to be the place where new and exciting work on all aspects of child language development is published. We have had a steady and more recently even a steep increase in the number of submissions, and take this as a sign of the liveliness of the field at large, and the trust our colleagues put into the Journal.

Update from Journal of Child Language

By Melissa Good, Cambridge University Press

2011 was an excellent year for the Journal of Child Language (JCL), the official journal of IASCL. On behalf of Cambridge University Press, we’d like to share some of our news with you.

At the IASCL conference in July, editorial board member Brian MacWhinney received the Roger Brown Award in recognition of his theoretical and methodological contributions to the field of child language. Brian guest-edited an issue of JCL last year, with papers on the theme of Computational Models of Child Language Learning - including articles on psycholinguistics, phonotactic cues, subsegmental variation, phonological learning, and the Variational Learning Model.

To celebrate Brian’s receipt of the prize, we’re offering another opportunity to view this issue, for free, until 31st March 2012. Click here to read the full issue online.

JCL also received its highest impact factor to date in 2011 (for 2010) of 1.447. The journal is now ranked 22/141 in Thomson Reuters’ Language and Linguistics Journal Citation Report.

Current co-editor Heike Behrens will be sole editor of the Journal from January 2012, when the term of the current co-editor, Edith Bavin, finishes. You can view Heike’s IASCL profile here. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Edith for her great dedication, hard work and continuing commitment to the journal.

Finally, we would like to alert IASCL members that we have held the members’ discount subscription rate for the journal at 2009 prices for 2012; they are:

If you would like more information or to subscribe to the journal, please click here.

Noam Chomsky’s Recent Lecture “On the Poverty of the Stimulus”

On Monday 10 October 2011, Professor Noam Chomsky (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) gave a presentation in the Linguistics Department at the University College London (UCL) about the importance of the study of human language to our understanding of the human mind, titled “On the Poverty of the Stimulus”.

He presented a range of arguments supporting the conclusion that key properties of human language have their basis in our genetic endowment. The presentation took place in front of an invited audience of UK specialists in the study of human language, and was streamed live to several other rooms in UCL.

The video of the talk is available at:

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

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

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 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


If you attended the IASCL conference in Montreal 2011, you will remain a member of IASCL until the first day of the 2014 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.


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 2014 in Amsterdam. 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 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