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IASCL - Child Language Bulletin - Vol 35, No 1: August 2015
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Updates on the 14th International Congress for the Study of Child Language, Lyon, 17-21 July 2017

IASCL 2017 Lyon

Sophie Kern, Conference Organiser

The 14th International Congress for the Study of Child Language will take place in July 2017, and will be hosted by the University of Lyon.

Confirmed Plenary Speakers:

IASCL 2017 Lyon


For any inquiries you may have regarding the IASCL Lyon 2017 Conference, please contact:

Report: Bi-SLI 2015 (Bilingualism and Specific Language Impairment), July 2-3 2015, Tours, France

Laetitia de Almeida, Sandrine Ferré, Eléonore Morin, Philippe Prévost, Christophe dos Santos, Laurie Tuller, and Rasha Zebib, Organising Committee (François Rabelais University, Tours)

Report: Bi-SLI 2015 (Bilingualism and Specific Language Impairment), July 2-3 2015, Tours, France

Laetitia de Almeida, Sandrine Ferré, Eléonore Morin, Philippe Prévost, Christophe dos Santos, Laurie Tuller, and Rasha Zebib, Organising Committee (François Rabelais University, Tours)

Bi-SLI 2015 ( brought to Tours 75 researchers and clinicians, from 19 different countries, working on the problem of identification of Specific Language Impairment (SLI) in children growing up in bilingual contexts. This was the first conference entirely devoted to this topic since the end of European COST Action IS0804 “Language Impairment in a Multilingual Society: Linguistics Patterns and the Road to Assessment” ( in 2013, when it was decided that biennial conferences would be organized to allow for a forum devoted to studies aiming at distinguishing between normal bilingual language development and bilingual development in the context of SLI. All conference participants received a copy of Assessing Multilingual Children: Disentangling Bilingualism from Language Impairment (edited by Sharon Armon-Lotem, Jan de Jong, & Natalia Meir:, the recently published volume which showcases the tools created in COST Action IS0804.

The conference began with an inspiring keynote address by Sharon Armon Lotem (Bar-Ilan University), chair of COST Action IS0804. Her presentation, “Language Impairment Testing in Multilingual Settings (LITMUS): from Global to Local Impact,” set the stage for the following talks, most of which reported on results of use of the LITMUS toolbox of tasks created specifically for use with bilingual children. Nineteen other oral presentations were given in the two days of the conference, reporting on studies carried out on bilingual children in Canada, Cyprus, England, France, Germany, Holland, Israel, Malta, USA, and Wales. Two poster sessions included further studies completed in Canada, Cyprus, Israel, Italy, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Lebanon, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, UK, and the USA. Numerous language combinations were investigated in these presentations, including Arabic-French, English-French, Maltese-English, Polish-English, Polish-French, Portuguese-French, Russian-German, Russian-Hebrew, Spanish-Catalan, Spanish-English, Swedish-Russian, Turkish-English, Turkish-French, and Turkish-German, but also diglossic bilingualism (Cypriot Greek-Standard Greek, Palestinian Arabic-Standard Arabic), and thus providing a wide base in terms of both linguistic and sociolinguistic diversity. Oral and poster presentations presented results of studies using various (combinations of) different tasks, both language and non-language: nonword repetition, sentence repetition, lexical tasks, narrative tasks, standardized language tests, as well as executive function and working memory tasks, and parental questionnaires. The relative contribution of language dominance to performance on different types of language tasks was just one of the recurrent themes. For further information, please consult the program (which includes links to abstracts):

The conference closed with a Round Table “Bi-SLI: Where we are now and where do we go from here?” in which Ewa Haman (University of Warsaw) summarized the current state of knowledge, Maria Kambanaros (Cyprus University of Technology) spoke about transfer to clinicians, and Jan de Jong (University of Amsterdam) kicked off discussion about norming LITMUS tools. A business meeting followed, in which Theo Marinis announced that Bi-SLI 2017 will take place in Reading (UK), early July (dates to be set).

Report on Child Language Symposium, July 20-21 2015, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK

Katherine Messenger, Sotaro Kita and Julia Carroll, Organising Committee

In July, the University of Warwick welcomed over 230 delegates to its campus in the West Midlands, UK, for the 2015 CLS conference. The conference was hosted by the Language and Learning group, based in the Department of Psychology at the University of Warwick, with support also provided by our colleagues in Coventry University’s Centre for Research in Psychology, Behaviour and Achievement. It was the first Child Language Symposium! Since the first Child Language Seminar in 1977, the meeting has grown considerably and it was agreed following CLS 2013 that the term ‘seminar’ no longer reflected the importance and impact of the event; the name ‘Child Language Symposium’ was chosen to reflect this growth whilst keeping the familiar acronym ‘CLS’.

Delegates travelled from 24 countries around the world for the two days of talks and posters that formed CLS: 72 spoken presentations were given and 104 posters presented. Four leading academics provided very interesting keynote speeches covering subjects that reflected the depth and breadth of research interests that CLS has come to represent: On the Monday, Susan Goldin-Meadow opened the proceedings with a talk on gesture and language development entitled, From home sign to sign language: Creating language in the manual modality; Julie Dockrell spoke about research on writing development, entitled: The role of oral language skills in supporting written text generation: Evidence from children with Language Learning Difficulties (SLI). On Tuesday Marilyn Vihman gave a talk on word learning, entitled: Advances in language development: Learning words and learning sounds; Bob McMurray closed the programme with a lively talk on language processing entitled: The slow development of real-time language processing: Interactions across timescales in lexical development.

The day before CLS, 80 participants also attended the Gesture in Language Development Workshop, which was sponsored by the Experimental Psychology Society and hosted by Sotaro Kita and Suzanne Aussems of the Language and Learning Group. The workshop included 6 talks and 14 posters showcasing gesture research.

We thank all our colleagues and visitors for helping to create an excellent and stimulating CLS 2015! At present there is no formal arrangement for the handing on of the CLS reins – if any group is interested in hosting the next CLS conference, please contact the Organising Committee ( or with expressions of interest. A call for hosts will also be made in the near future.

Update on Journal of Child Language

Melissa Good, Commissioning Editor, Cambridge University Press

JCL continues to thrive with an increase in submissions, issues published, increasing Impact Factor (1.586 for 2014), quicker turnaround time for submissions, new activities being planned and a renewed Editorial Team.

Special Issue on Age of Acquisition Effects in Children Language

In 2016 we will publish a Special Issue of JCL on Age of Acquisition Effects in Children Language, with Johanne Paradis and Elma Blom as Guest Editors. While age of acquisition effects have been researched extensively in adult second language acquisition, there is less research focussed on examining age of acquisition effects in child language acquisition. This issue will consist of papers examining rate, patterns and mechanisms of language development in children whose exposure to their first or second language was not at birth.

JCL social media promotion

One of the best ways for JCL authors to ensure that their published work reaches the broadest possible audience is to work alongside Cambridge University Press to promote their work via social media. While we are proud of our excellent marketing efforts on behalf of JCL and our other journals, we are aware that authors are closest to the communities interested in their research and that they, too, can contribute to its dissemination. Our in-house analysis has shown that author self-promotion has a positive effect on article downloads, and downloads lead to citations.

The Cambridge linguistics team works alongside authors to link its own marketing on behalf of the journal to author self-promotion. For instance:

If you are on Facebook or Twitter, you can friend or follow the Cambridge University Press Linguistics accounts. As of mid-August, we have just over 8,000 friends on Facebook and nearly 9,000 followers on Twitter.

Cambridge University Press also co-hosts a blog, called Cambridge Extra, in partnership with Linguist List. We work with our linguistics journal and book authors to develop short and accessible blog posts about their published work. Examples of recent blogs related to JCL content include:

Language-specific noun bias: evidence from bilingual children, by Lei Xuan and Christine Dollaghan

Effect of foster care on language learning: findings from the Bucharest Early Intervention Program, by Jennifer Windsor

If you would like more information about how Cambridge works with JCL authors on social media promotion, please email Melissa Good.

Changes in the Editorial Team and Procedures

There will be changes in the editorial team coming up at JCL. Heike Behrens (University of Basel), who has served as Editor since 2011, will be transitioning out during the fall of 2015 and Johanne Paradis (University of Alberta) will be taking over the helm in January 2016.

Three Associate Editors will be finishing their terms by the end of 2015: Misha Becker (University of North Carolina), Aylin Küntay (Koç University) and Carol Stoel-Gammon (University of Washington). New Associate Editors in 2016 will be Elma Blom (Utrecht University), Cecile DeCat (University of Leeds) and Melissa Soderstrom (University of Manitoba), joining Caroline Rowland (University of Liverpool), Holly Storkel (University of Kansas) and Elizabeth Wonnacott (University of Warwick). We would like to express our immense appreciation to the outgoing members for their dedication and hard work and give a warm welcome to the new members of the team.

In the fall, the outgoing and incoming editors will collaborate on improving and facilitating the style sheet and making the review process even more efficient.

A note from the out-going Editor Heike Behrens

Acting as Editor has been time-consuming, but rewarding. I am impressed with the multitude of perspectives on child language represented in the papers we receive, and the increase in methodological sophistication and care. And I am immensely grateful for the time and effort on the part of our reviewers and Associate Editors who devote their time to providing constructive criticism that improved the qualities of the papers we publish – all the more so since the academic world requires more and more evaluations and accountability at all levels without ever acknowledging the research time active academics invest in providing such reviews and reports. I am also grateful for the support “behind the scenes” from Cambridge University Press: Miles Lambert is the journal’s stable backbone as Editorial Assistant, Melissa Good reliably manages all other matters of the journal, and Katie Laker provides us with creative media campaigns and statistics about their effect. In production, Adrian Stenton takes care of proofing the papers, Richard Horley keeps Manuscript Central running, and Sian Gordon oversees the whole production process.

A note from the in-coming Editor Johanne Paradis

I consider it an honour to have been asked to serve as Editor of JCL, one of the long-standing and core journals in our field. JCL has a solid and growing Impact Factor and an impressive volume size with 6 issues each year. The breadth of papers published in JCL is one its greatest strengths. Among the top 10 cited JCL articles for the 2014 Impact Factor, there are papers on bilingual and monolingual children, typically-developing children and children with developmental disorders, children learning European and non-European languages. I intend for JCL to continue to be a venue where there is diversity in the populations of children studied because a comprehensive understanding of language development in all children depends on it. As an in-coming editor for an established and well-run journal, I see no need for major changes. But, my hope is that, together with the Associate Editors and the Board Members, we can bring about some minor positive changes to the journal’s content and review process. Finally, I am very much looking forward to working with the “behind the scenes” team at Cambridge University Press.

A note from Cambridge University Press Commissioning Editor Melissa Good

Heike has made an enormous contribution to JCL during her editorship, and Cambridge thanks her warmly for her service to the journal and the community, both for her contribution and for always being a pleasure to work with. We are very pleased that Johanne is taking over and look forward to the ideas and experience that she will be able to contribute to JCL. We also express our sincere thanks to all the Associate Editors, with a special thank you to Misha, Aylin and Carol, whose terms are finishing.

In Memory of Josie Bernicot (1955-2015)
A great presence in developmental pragmatics

Alain Bert-Erboul, Virginie Dardier, Michèle Guidetti & Edy Veneziano

Josie Bernicot passed away on May 12, 2015, when she was 59 years old, after having lived for many years with a neuromuscular disease. Her premature death was a profound shock for her colleagues and for all those who loved and admired her work. She was a generous and passionate scientist and her enthusiasm for research was contagious. Her original way of thinking was a source of inspiration to many colleagues and students and her groundbreaking ideas greatly contributed to advance the field of pragmatics in language acquisition.

Josie Bernicot was born on July 4, 1955 (she liked to remind us that she was born on the US National Day) in Roumazières Loubert, a little village of the French region Poitou. After completing her doctoral studies in Psychology at the University of Poitiers, she took a position as Senior Lecturer at the University of Reims before becoming, in 1991, Professor of Developmental Psychology at the University of Poitiers, a position she held until the end of her life. Her research activities took place, first, within the LaPsyDée (Laboratory of Developmental Psychology and Psychology of Education) at the University Paris 5–René Descartes (now renamed Paris Descartes), where she directed the Research group on the Pragmatics of Communication. In 2000, the group moved to Poitiers to become part of the CNRS Laboratory CeRCA (Research Center for Cognition and Learning).

As she writes in her website [], Josie Bernicot thought that the key explanation of linguistic knowledge is not to be found in language itself but in the relation between the structure of language and the characteristics of communicative situations. In other words, language knowledge cannot be reduced to grammar. Mastering a language requires being able to adjust linguistic markings to the social context and the goals of the situation at hand. She notes that such a position, “which corresponds to the scientific field of Pragmatics”, has implications for how language acquisition in children -- but also at later ages -- is conceived. She applied this perspective not only to typically developing children but also to atypical development in fundamental and applied research. More recently, she became interested in digital writing (as part of the international project SMS4science) and the results of her research had a great echo in the press. She showed that the practice of text messaging has no influence on the spelling of high school students. Another line of interest was in the evaluation of communicative and pragmatic skills for people with SLI. And in June she was supposed to present a new test “Pragma test senior” for the evaluation of pragmatic skills in elderly people.

She has been very much involved in bringing together researchers around specific goals and topics. She created a database bank for French-speakers called Pergame, in which French, Canadian, Belgian and Swiss researchers participated. She organized several ‘CNRS Thematic Schools’ and led research projects involving teams of researchers. These activities gave rise to several co-edited books such as « De l’usage des gestes et des mots chez l’enfant » (1998), « Pragmatique et psychologie » (2002), « L’acquisition du langage par l’enfant » (2009), « Interactions verbales et acquisition du langage » (2010). She guest-edited several special issues of Journals such as Enfance (2003), La Linguistique (2006) and Le Langage et l’Homme (2006), and published papers in Encyclopædia Universalis (2015).

She gave an international breath to her research by inviting, and often collaborating with, known scholars from abroad (such as, Susan Ervin Tripp from Berkeley University, Judy Reilly from San Diego University and Eve Clark from Stanford University, or Judith Comeau from the University of Montreal). Josie went herself to San Diego for a sabbatical, where she consolidated her fruitful collaboration with Judy Reilly, and came back to France with new ideas for teaching ‘à l’américaine’.

Josie was involved in professional and scientific associations, such as IPRA (the International Pragmatics Association, from its beginning), IASCL (the International Association for the Study of Child Language), and the GDR ADYLOC (Oral Language and Cognition: Acquisition and dysfunctionings, CNRS 3195). She was on the Editorial board of the International Journal of Psychology, Language, Interaction and Acquisition and the European Journal of Developmental Psychology.

She also had a marked sense for ‘good living’ and thought that scientific work is enhanced through close and enjoyable relations, even better if around good wine and food! Memorable is a Symposium on developmental pragmatics she organized at the 1998 IPRA Conference in Reims where, together with Susan Ervin Tripp, the participants were accommodated in the grape-pickers rooms of a Champagne vineyard! And her house was always open to informal social gatherings with collaborators and students.

Lately, she was engaged in co-organizing, with Edy Veneziano, the International Conference Narrative and Interaction 2015 (that finally took place in Paris mid-June), as part of the activities of the research group ADYLOC (GDR 3195, coordinated by Maya Hickmann). Her thoughts remained focused on that project until the very last days of her life.

Her legacy will live on through all of us continuing the work that was so abruptly interrupted.

Using IRIS for Research into Child Second Language Learning and Childhood Bilingualism

David O’Reilly, IRIS Administrator

IRIS is a free digital repository for downloading, uploading and requesting data collection materials used for research into second language learning and teaching:

IRIS contains a wide range of instruments, including interview and observation schedules, language tests, stimuli, pictures, software scripts, url links, word lists, teaching intervention activities and many more. The repository was established in 2012, receives support from 30 top tier journals in the field and is an ESRC and British Academy funded project.

IRIS has had 8,000 downloads and 600 instrument submissions since January 2012. Collectively, this amounts to close to 1500 downloadable files. At present, the repository contains 42 instruments relating to ‘young learners’, 32 involving ‘bilingual’ participants, and several instruments used for research conducted in ‘community and heritage language’ contexts.

What can IRIS be used for?


Downloading data collection materials from IRIS is free and easy. Simply visit, click ‘Search and Download’ and type in the relevant search criteria (results can be filtered in various ways). IRIS adheres fully to intellectual property and copyright law; downloaders are required to accept the conditions of a creative commons licence and must provide citations of instruments if they are used in further research:


Instruments can be uploaded to IRIS provided they have been used in a peer-reviewed publication (‘in press’ also accepted) or approved PhD thesis. There are two ways to upload:

a) Directly – Visit, click ‘Submit instrument/materials’ and follow the instructions. This is a straightforward process and takes about 10-15 minutes. Uploaders do not need to log in to submit to IRIS, however by doing so, instruments can then be viewed and amended (which can otherwise be done by the IRIS team).

b) Via the IRIS team - Email materials as an attachment to along with the full reference to the peer-reviewed publication or approved PhD thesis in which they were used. The IRIS team will upload everything and pursue any permission requests on behalf of the uploader.


IRIS users can also request materials that are not already in IRIS by clicking the ‘Request materials’ button and filling in a few details about the required instrument and the publication it was used in. The IRIS team will contact the relevant research(s) on behalf of the requester.

For further information, please contact the IRIS team at

The Tromsø Repository of Language and Linguistics -

Laura Janda, UiT, The Arctic University of Norway

Many linguists are now publishing articles based upon data analysis, creating a need to safeguard the corresponding data and statistical code and make it available to colleagues and to the linguistic community at large.

The Tromsø Repository of Language and Linguistics, also known as "TROLLing", is a free professional service.


Authors of scholarly works are welcome to deposit their data in TROLLing, along with citations of their publications. Conversely, authors can reference their data by citing their TROLLing posts in their publications.

Instructional videos, a user guide, and the TROLLing banner can be accessed at

Here is what researchers are saying about TROLLing:

"In the age of Big Data, the creation of a general repository of datasets and statistical models for linguistic research is a welcome development. It will stimulate more research and new analyses.” – Maria Polinsky, Director of the Polinsky Language Sciences Lab at Harvard University.

"TROLLing will revolutionize research in linguistics and drive the discipline forward: making data publicly available significantly reduces the risk of bogus results, avoids duplication of efforts and facilitates large-scale analysis of meticulously annotated datasets." – Dagmar Divjak, University of Sheffield

"TROLLing is crucial for the field of linguistics as it takes the next steps towards becoming more empirical. For the first time, it will be possible for researchers to deposit their primary linguistic data (the foundation for all research) in a central freely accessible on-line repository so that colleagues around the world have access to the same data. This invaluable resource will promote on-going academic exchange on an empirical basis." – Hans Boas, The Raymond Dickson, Alton C. Allen, and Dillon Anderson Centennial Professor in the Department Germanic Studies and the Department of Linguistics at the University of Texas at Austin, Director of the Linguistics Research Center, German FrameNet and the Texas German Dialect Project

"TROLLing is exactly what our field needs - with the potential to become the most useful data resource in linguistics." – Marit Westergaard, Professor, Center for Advanced Study of Theoretical Linguistics, UiT The Arctic University of Norway

"I strongly believe that sharing of data and methods for analysis can play a key role in the growth of cognitive linguistics. It will be beneficial for the community of linguists to have a single searchable repository rather than having data scattered about in many places." – Laura A. Janda, Professor, UiT The Arctic University of Norway

The 1st International Symposium of Language Teaching and Assessment

Marta Gràcia & Fàtima Vega Llobera, Universitat de Barcelona

The next I Simpósio Internacional de Ensino e Avaliação de Linguagem (in English 1st International Symposium of Language Teaching and Assessment) will be held at Universdade Federal do São Carlos (UFSCar) (São Carlos, Brasil) on Saturday 29th August - Sunday 30th, 2015.

That symposium aspires to be an interdisciplinary conference which attracts a diverse international audience of linguists, psychologists and speech-language therapists and provides a forum for research on language acquisition and developmental language disorders.

The symposium will consist of two days of round tables, talks and two poster sessions. The round tables organized will be four and around the next themes:

A call for papers will be made until August 7th and further details about submissions and registration will appear online shortly (please see for details). To join our mailing list, please email:

Workshop on Infant Speech Perception: Phonological and Lexical Development

Rosemary Eliott, Macquarie University

The Workshop on Infant Speech Perception (WISP): Phonological and Lexical Development will highlight recent research on infants’ developing abilities to perceive and learn the phonological, morphological and prosodic systems of language. Research has shown that children make use of perceptual cues very early in life to bootstrap the learning of phonemes, carry out processes of word segmentation, and identify morphological boundaries. However, the mechanisms underlying how these levels of language learning are integrated and represented in early language development is still unclear. Even less is known about how these aspects of language learning proceed in early bilinguals or children with hearing loss.

The goal of this workshop is to bring together researchers working on various aspects of phonology, morphology and prosody to discuss novel techniques and paradigms that will shed light on the diverse roles of speech perception abilities at various stages of infant development, across languages and populations. The workshop will include keynote addresses and invited talks by experts in the fields of linguistics, cognitive science, computational linguistics and developmental psychology, and a poster session.

Time and Place

1-2 September 2015, Level 1 Theatre, the Australian Hearing Hub, Macquarie University, Sydney NSW Australia

Program and Registration available on the workshop webpage:

Keynote Speakers


Macquarie University Centre for Language Sciences (CLaS), ARC Fellowship Laureate 130100014 and the Child Language Lab:


Katherine Demuth, Nan Xu Rattanasone, Carmen Kung, Elaine Schmidt, Ivan Yuen

Seminar on the Challenge of Evidence Based Policy and Practice: Where to Now for Early Language Interventions

Louise Wardrop, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute

The Centre of Research Excellence in Child Language together with the Centre for Community Child Health at the Royal Children’s Hospital are once again hosting a seminar in Melbourne.

The challenge of evidence based policy and practice: where to now for early language interventions

This seminar is designed for early years services, schools, allied health professionals, local government, policy makers and researchers. This seminar will bring together key experts in child language development from United Kingdom and Australia to discuss what is new in child language research and the lessons and implications for policy and practice.

Contact: Louise Wardrop Research Coordinator

Conference on “ATYLANG - Atypical Language: What are We Really Talking About?”

Michèle Guidetti, Université Toulouse - Jean Jaurès

The international conference “ATYLANG - Atypical Language: what are we really talking about?” will be held on 27-28 November 2015 at University Paris Ouest Nanterre.

Please find all information on the website

The term atypical, which is used in everyday language to refer to specific and unclassifiable behavior, has also recently started to emerge in research, well beyond the clinical setting and the field of language development. The notion of atypical language is increasingly encountered within the field of linguistics without however being clearly defined. Among numerous individual variations, certain language behaviors intrigue researchers by their “atypicality” and are thus characterized as unusual. But atypical language, which can involve all levels of a linguistic system, from minimal to maximal items, may sometimes reveal a pathological dimension in language use, in which real difficulties, deficits and disorders are present. While it is not always easy to differentiate individual and unusual variation from genuine language disorders, it is important to establish this distinction in view of the fundamental and crucial role that language plays in social interaction at different ages across the lifespan.

We are thus faced with a paradoxical situation, which, despite its stimulating character, challenges both research and practice. A single notion, at the crossroads of different disciplines, fields and specializations, concerned with fundamental research, applied research and clinical reality is used with different definitions. This raises the question as to what we are basically talking about. Is it possible to identify a concept, a common denominator, that unites the different uses of “atypical” between clearly distinct domains? If so, what is this common concept?

Thus, the underlying question of the Atylang conference on clinical linguistics is as follows: how can we move from the intuitive use of the term Atypical language towards a usage based on an explicit and well thought out definition, which allows us to create a consensus on how to problematize the issue, while avoiding, from the outset, limiting it solely to the field of dysfunctions and handicap? More specifically:

  1. At what moment is there a change from a singular, strange and unusual language behavior to a pathological one? And how can we distinguish a short-term atypical phenomenon from a chronic and established dysfunctional one? Thus, from a developmental viewpoint, how can we characterize and distinguish atypical development from an atypical delay and an apparent specific disorder? As regards ageing, what observable evidence can be found to identify atypical constructions that not only appear as simple markers, inevitably associated to ageing, but turn into clear indicators of pathological ageing?
  2. What references should the arguments that underpin and justify the scientific use of the term atypical be based on: the community in which atypical language may occur (family or school environment), the developmental theories suggested in research, clinical practice? What precise indicators and measures can be applied?
  3. What is the status of the observer (individual vs. collective, expert vs. non expert, researcher and/or clinician), and, as a result, what are his/her expectations and integrated norms (or observed usage)? Finally, to what extent do phenomena that are considered atypical and specific in one context appear as perfectly natural in another?

Taking these questions as a starting point, the purpose of the Atylang conference is to provide points of reference for practitioners, allowing them to approach the notion of atypical language in a reflective and problematizing manner. A second aim is to provide the opportunity for researchers to benefit from feedback based on actual fieldwork, thus enabling them to explore the continuum covered by this notion, to determine its scope, limits and interest for scientific description.

In practice, this conference aims at including simultaneously the issue of so-called atypical uses and the linguistic markers that account for them. In other words, the focus is on the formal and communicative dimension of the central issue. We welcome papers on 10 major non-exclusive domains, both from clinical experience on the field and from research:

  1. Developmental and ageing language use
  2. Oral and/or written language
  3. Vocal language and sign language
  4. Gestures and multimodality
  5. Atypical Language at the structural vs. the pragmatic level
  6. Developmental versus acquired disorders
  7. Diagnosis and remediation
  8. Family support (development, ageing)
  9. Delay versus deviance / disorder
  10. Atypical language in monolinguals and bilinguals

Submission on Easychair

Submission deadline: 30 September 2015

Languages: French, English and French Sign Language (LSF)

The 6th East African Conference on Communication Disability

Meike Ellerbrock, Leibniz Universität Hannover

The conference, to be held on 10-12 December 2015 in the city center of Arusha Tanzania, will have the main focus on development of communication disorders and will be a platform for SLP professionals, practitioners, researchers and lecturers in the field of communication disabilities from East Africa and all over the world to share their expertise.

The exchange of knowledge and skills, creating supportive relationships and presenting current research results in the field of pioneering work of communication disabilities in Africa are the main goals of this conference.

Keynote Speakers Confirmed:

For further information or to register your interest please email us at:

Further information:

Florida Linguistics Yearly Meeting 3 and Linguistic Matters Festival

Virginia Gathercole, Florida International University

FLYM, Florida Linguistics Yearly Meeting, is an annual event, located in distinct venues each year, focusing primarily on syntactic theory and analysis. The third FLYM will be held on 9-10 March 2016 at Florida International University, Miami, FL. We invite work in experimental linguistics relating to syntax – including processing, acquisition, and brain studies.

Keynote speaker: Jairo Nunes, Universidade de São Paulo

Organizers: Ellen Thompson, Virginia Gathercole, Feryal Yavaş, Graduate Linguistics Association

The LINGUISTICS MATTERS FESTIVAL is an event associated with the annual Barbara Gordon Memorial Lecture series, commemorating and celebrating the work of Dr. Barbara Gordon. The focus of talks can be in any area of Linguistics; work focusing on issues of relevance to South Florida – bilingualism, first- and second-language acquisition, sociolinguistics, language contact, Creole languages, Native American languages – are particularly welcome. The festival will be held on 10-12 March 2016 at Florida International University, Miami, FL.

Keynote speaker: Lydia White, McGill University

Organizers: Virginia Gathercole, Feryal Yavaş, Ellen Thompson, Graduate Linguistics Association

Abstracts can be submitted to from 1 September 2015 until 30 October 2015.

FIU Linguistics:

Fifth Implicit Learning Seminar

Patrick Rebuschat & Padraic Monaghan, Lancaster University

June 23-25 2016, Lancaster University

The study of implicit and explicit learning plays a central role in the cognitive sciences. The 2016 Implicit Learning Seminar will bring together leading researchers from a variety of backgrounds (cognitive psychology, linguistics, neuroscience, computer science) who share an interest in the cognitive and neural bases of implicit-statistical learning.

Confirmed keynote speakers:

We invite abstracts on any topic related to implicit-statistical learning (e.g. role of attention and awareness, incidental vs. intentional exposure, cross-modal learning, individual differences), employing one or more of a variety of methods (artificial grammar learning, sequence learning, cross-situational learning, etc.). We would particularly like to encourage submissions that focus on the role of implicit-statistical learning in language acquisition. We envisage that the conference will be of interest to audiences recently attending the Fourth Implicit Learning Seminar (Krakow) and BCBL's conference on Interdisciplinary Advances in Statistical Learning (San Sebastian).

Abstracts can be submitted between December 1, 2015, and March 1, 2016. For instructions on how to submit an abstract, please consult our website. We will send out notifications of acceptance by mid-March.

For questions, please contact the organizers, Patrick Rebuschat and, Padraic Monaghan by emailing

The organizers are grateful to the ESRC International Centre for Language and Communicative Development (LuCiD) for financial support (

The Seventh Conference of the International Society for Gesture Studies: Gesture - Creativity - Multimodality

Michèle Guidetti, Université de Toulouse

The International Society for Gesture Studies (ISGS) is pleased to announce the Seventh Conference of the International Society for Gesture Studies: Gesture - Creativity - Multimodality. It will be held in the heart of Paris, France, July 18-22 2016 on the campus of the Sorbonne Nouvelle University.

Established in 2002, the ISGS ( is an interdisciplinary group of researchers including anthropologists, cognitive scientists, computer scientists, linguists, neuroscientists, psychologists, and semioticians. The Society convenes for a major international conference every two years to share perspectives on the study of gesture and bodily communication.

The seventh edition of ISGS will especially encourage contributions on the role of gesture in artistic creation, the multimodal creativity of bodily expression, and the combined used of gesture/sign with other artistic media (dance, painting, sculpture, photography, music, cinema).

The conference will also welcome all topics on bodily communication, studied in all settings, and from all theoretical and disciplinary perspectives.

A special ELAN workshop will be organized on July 18th before the opening of the conference (opening late afternoon).

Plenary speakers (confirmed)

Special Guest: Leonard Talmy (University at Buffalo)

Venue: Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris 3

We will invite abstracts (450 words maximum, excluding references) of unpublished work for individual papers, posters, and theme panels.

Paper presentation slots will be 30 minutes, with 20 minutes for presentations.

Theme panels are welcome. They should focus on a well-defined research topic. Each panel will be allocated 2 hours, which should include opening and closing remarks, individual papers, discussants and general discussion. Panels should consist of four talks, which must be submitted individually as paper presentations. Each individual abstract should indicate the name of the proposed theme panel. If a theme panel is not accepted as a whole, individual submissions will be considered for standard paper presentations.

Posters are intended as a format for reports on work in progress, and are an opportunity for more extended interaction. Posters will be displayed during poster sessions, with ample opportunity for discussion.

Each author may submit no more than three abstracts and no more than one abstract as first author.

Important dates

The conference languages are English and International Sign. Sign language interpreters will be available.

Conference Website:



Forthcoming Conferences and Workshops

What: Workshop on Infant Speech Perception (WISP): Phonological and Lexical Development
When: 1-2 Sept 2015
Where: Macquarie University, Sydney NSW Australia

What: Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing 2015 (AMLaP 2015)
When: 3-5 Sept 2015
Where: University of Malta Valleta Campus, Malta

What: The 48th Annual Meeting of the British Association for Applied Linguistics (BAAL 2015)
When: 3-5 Sept 2015
Where: Aston University, Birmingham, UK

What: International Symposium on Monolingual and Bilingual Speech 2015 (ISMBS 2015)
When: 7-10 Sept 2015
Where: Great Arsenali, old Venetian harbor, Chania, Crete, Greece

What: The British Psychological Society Developmental Section Annual Conference 2015
When: 9-11 Sept 2015
Where: The Palace Hotel, Manchester, UK

What: The 12th Generative Approaches to Language Acquisition Conference (GALA 2015)
When: 10-12 Sept 2015
Where: Nantes, France

What: The 4th Barcelona Summer School on Bilingualism and Multilingualism (BSBM)
When: 14-18 Sept 2015
Where: Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain

What: The 19th Meeting of the European Society for Cognitive Psychology
When: 17-20 Sept 2015
Where: Paphos, Cyprus

What: The Challenge of Evidence Based Policy and Practice: Where to Now for Early Language Interventions
When: 18 Sept 2015
Where: The Royal Children’s Hospital, Parkville, Melbourne, Australia

What: Second Language Research Forum (SLRF)
When: 29-31 Oct 2015
Where: Georgia State University, USA

What: The 5th International Conference Applied Linguistics and Professional Practice (ALAPP)
When: 5-7 Nov 2015
Where: Università degli Studi di Milano, Milan, Italy

What: Society for Language Development (SLD) Annual Symposium
When: 12 Nov 2015
Where: Boston, USA

What: The 2015 ASHA Convention
When: 12-14 Nov 2015
Where: Colorado Convention Center, Denver, Colorado

What: The 40th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (BUCLD 40)
When: 13-15 Nov 2015
Where: Boston, USA

What: The 6th East African Conference on Communication Disability
When: 10-12 Dec 2015
Where: Sebastian Kolowa Memorial University, Tanzania

What: The 12th Conference on Theoretical Issues in Sign Language Research
When: 4-7 Jan 2016
Where: Melbourne Convention Centre Australia, Australia

What: The 90th Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America
When: 7-10 Jan 2016
Where: Washington, USA

What: ICFLTAL 2016: International Conference on Foreign Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics
When: 18–19 Jan 2016
Where: London, UK

What: Presuppositions in Language Acquisition
When: 23-26 Feb 2016
Where: Konstanz, Germany
Details: (Email to Anja Müller)

What: Sentence Complexity at the Boundary of Grammatical Theory and Processing: A Special Challenge for Language Acquisition
When: 23-26 Feb 2016
Where: Konstanz, Germany

What: The 38th Annual Conference of the German Linguistic Society (DGfS 2016)
When: 24-26 Feb 2016
Where: Konstanz, Germany

Conference and Workshop Calls

What: Animacy in Language and Cognition
When: 9 Nov 2015
Where: University of Leeds, UK
Submission Deadline: 14 Sept 2015

What: The International Conference “ATYLANG - Atypical Language: what are we really talking about?”
When: 27-28 Nov 2015
Where: University Paris Ouest Nanterre, Nanterre, France
Submission Deadline: 30 Sept 2015

What: Workshop on Extensive and Intensive Recordings of Children's Language Environment
When: 7-8 Dec 2015
Where: Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris
Details: or contact
Submission Deadline: 1 Sept 2015

What: The 29th CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing
When: 3-5 March 2016
Where: University of Florida, Florida, USA
Submission Deadline: 8 Nov 2015

What: Florida Linguistics Yearly Meeting 3 and Linguistic Matters Festival
When: 10–12 Mar 2016
Where: Florida International University, Miami, FL
Submission Deadline: 30 Oct 2015

What: Fifth Implicit Learning Seminar
When: 23–25 Jun 2016
Where: Lancaster University, UK
Submission Deadline: 1 Mar 2016

What: The Seventh Conference of the International Society for Gesture Studies: Gesture - Creativity - Multimodality
When: 18–22 Jul 2016
Where: Sorbonne Nouvelle University, Paris, France
Submission Deadline: 9 Nov 2015

What: Τhe 15th Biennial Conference of the European Association for Research on Adolescence (EARA)
When: 16–19 Sept 2016
Where: La Barrosa, CÁDIZ, Spain
Submission Deadline: 31 Mar 2016

What: The 9th International Conference on Construction Grammar (ICCG-9)
When: 5-7 Oct 2016
Where: Federal University of Juiz de Fora, Brazil
Submission Deadline: 31 Mar 2016

What: The 2nd International Conference on Teaching Deaf Learners
When: 22-24 Mar 2017
Where: Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Submission Deadline: to be announced

What: The 14th International Congress for the Study of Child Language (IASCL 2017)
When: 17-21 of July 2017
Where: Lyon, France
Submission Deadline: to be announced

Book Announcements

Author: Carmen Silva-Corvalán
Title: Bilingual Language Acquisition: Spanish and English in the first six years
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 978-1-107-67315-1

Bilingual Language Acquisition: Spanish and English in the first six years (Cambridge University Press) by Carmen Silva-Corvalán was published in 2014. The book provides a meticulous and state of the art analysis of the longitudinal development of Spanish and English grammars in two simultaneous bilingual children born and raised in the United States. The developmental data were obtained via naturalistic interactions with the children from birth to age six.

More information:

Author: Paul Fletcher & Ciara O¹Toole
Title: Language Development and Language Impairment: A Problem-Based Introduction
Publisher: Wiley Blackwell
ISBN: 978-0-470-65643-3

Language Development and Language Impairment offers a problem-based introduction to language impairment in the pre-school years, from the vantage point of typical language development. The authors begin with an overview of issues in the study of language development, and an introduction to some of the causes of language impairment. This is followed by a thorough examination of the infrastructure for speech and language laid down in the first year of life, and the potential for speech or language deficits should the trajectory of development in this period be deflected, diverted or delayed. Subsequent chapters deal separately with development and impairment in the sound system, in the acquisition of vocabulary, in the grammatical system, and in conversation and narrative. Chapters are organised around a series of Œproblems¹ ­ case histories, datasets, quotations, conversations, etc. ­ which serve to focus the discussion of a specific topic in typical development or impairment. By considering in detail the major features of the foundational years of language development, Language Development and Language Impairment offers insights into the optimal and sub-optimal evolution of a child¹s linguistic competence.

The book is accompanied by a website available to instructors.

More information:

Author: Pedro Mateo Pedro
Title: The Acquisition of Inflection in Q’anjob’al Maya
Series Title: Trends in Language Acquisition Research, 14
Publisher: John Benjamins
ISBN: 9789027244031 (hardback) 9789027268303 (e-book)

Most studies on the acquisition of verbal inflection have examined languages with a single verb suffix. This book offers a study on the acquisition of verb inflections in Q’anjob’al Maya. Q’anjob’al has separate inflections for aspect, subject and object agreement, and sta¬tus suffixes. The subject and object inflections display a split ergative pattern. The subjects of intransitive verbs with aspect markers take absolutive markers, whereas the subjects of aspectless intransitive verbs take ergative markers. The acquisition of three types of clauses is explored in detail (imperatives, indicatives, and aspectless complements). The data come from longitudinal spontaneous speech of three monolingual Q’anjob’al children aged 1;8–3;5. This book contributes unique data to the debate on the acquisition of finite and non-finite verbs as well as adding to our understanding of the acquisition of split ergative patterns. The book is of interest to researchers and students working on linguistics and language acquisition.

More information:

Thesis Announcements

Author: Anneke Perold Potgieter
Title: The Role of Input in the Early Trilingual Acquisition of English, Afrikaans and IsiXhosa
Institution: Stellenbosch University

The study investigates the acquisition of vocabulary and passive constructions by 11 four-year-old children simultaneously acquiring South African English, Afrikaans and isiXhosa in low socio-economic status areas in South Africa, with specific focus on the role that input plays in this process. Input is measured in terms of quantity of exposure (at the time of testing and cumulatively over time) and in terms of quality (as determined by the proficiency levels of the speaker(s) providing the input). Results revealed a significant positive correlation between input and proficiency levels in the case of all three the trilinguals’ languages. The interaction between these variables seems to be narrower at lower levels of input, and the effect of reduced quantity of exposure stronger in the case of lexical development than in grammatical development. The proficiency levels of the early developing trilinguals are furthermore compared to those of 10 age-matched monolingual controls for each language. Trilinguals are found to be monolingual-like in their lexical development in the language to which, on average, they have been exposed most over time, i.e. isiXhosa. Thus, as previously found for bilingual development, necessarily reduced quantity of exposure does not hinder lexical development in the input dominant language. Whilst the trilinguals lag behind monolinguals significantly in terms of lexical development in their languages of less exposure, no developmental delay is found in their acquisition of the passive, regardless of the language of testing. This is despite their lower lexical proficiency in English and Afrikaans and their lesser amount of exposure to all three their languages. Although the passive is considered a typically later-developing construction type across languages, research has shown it to be acquired earlier in Bantu languages (of which isiXhosa is an example) than in Germanic languages such as English and Dutch (from which Afrikaans stems). Consequently, the fact that the trilinguals do not exhibit delay in their acquisition of the passive, despite sometimes drastically reduced levels of input, is interpreted as evidence of cross-linguistic bootstrapping: trilinguals seem to be transferring their knowledge of the passive in isiXhosa to English and Afrikaans, enabling the earlier acquisition of this construction in the latter two languages. The study is the first on the trilingual acquisition of English, Afrikaans and isiXhosa by young children, and will hopefully encourage additional research on multilingual language acquisition within the African context.

Author: Beyza Sümer
Title: Acquisition of Spatial Language by Signing and Speaking Children: Comparison of Turkish Sign Language (TİD) and Turkish
Institution: Radboud University

In spite of fundamental similarities found in several domains of linguistic structure between sign and spoken languages (e.g., phonology, morphology, syntax), sign languages differ radically from spoken languages in that they use affordances of visual-spatial modality and map spatial relations between the entities onto signing space in iconic and analogue ways – unlike spoken languages, which employ arbitrary linguistic forms that label different types of spatial relations.

In the current study, Beyza Sümer explored if iconicity in the linguistic expression of spatial relations leads to an earlier acquisition of them by signing children when compared to speaking children. The spatial descriptions (e.g., cup on table; pen in front of paper) of Deaf children who acquire Turkish Sign Language (TİD) natively (i.e., from their TİD-signing Deaf parents) and hearing children who acquire Turkish were compared to those of adults in each language quantitatively. The results of her study do not support one overall effect of modality of language being acquired on learning to express spatial relations. Rather, it seems that modality of language modulates different aspects of spatial language acquisition differently: Both TİD-signing and Turkish-speaking children were found to express “in, on, under” type of spatial relations at similar ages. However, signing children produced linguistic forms that express “left-right” earlier than speaking children, but it was not the case for the expression of “front-behind”, for which speaking children showed an earlier developmental pattern than signing children.

Reviews in Memory of Grace Wales Shugar

Hanna J. Batoréo, Universidade Aberta

Review of: Shugar, Grace Wales, Bokus, Barbara, and Smogorzewska, Joanna (2013). From Reference Situation to Narrative Text. Piaseczno, Poland: LEXEM.

The monograph by Grace Wales Shugar, Barbara Bokus and Joanna Smogorzewska (Piaseczno 2013: Lexem) entitled From Reference Situation to Narrative Text is an important volume in developmental psycholinguistics. It is important that it was published in English, as this will enable the book to find a place in psycholinguistics worldwide.

The volume also includes an affectionate obituary of Professor Grace Wales Shugar who, unfortunately, did not live to see the book in print. Her closest student, Barbara Bokus, presents the achievements of her Mentor and emphasizes the importance of her reference situation concept in studies on children’s language.

From Reference Situation to Narrative Text traces the development of this theoretical construct and shows its implications for applied psycholinguistics.

In the introduction the authors ask how children learn referential activity, and then present the emergence of narrative ability. This ability is realized between speakers and listeners, in a process where narrative intentions find expressive means and listener acknowledgment and support.

The first part of the book (Toward a conceptual framework for the study of narrative beginnings and narrative development) consists of two chapters. In chapter one the authors consider the notion of reference situation in early child language studies, and then (in chapter two) within a discourse and text-constructing framework. In the model of child discourse, two types of discourse are distinguished: action discourse and topical discourse. The main criterion for differentiating between these two types of discourse is the type of relation between the action situation and the reference situation. The action situation triggers discourse, while the reference situation is the one to which the discourse refers. The latter situation is that about which information is provided during the discourse. The authors present a synthesis of the changing concept of reference situation and conclude with empirical applications for the reference situation concept.

Discursive activity requires a cognitive counterpart in the interpretative processes forming in the minds of participants. The notion of reference situation has an important place in discourse theory and research. The reference situation concept first began to function in child discourse literature as an empirical instrument for Grace Wales Shugar’s analysis of text construction by adult and child at the one- or two-word stage of speech. Later, narrative discourse was studied by Barbara Bokus as a text-building activity analyzed in terms of reference situations.

In part two of the book (Empirical applications of the reference situation concept in studies on preschoolers’ narratives) the authors present the reference situation’s use as a category for analyzing the texts of stories produced in child dyads (chapter three) and in groups (chapter four).

Chapter three focuses on the relationship between narration and mind-reading based on the results of studies on preschool children. The authors present a method of analyzing narration in terms of reference situations: a) extending the narrative line and b) expanding the narrative field, in both the landscape of action and the landscape of consciousness. Children’s attributions of mental states to subjects from the narrative line and from the narrative field were explored and compared. It turned out that mental states attributed to subjects in the narrative field, i.e., to background characters who, for example, have access to what is happening in the main action line as observers, similarly to the narrator, are found in children earlier and more frequently. These cases of mind-reading affect the structure of a narrative text.

Chapter four compares two methods, the Storyline method and the Associations Pyramid method, used in group storytelling with children. The children were divided into groups, each of which used one of the two methods. Four classes were held in five-person groups, twice a week. The stories produced during classes were analyzed in terms of semantic complexity, syntactic complexity, length, originality, and the number of neologisms. The study showed that stories from the Storyline method got higher marks than stories from the Associations Pyramid method in several dimensions. The Associations Pyramid turned out to be more difficult for young children. However, this does not mean that this method should be abandoned. Another study showed that, paradoxically, this method is particularly beneficial for children who were initially at the lowest level of cognitive development.

The book (167 pages long) ends with a final summary. The authors summarize the principal changes in the concepts of referential activity. Firstly, there has been increasing recognition of the fact that reference situations are co-constructions by participants in the talking process. Secondly, a cognitive base has been imputed to children’s referential activity, variously characterized. And thirdly, growing attention has been given to the complex makeup of reference situations and the links that tie them together in the discourse processes.

To conclude: Applied operationally in empirical studies of narrative discourse, reference situations, treated as basic unitary elements of narrative structure systematically related to higher-order narrative notions (events, episodes), not only describe the narrative process but reveal how young children construct narrative products out of reference situation elements of diverse content and relationships. From Reference Situation to Narrative Text by Grace Wales Shugar, Barbara Bokus and Joanna Smogorzewska is worth recommending not only to psychologists and psycholinguists but also to researchers from other fields, deserving special recognition for its contribution to child language research.

Review of: Bokus, B. (Ed.) (2014). Children’s Language and Communicative Knowledge, in Memory of Professor Grace Wales Shugar. Special issue of Psychology of Language and Communication, 18(2-3). Warsaw: DeGruyter.

In 2014, two special and complementary issues of the journal Psychology of Language and Communication (Vol. 18, No. 2 & 3) were published by DeGruyter and presented in grateful memory of Professor Grace Wales Shugar from University of Warsaw (1918-2013), honored as “a distinguished scholar in the field of language acquisition and children’s discourse” but also remembered by her colleagues and students as “a kind and creative person who knew how to make life meaningful despite adversity”. The two issues of the journal edited by Barbara Bokus (University of Warsaw and University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Warsaw) gather 13 contributions on the subject of Children’s Language and Communicative Knowledge, written by individual scientists or research groups from universities and scientific institutes from all over the world.

In an introductory text to the double-issue edition “In Memory of Professor Grace Wales Shugar: Introduction to the special issues on «Children’s Language and Communicative Knowledge»” the editor of the publication, Barbara Bokus (University of Warsaw and University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Warsaw), Sugar’s former student and life-long colleague and collaborator, shares with the reader a warm-hearted memory of an outstanding scholar, woman and friend who being Canadian by birth and education, dedicated the mature years of her extremely long and active nearly ninety- five-years life to Polish science and to Poland, her country of choice and residence since 1952. Grace Wales Shugar was founder and a leader of the Warsaw School of Developmental Psycholinguistics and she dedicated her research mostly to the field of language acquisition and children’s discourse. Rooted in Piaget’s child development theory, Grace W. Shugar was inclined to consider children as agents of their own activity, assuming that meaning potential develops chiefly in pragmatic relations between a young child’s activity and his/her verbal production. She defended children as potential co-creators of discourse in structured social systems. Her idea of what is called dual agentivity of adult-child interaction shows how to best support children’s communicative skills. As Bokus states in her introductory chapter:

“It is only when children can show what they know in their own way, and when that child knowledge is received and used in a discourse process, that we can expect a child’s inner motivation to acquire knowledge from others to be maintained and to become a driving force of the child’s further development (Shugar, 1995, p. 233).”

For many years Grace W. Shugar was also the English language editor of two scientific journals published in Poland: Polish Psychological Bulletin and Psychology of Language and Communication, the second of which hosts the present grateful tribute to her memory.

The first issue of the journal Psychology of Language and Communication (Vol. 18, No. 2) gathers seven texts: six research papers following Bokus’s introductory chapter. The subjects discussed in the papers broach different subareas of the study of development of child discourse and language production, such as turn-taking in child-adult interaction, word combination in early child production, development of child temporal system, specific language impairment in children, deaf children narrative texts, and neural substrates of language. Their authors represent different universities and research nuclei from all over the world: Cracow, Jerusalem, New York, four different British scientific centers (Manchester, Oxford, Surrey and London), and Warsaw.

The first paper of the 1st issue, “The nature of child-adult interaction. From turn-taking to understanding pointing and use of pointing gestures” by A. Białek, M. Białecka-Pikul, and M. Stępień-Nycz (Jagiellonian University, Cracow), studies infants’ communicative behaviors in 358 12-month-old children using a structured observational measure – the Early Social Communication Scales. As stated by the authors, the study reveals: “(i) a distinction between the categories of initiation and response among the behaviors displayed, (ii) simple and complex behavior categories occurring; (iii) the presence within one factor of behaviors fulfilling various functions (e.g. requesting and sharing interest).”

The second paper, “Variables and values in children’s early word-combinations” by A. Ninio from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, uses a model of syntactic development which shows that children learn very first word-combinations generated via productive rules that express in syntactic form the relation between a predicate word and its semantic argument rather than learn frozen chunks. As the author postulates: “The findings suggest that children produce their early word-combinations of the core-grammar type by a productive rule that maps the predicate-argument relations of verbs and their semantic arguments to head-dependent syntax, and not as frozen word-combinations. (…) The earliest word-combinations demonstrate that children understand that syntax is built on the predicate-argument relations of words and use this insight to produce their early sentences.”

The third paper, “Developing temporal systems” by Richard M. Weist from State University of New York at Fredonia, discusses how children develop the capacity to express the temporal location of episodes related to the past and projected to the future. The author shows how the child’s knowledge of language structure gives us insight into both the conceptual development of memory processes and the capacity for conceptualizing time.

The fourth paper, “Specific language impairment (SLI): the internet ralli campaign to raise awareness of SLI”, is presented by a group of British researchers: G. Conti-Ramsden (University of Manchester), D. V. M. Bishop (University of Oxford), B. Clark (Independent Speech and Language Therapist, Surrey), C. F. Norbury (Royal Holloway, University of London), and M. J. Snowling (University of Oxford). The aim of the paper is to discuss specific language impairment (SLI) and to show that the impact on research, policy and practice of SLI is a neglected condition. The authors propose changing the state of affairs and raising awareness of SLI via a new internet campaign, RALLI (

The fifth paper, “Deaf children building narrative texts. Effect of adult-shared vs. non-shared perception of a picture story”, is a study on communicative competence of deaf children developed by a group of Warsaw researchers inspired by the idea of G. W. Shugar’s dual agentivity: A. Tarwacka-Odolczyk (Tots’ Academy, Warsaw), P. T omaszewski (University of Warsaw), A. Szymańska (Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University, Warsaw), and B. BOKUS (University of Warsaw, University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Warsaw). The paper illustrates the building process of the narrative discourse developed by deaf children in interaction with a deaf teacher, showing how its diversity results from the shared vs. non-shared perception of the picture that elicited the interaction. Some formal and semantic aspect of the stories were taken into consideration in detailed analyses, including the length of the text in sign language, the content selected (old vs. new), information categories, and types of answers to the teacher’s questions.

The sixth paper, “Are neural substrates of language and communication distinct?” by J. Rytel (Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University, Warsaw), is the last one of the 1st issue of the journal in memory of G.W. Shugar. The author argues that in spite of Universal Grammar serving as a basis for acquiring language competence, it is not sufficient to acquire communicative competence. She presents the results of an fMRI study according to which communicative and linguistic abilities rely on cerebrally (and computationally) distinct mechanisms.

The second issue of the journal Psychology of Language and Communication (Vol. 18, No. 3) gathers another set of six research papers in honor of G. W. Shugar. The subjects face distinct subareas of the study of development of child discourse and language production such as different aspects of paternal-children interaction, the acquisition of a language (the case of Romani) in a multilingual context, morphosyntactic agreement in the child discourse, L2 acquisition (the case of German in the Polish context), interrelationship between narrative and adolescent identity. Also in this case, the authors of the papers gathered in the 2nd issue represent different universities from Europe and America: Warsaw, Boston, Bratislava, and Louvain.

The first paper of the 2nd issue, “Paternal involvement and attention sharing in interactions of premature and full-term infants with fathers: a brief report”, was prepared by a group of Warsaw researchers: G. Kmita (University of Warsaw, Institute of Mother and Child, Warsaw), E. Kiepura (Institute of Mother and Child, Warsaw), A. Majos (University of Warsaw). The study analyzes possible interrelationships between paternal (father) involvement and children’s competence in coordinated joint attention (CJA) in preterm versus full-term 12-month-old babies. For this purpose fifty-nine father-infant dyads were analyzed in father-infant interactions in free-play situations, diaries of infant activities, and semi-structured family interviews.

The second paper, “Parent-child interaction and lexical acquisition in two domains: color words and animal names” by J. Berko Gleason (Boston University), explores young children’s and parents’ use of color words and animal names in order to consider the implications of these findings for our understanding of early lexical development. Two different CHILDES corpora were used in the study with 48 children ranging in age from 25-62 months and 44 children ranging in age from 1;6-6;2. The study shows that both parents and children attend to the same limited set of basic color terms, whereas produce a remarkable number and range of animal terms, with individual preschoolers naming as many as 96 different, often rare, animals.

The third paper, “Acquisition of Romani in a bilingual context” by H. Kyuchukov (St. Elizabeth University, Bratislava), presents findings from three different research studies on Romani acquiring children in a Bulgarian bilingual context: (i) acquisition of mental state verbs (MSV), (ii) Bates-MacArthur Communicative Development Inventories (CDI) in Romani and (iii) subtests from DELV (Seymour, Roeper, & de Villiers, 2005).

The fourth paper, “Switching between noun and verb agreement rules comes at a cost: cross-sectional and interventional studies in a developmental sample”, was prepared by a Belgian research group from Université Catholique de Louvain: M. Van Reybroeck, M.-A. Schelstraete, M. Hupet, A. Szmalec. The study focuses on the impact of switching context between noun and verb number agree¬ment rules in Belgian French written language production on the bases of two experiments held with children from grade 3 to 6 in either a switching condition (noun followed by verb) or a repeating condition (noun followed by noun). The authors postulate that children learn better from the switching treatment than from the simple treatment, which highlights the cost of switching between noun and verb agreement rules during the acquisition of grammatical number agreement and learning of spelling.

The fifth text, “Age and gender effects on motivation and attitudes in German learning: the Polish context” by J. E. Okuniewski (University of Warsaw), focuses on relationships among language attitudes, instrumental and cultural interests, as well as integrative, L2 self and motivated learning in the case of German L2 acquisition of Polish secondary school pupils and university students. The data were collected from 247 questionnaires (126 secondary school and 121 university students) and the results show the existence of age and gender difference in variables under consideration: older and female students had a more integra¬tive attitude than younger and male students.

The sixth and last paper of the 2nd issue, “Narrative identity of adolescents and family functioning” by A. Cierpka” (University of Warsaw), aims at exploring the relationships between adolescents’ identity self-narratives and adolescents’ evaluation of family functioning and their own role as family members. The author postulates that content-rich and positive self-narratives are associated with positive evaluation of selected aspects of family functioning and adolescents’ role within the family. She stresses the importance of expression of affection, level of emotional involvement in the family life, as well as the level of control, performance and communication of the role the adolescents play in their families.

The thirteen texts on Children’s Language and Communicative Knowledge presented in the two 2014 issues of the journal Psychology of Language and Communication (Vol. 18, No. 2 & 3) published by DeGruyter and edited and prefaced by Barbara Bokus constitute a grateful tribute to the memory of Professor Grace Wales Shugar in the first anniversary of her passing away. This tribute is paid not only by the Professor’s former Warsaw students, colleagues and long-time collaborators but also by all the researchers coming from different universities and research centers all over the world who dedicate their studies to children’s language and more specifically to children’s discourse and children’s knowledge and communicative competence, acknowledging G. W. Shugar’s valuable contribution to the field of Developmental Psycholinguistics world-wide.

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 EF740
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 Amsterdam 2014, you will remain a member of IASCL until the first day of the 2017 congress. If, however, you did not attend the last conference, and have not since renewed your membership, you can do so now. Current membership fees are £55 for regular members and £30 for students. Members are eligible for a substantial discount for volumes 1-6 of TiLAR, and for a reduced subscription fee to the following journals: the Journal of Child Language, First Language, and the International Journal of Bilingualism. Your fees will contribute to the organization of the upcoming Congress and they will be especially valuable in the provision of student travel bursaries.


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

To join IASCL, to renew your membership, or to make a donation please make your payment via Paypal, using the appropriate button at 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