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IASCL - Child Language Bulletin - Vol 36, No 1: August 2016
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Updates on the 14th International Congress for the Study of Child Language, Lyon, 17-21 July 2017

Sophie Kern & Harriet Jisa, Conference Organisers

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.

IASCL 2017 Lyon

3rd call for Symposia and Posters has been launched!

Deadline for abstracts: September 15, 2016



Facebook event page:

University of Lyon

Advances in CHILDES and Other TalkBank Databases

Brian MacWhinney, Carnegie Mellon University

It has been nearly a year since the last update on CHILDES activities. During this period, there have been many developments in terms of corpora, programs, web pages, outreach, and linkages to other initiatives. We summarize these developments here.

Linkages to Other Initiatives

CHILDES is becoming increasingly closely linked to developments in related projects. There are now five TalkBank databases funded by NIH and NSF, one funded by NEH and one funded by DK-CLARIN. These include:

  1. CHILDES (Brian MacWhinney and Nan Ratner) for the general study of child language
  2. AphasiaBank (Brian MacWhinney, Davida Fromm, Margie Forbes, and Audrey Holland) for the study of language in aphasia
  3. PhonBank (Yvan Rose and Brian MacWhinney) for the study of phonological development
  4. FluencyBank (Nan Ratner and Brian MacWhinney) for the study of the development of fluency and disfluency
  5. HomeBank (Anne Warlaumont, Mark VanDam, and Brian MacWhinney) for the study of daylong recordings using LENA in the home
  6. LangBank (Detmar Meurers, Anke Lüdeling, and Brian MacWhinney) for the learning of classical languages using online methods, and
  7. SamtaleBank (Johannes Wagner) for the study of spoken Danish

These seven funded TalkBank databases, as well as 9 additional not-yet-funded databases (ASDBank, TBIBank, RHDBank, SLABank, CABank, ClassBank, DementiaBank, GestureBank, and TutorBank) are all reachable from the homepage. All use the same transcription format (CHAT), the same online web browser methods, the same metadata publication methods (CMDI, OLAC, OAI-PMH, VLO), and the same analysis programs (CLAN) across more than 200 corpora and over 5000 transcripts. In this way, advances in the other segments of TalkBank can benefit work in CHILDES and vice versa.

To further support the creation of international standards, the TalkBank Center at CMU became the first site outside of Europe to become approved as a CLARIN-B Centre for data-sharing and a CLARIN-K Centre for the sharing of knowledge about the study of spoken language. By participating in CLARIN, TalkBank maximizes compatibility with the standards for language technology being developed by 18 countries in the EU.

Web Page Reorganization

Beginning in mid-May, we reorganized access to CHILDES corpora, documentation, and media. Instead of relying on a set of MS-Word manuals that combined many corpora into one document, we have broken out the documentation into separate HTML pages for each corpus. In the earlier system, if you wanted to know about a corpus, you would have to figure out which of 15 database manuals to download, browse through its index, and then locate the documentation for that corpus. After that, you would still have to figure out how to locate and download the transcripts and media. This made comparison across corpora slow and there was no good way to include the documentation along with the transcripts. To address this problem, we broke up the 15 database manuals into segments for each corpus and made these available as PDF files based on a series of web pages for each language. Each document page is then directly linked to the related transcripts and media. We are now in the process of converting these PDF files to HTML. These separate documentation segments are now also being automatically included in the downloadable transcripts for each corpus.

To use this system, you start by clicking on the “Index to Corpora” link at the top of the middle column on the CHILDES homepage. This then takes you to a page where you can choose your language, language group, or data type. For example, if you are searching for data on German, you click on “Germanic” and then the next page lists the 11 German corpora, along with the children’s ages, number of children, and a descriptive comment. You then click on the name of the corpus in the left column (i.e. Szagun) and read the documentation. Below that link is a link to download the corpus and a third link to the media. This system allows users to access documentation, transcripts, and media from a common web interface. Because the downloading of media can be tedious, we have provided some suggestions on how to streamline this process with either plug-ins or (preferably) wget at

This new system presents more consistent information on each corpus, along with citable ISBN and DOI numbers to help in developing recognition of corpora as scholarly products. For each contributor, we are including the relevant email address, a personal web page (if available), and a photo. This work is now complete at and By mid-August this work will be finished at, as well.


Yvan Rose and I described the new PhonBank corpora in the separate update in this issue on progress in the PhonBank project. Apart from these many PhonBank corpora, other corpora we have added to CHILDES this year include:

Grammatical Analysis

We continue development of the MOR grammatical analysis systems for 12 languages. During this period, we made improvements to MOR for Mandarin, German, English, and French. For the coming year, we hope to make improvements to the tagger for Dutch and begin one for Korean and Portuguese.

In order to facilitate quicker analysis of new transcripts, particularly in clinical settings, we have streamlined the process of creating a new %mor line by allowing POST to run automatically after MOR. We also made it easier to download and install new versions of the morphological analyzers by using the “Get MOR grammar” function in CLAN. This streamlining of morphological analysis is important, because the new KIDEVAL function relies heavily on the presence of a %mor line for grammatical and lexical analysis.


The KIDEVAL Program for English now allows a researcher or clinician to compare a transcript from a given child across over 50 measures with a database of over 3000 transcripts from the CHILDES database. The comparison compares the current transcript numerically with the mean and standard deviation of all children in the larger sample within the same 6 month age bin. For example, within the age range of 24-30 months, the comparison data set has 407 transcripts.

Once a new transcript with a %mor line has been created and checked, it takes only one simple CLAN command to create this comprehensive analysis. To facilitate the use of this system in clinical practice, we have added a function inside CLAN for direct downloading of the MOR grammar and the KIDEVAL comparison database.

Some of the measures included in KIDEVAL are MLU, MLU100, VOCD, DSS, IPSyn, MATTR (moving average type-token ratio), NDW (number of different words), and the 14 grammatical morphemes traced by Brown (1973). We also plan to add additional comparison data sets from published norms.


Although CLAN can do many things, there are other programs that do a better job for certain specific tasks. We have written a series of transformers that allow reseachers to export CHAT files into the format required by these other programs and also to reimport the results of analyses in those programs back into CHAT. We now have 8 such transducers.

  1. CHAT2ELAN. The ELAN video editor is particularly useful for the study of speech-gesture synchrony. CHAT files can be exported to ELAN and the results can be sent back to CHAT using ELAN2CHAT.
  2. SALTIN. We can convert SALT files to CHAT. However, because of ambiguities in the SALT format, the output files will still need some clean up to be in good CHAT format.
  3. PHON. Files in CHAT can be converted to their CHAT XML format and then analyzed directly by Phon. The newest verison of PHON has Praat built in, so this creates, in effect, a transducer from CHAT to Praat, as well as the ability to analyze CHAT files in Phon.
  4. ANNIS. Although CLAN has extensive facilities for certain types of search, it has not implemented some routines commonly used by corpus linguists. To allow for access to these routines, we have created a program that converts CHAT files into the format required for the ANNIS system which is available at We plan to eventually import the entire CHILDES database into ANNIS.
  5. TEXTIN. This program allows for creation of a CHAT file from a collection of sentences in a text.
  6. MS-Word. Data from MS-Word can be “imported” to CHAT through cut-and-paste.
  7. LENA. The LENA2CHAT program converts LENA .its files into CHAT format for inclusion in HomeBank.

Recent Advances in PhonBank

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

Over the last six months, we have added many corpora to PhonBank, worked on enriching existing corpora with additional (MOR and GRA) annotations, and tightened up phonological definitions to improve both data analysis and data conversion between the CHAT and the PHON formats. In parallel, we began our development of automated analytic functions in PHON, with a special focus on the types of analyses that are routinely used in clinical phonology.

We begin with a summary of work on the database. Below we summarize improvements to PHON, and offer an outlook on our development plan for the next period.

Once more, we wish to thank the many people involved in the publication of these corpora. We also look forward to working with additional members of our community toward the release of additional corpora.

Over the past months, we began working on improvements to data access. As a part of that process, we established a direct link to PhonBank at, which will serve as a basis for further expansion, for example to incorporate links to teaching resources and compatible software. Below are the relevant links.

PhonBank database and relates resources:

Browsable database:

Corpus information and download:

In the area of software development, we are now readying version 2.2 of Phon for release. With this version, we will introduce a new graphical user interface to design and automate phonological analyses and acoustic measurements. Coming with this new system is a large set of independent and relational analyses standardly used in the area of phonological disorders, many of which were available as part of the (now deprecated) PROPH+ software program. We implemented these analyses with with the permission of Steven Long, the former developer of PROPH+, and in collaboration with Sharynne McLeod and Sarah Masso.

After this initial release of our Analysis system, we will continue to work with members of our community to add more analyses. We encourage everyone to get in touch with us, through the PhonBank mailing list, in case you have feedback on current analyses or would like specific ones to be added to this set. In case you are not registered to our mailing list, here’s a useful link:

Subscribing to the PhonBank mailing list:

To top off these exciting developments, we are happy to announce that the NIH has extended its funding for PhonBank for another five years. We look forward to more technological advances with Phon as well as more PhonBank data from additional languages and learning situations throughout this next period.

Brian MacWhinney, Carnegie Mellon Universityy

There were some problems with the domain registration of the website which was the official site for IASCL (the International Association for the Study of Child Language). To make a long story short, we were forced to give up the domain and move all the materials to It is possible that this change may be permanent. So, please update your links to this new URL.

Obituary: Nini Hoiting (December 20, 1944 – March 22, 2016)

Dan Slobin, University of California, Berkeley

With deep sadness I report that my dear life-partner and research colleague, Nini Hoiting, passed away at the age of 71 after a long and debilitating illness. Nini spent most of her life in Groningen, in the Netherlands, sharing her time with Berkeley in the past 25 years. From 1983 to her retirement in 2009 she was a clinical researcher and sign language psycholinguist at The Royal Institute for the Deaf “H. D. Guyot” (now Koninklijke Kentalis); from 1998 to 2001 she was also a Visiting Scholar at the Institute of Human Development, University of California, Berkeley.

Nini was an early advocate for the recognition of sign language and its use in child-rearing and education. In the 1980s she worked with innovative programs to teach sign language to hearing parents of deaf children. The practice in those years was to encourage parents to speak Dutch and sign at the same time (Sign-Supported Dutch, NmG). In her clinical work, Nini made regular home visits to videotape parent-child interactions; the same children were observed and videotaped in preschool activities. She created a version of the MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventory (MCDI) for Sign Language of the Netherlands and tracked vocabulary growth and communicative advances in the children, in comparison to deaf children with deaf parents. By the 1990s it became clear to her and her colleagues that Sign-Supported Dutch was not a fully adequate medium of communication, and new programs were instituted using a full, natural sign language without speech support (Sign Language of the Netherlands, NGT). She was a strong advocate of bilingual programs for the deaf, and was proud of having created a “Kijkbibliotheek”—a visual library of signed stories that hearing parents could view with their deaf children. Nini had an earlier career in theater, as an actor on stage and screen and as a theater director. She drew on these talents to select and train skilled deaf storytellers for the project. Parents were given the Dutch storybooks on which the signed stories were based, aiding early development of Dutch literacy.

The clinical work produced a unique archive of videotaped data of early signing, along with vocabulary checklists. More than 30 children were followed regularly in the first three or four years of life. This is the first large-scale documentation of language development of Dutch deaf children. These materials have all been digitized by the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen, and are being prepared for a national Dutch sign language archive under the direction of Dr. Onno Crasborn, Radboud University, Nijmegen. The data formed the basis of developmental psycholinguistic research, supported by the National Science Foundation and the Max Planck Institute. The findings are presented in Hoiting’s 2009 PhD dissertation and a series of published papers, many with Slobin as co-author. (A pdf of her dissertation can be obtained from Dan Slobin: Hoiting and Slobin also supervised a cohort of graduate students at Berkeley. This group created the Berkeley Transcription System (BTS), designed to transcribe sign languages at the level of meaning components rather than descriptive glosses and articulatory annotation (http://childes.psy Hoiting and Slobin argued that the typology of sign languages—essentially head-marking and thereby different from the dependent-marking languages of the surrounding spoken languages—required a distinct sort of morphological and syntactic analysis. A consequence for acquisition is that children are, in Hoiting’s terms, “verb-attenders” rather than “noun-attenders.”

In her dissertation, The myth of simplicity: Sign Language Acquisition by Dutch Deaf Toddlers (University of Groningen, 2009), Hoiting demonstrated that hearing parents can successfully learn some version of sign language, contributing to early vocabulary growth in their deaf children. However, only the use of a natural sign language such as Sign Language of the Netherlands (NGT), rather than a sign system based on simultaneous speaking (NmG), has the potential to foster acquisition of vocabulary and morphological complexity that approaches the achievements of deaf children with deaf parents. From the side of child-directed signing, parents trained in a full sign language produced more complex and more interpretable utterances, facilitating their children’s acquisition. With the rise of cochlear implants, Hoiting still argued strongly for early bilingualism.

She was beginning to investigate the tactile manual communication of the deaf-blind, with whom she could communicate, when her progressive illness intervened. She was also much concerned with what she called “the gesture-sign continuum,” and was beginning to compare gestures of deaf and hearing toddlers.

Nini had a passion for research and took delight in language—from linguistics, to poetry, to medieval languages and literatures. She was comfortably at home with deaf colleagues and friends, and could work well with developmentally delayed and autistic deaf children. She delighted in travel, where she could engage her lifelong involvement with history, art, anthropology. And she loved the challenge of going to Groningen’s ample fish market and creating a tantalizing new meal from fresh catch from the North Sea. Nini Hoiting is remembered as a beautiful independent spirit, a devoted scholar, researcher and clinician—and a splendid human being.

Contributions in her memory can be made to Doofgewoon (“Normal Deaf”), which carries on work to which Nini was dedicated. The site is being developed; please check -ons. Contributions will support activities to inform Dutch parents of deaf children about bilingualism, deaf culture, and sign language.

Cross-linguistic Lexical Tasks (CLTs): New Tools in 23 Languages for Vocabulary Assessment in Bilingual and Monolingual Children

Magdalena Łuniewska, University of Warsaw & Ewa Haman, University of Warsaw

Cross Linguistic Lexical Tasks

We are very pleased to announce a website presenting new cross-linguistic tools for vocabulary assessment in bilingual and monolingual children:

CLTs are picture-choice and picture naming tasks and comprise four parts: comprehension and production of nouns and verbs. For cross-linguistic comparison CLTs are not translated, but constructed for each language separately, according to a set of common rules based on each word’s age of acquisition (AoA), phonological and grammatical complexity and semantics. The tasks were designed within COST IS0804 networking programme as a possible solution for need of comparable assessment of vocabulary in both languages of bilingual children (Haman, Łuniewska & Pomiechowska, 2015).

CLTs are available already in 23 languages (Afrikaans, Lebanese Arabic, Catalan, Czech, British English, South African English, Finnish, German, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, isiXhosa, Lithuanian, Luxembourgish, Maltese, Norwegian, Polish, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish). All language versions are available in a traditional paper format (printed out from pptx files) and 5 language versions are also available in electronic format (touch screen is needed). Two other versions – American English and Malay – are under construction and will be accessible soon. The number of existing CLTs versions makes it possible to measure both languages of bilingual children in over 250 language pairs.

CLTs are not normed yet, but may be used in research on both monolingual and bilingual children. As CLTs were constructed according to the same rules in all languages, it is possible to compare a child’s vocabulary in her both languages directly. So far, CLTs have been used in research on monolingual children aged 3 to 7 years in 17 languages, and in various groups of bilingual children: e.g. Swedish-Turkish, Swedish-Arabic, Swedish-Russian, Polish-Norwegian, Polish-English, Maltese-English.

Researchers might also be interested in exploring subjective age of acquisition (AoA) database that was created for the purposes of CLT design. It includes ratings for 299 words (nouns and verbs) in 25 languages (Łuniewska et al., 2015) and is available from Behavior Research Methods’ website.

The method of designing CLTs was established in European networking programme entitled "Language Impairment in a Multilingual Society: Linguistic Patterns and the Road to Assessment" funded by European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST, IS0804; see:

We will be updating the information on new CLT versions or research at the website. We invite feedback, comments and suggestions from researchers who use or would like to use CLTs in their work.

We are happy to share CLTs with the research community for scientific purposes for free.

Please note that CLTs are not yet diagnostic tools.

Please email, or contact Ewa Haman ( or Magdalena Łuniewska ( directly.


Haman, E., Łuniewska, M., Pomiechowska, B. (2015). Designing Cross-linguistic Lexical Tasks (CLTs) for bilingual preschool children. In: S. Armon-Lotem, J. de Jong, N. Meir (eds.). Methods for Assessing Multilingual Children: Disentangling Bilingualism from Language Impairment (pp. 196-240). Bristol: Multilingual Matters.

Łuniewska, M., Haman, E., Armon-Lotem, S., Etenkowski, B., Southwood, F., Anđelković, D., Blom, E., Boerma, T., Chiat, S., Engel de Abreu, P., Gagarina, N., Gavarró, A., Håkansson, G., Hickey, T., Jensen de López, K., Marinis, T.,Popović, M., Thordardottir, E., Blažienė, A., Cantú Sánchez, M., Dabašinskienė, I., Ege, P., Ehret, I-A., Fritsche N-A., Gatt, D., Janssen, B., Kambanaros, M., Kapalková, S., Kronqvist, B., Kunnari, S., Levorato, C., Nenonen, O., Nic Fhlannchadha, S., O’Toole, C., Polišenská, K., Pomiechowska, B., Ringblom, N., Rinker, T., Roch, M., Savić, M., Slančová, D., Tsimpli, I.M., Ünal-Logacev, Ö. (2015). Ratings of age of acquisition of 299 words across 25 languages: Is there a cross-linguistic order of words? Behavior Research Methods, first view, 1-26. DOI: 10.3758/s13428-015-0636-6.

The 1st Annual Conference on Child Language Acquisition Research in Alberta (CLARA)

Johanne Paradis, University of Alberta

November 24-26, 2016, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada

Keynote speaker presentations:


The University of Lethbridge is proud to host the 1st Annual Conference on Child Language Acquisition in Alberta (CLARA) on November 24-26, 2016. This inaugural conference will serve to enhance the existing research network in Alberta in the area of child language acquisition, as well as to promote an extended research exchange and collaboration on a national and international scale.

One unique feature of our conference is its strong community focus. To engage with the community, we will offer a combination of interactive formats, including keynote addresses, “lightning talks”, workshops, roundtable discussions, and a poster session. “Lightning talks” is to take place on the Friday evening, November 25th, featuring aseries of concise talks aiming to deliver important messages to the general public. Each speaker will have 5 minutes of 10 auto-advanced slides to keep the level of interest up. The round table session consists of invited speakers with research expertisecovering theoretical, pedagogical, and clinical aspects of children’s first and second language acquisition. The lightning talks and poster sessions are open to submissions from all scholars and practitioners, and students are emphatically invited to submit proposals.

After the conference, the information we gather from the keynote lectures, lightning talks, roundtable discussion, poster session and 13 workshops will be distributed among the community members, such as school teachers, parents, and clinicians, through pamphlets and/or a Facebook page. The conference is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Counsel, the University of Lethbridge,and the Hotchkiss Speaker fund.

We now invite submissions for lightning talks and posters on all areas of child language acquisition, including but not limited to:

(Graduate) students are especially encouraged to submit. Student poster awards up to $300 will be available for competition.

Abstract submission:Abstract should be submitted electronically at Abstract should not exceed 300 words, excluding title and references. Please indicate whether you area student or not at the end of the abstract. All students will be automatically considered for the poster award competition.

Deadline: Sunday, October 16, 2016

Notification of acceptance: Friday, October 21, 2016

Chair: Fangfang Li (Psychology), Email:

Co-chairs: Robbin Gibb (Neuroscience), Claudia Gonzalez (Kinesiology), Inge Genee (Modern Languages), and Noella Piquette (Education).

External co-chair: Karen Pollock (Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Alberta)

Conference contact email:

GAL Research School: Elicitation Methods in Multilingualism Research

Verena Wecker, University of Münster

GAL Research School

08.03.2017 – 10.03.2017

Applied multilingualism research comprises topics such as first, second and foreign language acquisition, language attitudes, or language biographies. There are various approaches to data collection in this field of study (cf. Settinieri et al. 2004, Brown 2004) among which elicitation methods play a central role. In this methodological framework, study participants are explicitly asked to produce data. Depending on how strong the researcher's influence is, the data can be characterised as natural or experimental to varying degrees (cf. Chaudron 2005).

Observation and experiments can be conceived of as the two opposite extremes of a continuum. Depending on the extent of monitoring by the researcher, elicitation methods can be closer to the pole of (nearly) uncontrolled observation or closer to the pole of highly controlled experimental methods. Elicited data always have to be distinguished from naturally occurring or spontaneous data; however, they also include experimental data.

The GAL research school aims at introducing junior researchers who have just started their research projects to a wide range of elicitation methods. Participants will be able to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of observation and experimental elicitation methods. Moreover, the following methodological issues can be debated as well:

For different levels of linguistic analysis (phonetics/phonology, morphology, lexis, syntax, dis-course, cognitive capabilities), there will be a plenary with a subsequent workshop in which two junior researchers have the opportunity to give a 20 minute talk about their projects and discuss methodological questions. All other projects can be presented in a poster session. Moreover, there will be three additional plenary talks and a panel discussion. You can find the detailed programme on the research school's webpage: GALresearchschool/

Brown, James D. (2004): Research methods for applied linguistics: scope, characteristics, and standards. In: A. Davies, Alan & Elder, Catherine (Eds.): The Handbook of Applied Linguistics. Oxford: Blackwell, 476-500.

Chaudron, Craig (2005): Data collection in SLA research. In: Doughty, Catherin J. & Long, Michael H. (Eds.): The Handbook of Second Language Acquisition. Oxford: Blackwell, 762-828.

Settinieri, Julia; Demirkaya, Sevilen; Feldmeier, Alexis; Gültekin-Karakoç, Nazan & Riemer, Claudia (Eds.) (2014): Empirische Forschungsmethoden für Deutsch als Fremd- und Zweitsprache. Eine Einführung. Paderborn: Schöningh.


For your application, please submit an abstract of approx. 500 words (including references) by using the conference tool you find on our webpage Please specify the following aspects:

The research school is explicitly aimed at junior researchers who have just started their research projects (PhD or post-doc). A presentation of results is therefore not expected. The organisers will decide which projects will be presented in a workshop or in the poster session.

Abstract submission is open from the 15th of July until the 15th of October 2016. You will be notified by the 5th of December 2016.

There will be a general conference fee of 20 Euros and an additional fee of 10 Euros for coffee breaks. Conference languages are German and English.

Organisers: Anja Binanzer, Katharina König, Verena Wecker (WWU Münster)

Special Collection in Linguistics Vanguard, Language Acquisition Area

Christine Dimroth & Bhuvana Narasimhan, Area Editors for Language Acquisition

You are invited to submit a short paper (3000- 4000 words) on the theme of "Information Structure in First and Second Language Acquisition" by November 15, 2016.

The linguistic expression of information structure, i.e., the formal reflexes of an utterance's discourse integration, has recently received considerable attention in the study of first as well as second language acquisition. The primary dimensions of information structure often addressed in the acquisition literature include ‘givenness’ (maintained vs. new information) and ‘aboutness’ (topic vs. comment), as well as emphasis and highlighting (e.g., contrastive topic, focus and their interaction with focus sensitive operators of different types). Some of the core questions that are addressed in this area include the following: Do first and second language learners adapt their utterances to their hearer's informational needs from early on? When do language learners home in on language-specific preferences for information selection and distribution in stretches of discourse? Can adult L2 learners ever become native-like in this respect? Do language learners express the same kinds of information structure relations as adult native speakers using the same devices?

Submissions, due 15 November 2016, should investigate the acquisition of different linguistic phenomena (e.g., intonation, scope particles, the form of referring expressions, word order, etc.) from an information structure perspective. Linguistics Vanguard is an online, multi-modal journal and authors are encouraged to include interactive content, such as audio, video, software, raw data, etc. Note: Please include in the cover letter that you wish your paper to be considered for the "Special Collection on The acquisition of information structure" edited by Christine Dimroth and Bhuvana Narasimhan.

Because the journal is online-only, special collections are "virtual collections" linked by shared keywords. Details about the journal can be found at All authors may post a pdf on their personal website a year after publication.

We aim to publish the papers in the collection, along with an introduction, in early 2017. Questions can be directed to the Area Editors for Language Acquisition, Christine Dimroth ( and Bhuvana Narasimhan (

Meta-analyses on Infant Distributional and Phonotactic Learning: Looking for Unpublished Data

Alejandrina Cristia, CNRS, Laboratoire de Sciences Cognitives et Psycholinguistique

I have carried out meta-analyses of near-replications of two influential studies, one on infant distributional learning (Maye, Werker, & Gerken, 2002), the other on infant phonotactic learning (Chambers, Onishi & Fisher, 2003), so far mostly on the basis of public reports on journals and proceedings. If you have carried out a study following this literature that has not been considered (see links below for the full list), or if you have information that would be relevant to one of these meta-analyses, please consider getting in touch with me ( or filling in an anonymous questionnaire, which should take less than 5 minutes.

Infant distributional learning

Infant phonotactic learning

I thank you in advance for your time and invite you to visit the OSF project on for further information. I also take advantage of this opportunity to encourage you to sign up for the Cog Sci workshop on meta-analyses, and to visit, a meta-analysis repository currently specialized on early language development.


Forthcoming Conferences and Workshops

What: The 10th International Conference on Multilingualism and Third Language Acquisition
When: 1–3 Sep 2016
Where: University of Vienna, Austria

What: The 48th Annual Meeting of the British Association for Applied Linguistics (BAAL 2015)
When: 1–3 Sep 2016
Where: Anglia Ruskin University, United Kingdom

What: The 22nd Conference of Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing (AMLaP 2016)
When: 1-3 Sep 2016
Where: Bibao, Spain

What: The VIIIth International Conference of Language Acquisition
When: 7-9 Sep 2016
Where: Palma de Mallorca, Spain

What: The 7th Generative Approaches to Language Acquisition North America Conference (GALANA-7)
When: 8-10 Sep 2016
Where: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA

What: The British Psychological Society Developmental Section Annual Conference 2016
When: 14-16 Sep 2016
Where: Belfast, United Kingdom

What: Τhe 16th Biennial Conference of the European Association for Research on Adolescence (EARA)
When: 16-19 Sep 2016
Where: Andalusia, Spain

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

What: The 35th Second Language Research Forum (SLRF2016)
When: 22-25 Sep 2016
Where: Columbia University, USA

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

What: 2016 UIC Bilingualism Forum
When: 20-21 Oct 2016
Where: Chicago, USA

What: Society for Language Development (SLD) Annual Symposium
When: 3 Nov 2016
Where: Boston, USA

What: The 6th International Conference Applied Linguistics and Professional Practice (ALAPP)
When: 3-5 Nov 2016
Where: University of Copenhagen, Denmark

What: The 41st Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (BUCLD-41)
When: 4-6 Nov 2016
Where: Boston University, USA

What: The 2016 ASHA Convention
When: 17-19 Nov 2016
Where: Philadelphia, USA

What: The 91st Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America (LSA 2017)
When: 5-8 Jan 2017
Where: Austin, USA

What: The 38th Annual Conference of the German Linguistic Society (DGfS 2017)
When: 8-10 Mar 2017
Where: Saarbrücken, Germany

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

Conference and Workshop Calls

What: The 1st Annual Conference on Child Language Acquisition Research in Alberta (CLARA)
When: 24-26 Nov 2016
Where: Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
Submission Deadline: 16 Oct 2016

What: 2017 Budapest CEU Conference on Cognitive Development (BCCCD17)
When: 5-7 Jan 2017
Where: Budapest, Hungary
Submission Deadline: 11 Sep 2016

What: ICFLTAL 2017: International Conference on Foreign Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics
When: 19-20 Jan 2017
Where: London, United Kingdom
Submission Deadline: 31 Aug 2016

What: GAL Research School “Elicitation Methods in Multilingualism Research”
When: 8-10 Mar 2017
Where: Münster, Germany
Details: sprachdidaktik/ GALresearchschool/
Submission Deadline: 15 Oct 2016

What: 30th Annual CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing
When: 30 Mar – 1 Apr 2017
Where: Cambridge, MA, USA
Submission Deadline: 12 Dec 2016

What: The Asian Conference on Language Learning 2017 (ACLL 2017)
When: 11-14 May 2017
Where: Kobe, Japan
Submission Deadline: 28 Dec 2016

What: The 11th International Workshop on Theoretical East Asian Linguistics (TEAL-11)
When: 3-4 Jun 2017
Where: Taipei, Taiwan
Submission Deadline: 25 Dec 2016

What: International Symposium on Bilingualism (ISB11)
When: 11-15 Jun 2017
Where: Limerick, Ireland
Submission Deadline: 31 Oct 2016

What: Experimental Psycholinguistics Conference (Workshop on Specific Language Impairment, Workshop on Syntax Processing)
When: 28-30 Jun 2017
Where: Menorca (Balearic Islands), Spain
Submission Deadline: 1 Dec 2016

What: The 14th International Cognitive Linguistics Conference (ICLC-14) (Theme session on Beyond frequency: cognitive factors in children’s acquisition of morphosyntax)
When: 10-14 Jul 2017
Where: Tartu, Estonia
Submission Deadline: 9 Sep 2016 (for the theme session specified above), 15 Sep 2016 (other theme sessions), 1 Nov 2016 (general and poster session)

What: The 14th International Congress for the Study of Child Language (IASCL 2017)
When: 17-21 Jul 2017
Where: Lyon, France
Submission Deadline: 15 Sep 2016

What: International Symposium on Monolingual and Bilingual Speech
When: 4-7 Sep 2017
Where: Chania, Crete, Greece
Submission Deadline: 10 Feb 2017

Book Announcements

Editors: Anne Baker, Beppie van den Bogaerde, Roland Pfau and Trude Schermer
Title: The Linguistics of Sign Languages
Publisher: John Benjamins
ISBN: 978-9-027-21230-6 (HBK), 978-9-027-21231-3 (Paperback), 978-9-027-26734-4 (e-Book)

The Linguistics of Sign Language

How different are sign languages across the world? Are individual signs and signed sentences constructed in the same way across these languages? What are the rules for having a conversation in a sign language? How do children and adults learn a sign language? How are sign languages processed in the brain? These questions and many more are addressed in this introductory book on sign linguistics using examples from more than thirty different sign languages. Comparisons are also made with spoken languages.

This book can be used as a self-study book or as a text book for students of sign linguistics. Each chapter concludes with a summary, some test-yourself questions and assignments, as well as a list of recommended texts for further reading.

The book is accompanied by a website containing assignments, video clips and links to web resources.

More information:

Authors: Morten H. Christiansen and Nick Chater
Title: Creating Language: Integrating Evolution, Acquisition, and Processing
Foreword: Peter W. Culicover
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 978-0-262-03431-9 (hardcover) 978-0-262-33476-1 (e-book)

Creating Language

Language is a hallmark of the human species; the flexibility and unbounded expressivity of our linguistic abilities is unique in the biological world. In this book, Morten Christiansen and Nick Chater argue that to understand this astonishing phenomenon, we must consider how language is created: moment by moment, in the generation and understanding of individual utterances; year by year, as new language learners acquire language skills; and generation by generation, as languages change, split, and fuse through the processes of cultural evolution. Christiansen and Chater propose a revolutionary new framework for understanding the evolution, acquisition, and processing of language, offering an integrated theory of how language creation is intertwined across these multiple timescales.

Endorsements include:

“This book is unique in its attempt to take a usage- based and unified approach to the sciences of language: its evolution, historical change, processing, and acquisition. It covers an extraordinarily wide range of relevant and up-to-date literature from which it builds an important theoretical approach. It provides the foundation for asking all the fundamental questions in language research.” — Elena Lieven, Professor, ESRC LuCiD Child Study Centre, University of Manchester

“Our understanding of language—its evolution, acquisition, and processing—is undergoing a seismic shift and this engaging, ambitious book clarifies and motivates the new exciting landscape.” — Adele E. Goldberg, Professor of Psychology, Princeton University

“Creating Language presents a compelling account of how acquisition and processing mutually constrain one another in shaping both linguistic performance and the nature of language. Then, to top it off, they fearlessly touch the linguistic third rail, language evolution, and the time scales shift from milliseconds and months, to millennia.” — Gary S. Dell, Professor of Psychology, University of Illinois, Urbana- Champaign

More information: https://

Author: Eve Clark
Title: First Language Acquisition (third edition)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 978-1-316-50760-5 (Paperback)

First Language Acaquisition

How do young children learn language? When does this process start? What does language acquisition involve? Children are exposed to language from birth, surrounded by knowledgeable speakers who offer feedback and provide extensive practice every day. Through conversation and joint activities, children master the language being used around them. This fully revised third edition of Eve V. Clark's bestselling textbook offers comprehensive coverage of language acquisition, from a baby's first sounds to a child's increasing skill in negotiating, explaining and entertaining with language. This book, drawing together the most recent findings in the field, and illustrated with examples from a wide range of experimental and observational studies, including the author's own diary observations, presents an essential and comprehensive guide to first language acquisition. It will be fascinating reading for students of linguistics, developmental psychology, and cognitive science.

“This is the textbook I’ve been looking for: an authoritative, beautifully written survey of the field written by one of the world’s leading experts.” ––Susan A. Gelman, Heinz Werner Distinguished University Professor, Unviersity of Michigan

More information:

Editors: Paul Fletcher, Martin J. Ball and David Crystal
Title: Profiling Grammar: More languages of LARSP
Publisher: Multingual Matters
ISBN: 978-1-78309-486-8 (HBK)

Profiling Grammar

The clue is in the title. In this volume, as well as its companion published four years ago, the ultimate goal of every chapter – each on a different language – is to capture the significant features of pre-school children’s grammatical development and portray them on a single page.

The model for the grammatical profiles of the various languages featured in the book is a profile for English developed over three decades ago at the University of Reading. This was given the acronym LARSP, standing for Language Assessment, Remediation and Screening Procedure. Subsequent extensions to other languages have echoed this in the labels given to the new profiles – HARSP for Hebrew, HU-LARSP for Hungarian and ILARSP for Irish, for example.

As the original acronym indicates, the summaries of grammatical development outlined in a profile are intended to have a practical application. They serve as templates against which the progress of children suspected of language delay or impairment can be evaluated. (They have also been used to assess the grammar of adult aphasics, as is the case for the chapter on Bulgarian in this book). Profiles also provide a pathway for intervention if deficits are identified. They are designed primarily for use by speech and language therapists.

The twelve new profiles in this volume, covering languages of Africa (Afrikaans), India (Hindi and Kannada), Malaysia (Malay) and the Far East (Cantonese, Japanese, Korean), as well as Europe (Bulgarian, Finnish, Greek, Hungarian, Swedish), augment the twelve featured in a companion volume published in 2012. Each chapter, (aside from the one on Bulgarian, which applies its profile to aphasic language) , provides a grammatical sketch of the language, a discursive account of grammatical development in typically developing children, a description of the profile, and in most cases the application of the profile to the language of a child with impairment. The languages featured are typologically various, and it will be fascinating for readers to see how authors come to terms with the issues posed by the grammatical characteristics of their language, within the constraints of the profile approach.

A third volume is in preparation.

More information:

Editors: Fred Genesee and Audrey Delcenserie
Title: Starting Over: The Language Development in Internationally-Adopted Children
Series Title: Trends in Language Acquisition Research
Publisher: John Benjamins
ISBN: 978-9-027-24408-6 (hardbound) 978-9-027-26729-0 (e-book)

Starting Over

Internationally-adopted children are a unique population of language learners. They discontinue acquisition of their birth language when they are adopted by families that speak other languages. Their unique language learning history raises important practical, clinical and theoretical issues. Practically speaking: what is the typical language learning trajectory of these children after adoption and what factors affect their language learning: age at adoption, country of origin, quality and nature of the pre-adoption learning environment, and others. They also raise important theoretical questions: How resilient is their socio-emotional, cognitive and language development following adoption? Does their language development resemble that of first or second language learners, or something else? Do they experience total attrition of their birth language? Are there neuro-cognitive traces of the birth language after adoption and what neuro-cognitive processes underlie acquisition and processing of the adopted language; are they the same as those of monolingual native speakers or those of early second language learners? And, how do we interpret differences, if any, between adopted and non-adoptive children? Chapters in this volume by leading researchers review research and provide insights on these issues.

More information:

Author: Ulla Licandro
Title: Narrative Skills of Dual Language Learners. Acquisition and Peer-Assisted Support in Early Childhood Education and Care
Publisher: Springer VS
ISBN: 978-3-658-14672-6 (paperback) 978-3-658-14673-3 (e-book)

Narrative Skills

This book follows the premise that fictional narratives represent socio-emotionally and academically relevant communicative practices. Besides discussing the developmental continuum of early narrative skills, including the collection and analysis of dual language learners’ (DLLs) narratives, as well as reviewing the role of peers in language acquisition, two studies are presented. They are aiming to (1) analyze the narrative skills of preschool-age Turkish-German DLLs and (2) explore a peer-assisted approach to supporting DLLs’ narrative skills in early childhood education and care. The findings relate to the influence of dual language learning on narrative production and provide emerging evidence for the effectiveness of a peer-assisted narrative intervention approach.

More information:<

Editor: Ulrike M. Lüdtke
Title: Emotion in Language: Theory – Research – Application
Publisher: John Benjamins
ISBN: 978-9-027-24160-3(hardbound) 978-9-027-26765-8(e-book)

Emotion in Language

The miracle of children's language development and the joy of expressive language on the one hand and the vulnerability of language and the sorrow and grief caused by its distortion or even loss in people with aphasia or dementia on the other hand show us the inseparability of emotion and language in its extremes.

Although the ‘emotional turn’ promised a paradigmatic shift from a rationalistic towards an emotion-integrating conceptualization of language, hardly any interdisciplinary research has focused on the interplay between emotion and language. The present book covers the wide range of work on Emotion in Language with contributions from numerous disciplines in the three areas of Theory, Research, and Application. With contributions both from well-known pioneers in the area of this topic as well as from young scientists, the book offers a broad range of perspectives from linguistics and language development to neurology, psychology and developmental neuropsychology and to the fields of philosophy and phenomenology.

More information:

Author: Marilyn Nippold
Title: Later Language Development: School-Age Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults (4th edition)
Publisher: Pro-Ed
ISBN: 978-1-416-41014-0

Later Language Development

Now in its fourth edition and with extensive updated research, Later Language Development addresses the development of spoken and written language from Kindergarten through early adulthood. The information in this text is aligned to the Common Core State Standards and describes the critical connection between language development and school success. This is an essential reference for undergraduate and graduate students in Communication Disorders and Sciences, as well as professional SLPs. Students and professionals in regular education and special education also benefit from this text.

New to this edition:

Later Language Development provides the foundation for school success. It is essential reading for anyone who works with students in K-12 and beyond.

More information: 7694&sSearchWord=

Thesis Announcements

Author: Sara Ciesielski
Title: Language Development and Socialisation in Sherpa
Institution: University of Melbourne

This thesis is a longitudinal, ethnographic study of child language acquisition and socialisation in Sherpa, a Tibeto-Burman language of north-eastern Nepal. The study draws on naturalistic video data collected over two years, focusing on the use of directives to and by six children who were aged 2;1 to 4;9 at study outset. Results show that the speech of Sherpa caregivers and their children have distinctive directive profiles. The findings have implications in the areas of language socialisation and pragmatic development.

Author: Iván Enríquez Martínez
Title: La adquisición de construcciones complejas: de la interacción a la gramática
Institution: University of Santiago de Compostela

In La adquisición de construcciones complejas: de la interacción a la gramática, we present a research focused on the origin and the early development of some advanced syntactic structures that we can found in Spanish, in particular, constructions in which connectives such as pero, porque, pues and si appear. The issue of the emergence of syntactic complexity in child language has been neglected in the literature of first language acquisition, especially, concerning the Spanish domain. Nevertheless, this is a significant subject due to its theoretical and applied implications. For the purpose of filling this gap, we have developed a longitudinal and descriptive study based on the analysis of naturally occurring spontaneous conversations. Our aim is to discover what are the values and main functions of these particles as well as to know how the constructions that we found in the productions of children aged from 2;00 to 4;00 years evolve.

To achieve this goal, we have designed a sample in which ten children —five boys and five girls— are involved. These participants belong to Koiné Corpus, which includes naturally occurring interactions among 71 young children from Galician. We analysed more than 10.000 utterances in which we have tracked the connectives that have been mentioned previously. As next step, we have carried out an analysis in which qualitative and quantitative techniques were combined. Thus, we have identified developmental trends, processes and distinctive features linked to the different semantic and pragmatic values that are associated with each connector. Besides, they illustrate the roles that conversational context and the adults who participate in the interactions have in the development of syntactic structures. Finally, all these features have allowed us to provide descriptive data concerning the emergence of complex syntactic constructions in Spanish by proposing a developmental order of connectives as well as identifying the specific processes through which adversative, causal, conditional and consecutive constructions develop.

Permanent link:

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