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IASCL - Child Language Bulletin - Vol 36, No 2: December 2016
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Updates on the 14th International Congress for the Study of Child Language, Lyon, 17-21 July 2017

Sophie Kern, Conference Organiser

On behalf of the organizing committee, we are pleased to announce the 14th IASCL congress to be held in Lyon, France from July 17 to 21, 2017.

IASCL 2017 Lyon

The special emphasis topic of the meeting is on "First language acquisition in a lifespan perspective". This year‘s invited speakers are Marc Bornstein, Gina Conti-Ramsden, Monika Schmid, Sharon Peperkamp and Asli Ozyurek. Tutorials, memorial lectures, presentations, poster contest, symposia and social event dedicated to young researchers will be provided during the week. We hope you will have an opportunity to exchange knowledge and set up new scientific relationships.

More than 550 abstracts have been submitted and results will be known by the end of the year.

Registration website will open on January 15 until June 15 and early-bird discount is available until March 15. Some tutorials have limited space so don’t forget to register early!

For latest news, please visit our website ( or follow us on Facebook (IASCL 2017).

We look forward to meeting you in Lyon in July 2017.

COST Action: Understanding Interventions for Children with Language Impairment Across Europe and Beyond

Cristina McKean, Newcastle University; James Law, Newcastle University; Elin Thordardottir, McGill University; David Saldaña, University of Seville; Carol-Anne Murphy, University of Limerick; Ellen Gerrits, Utrecht University & Seyhun Topbas, Istabul Medipol University

April 2015 saw the launch of a European COST Action led by Professor James Law, from Newcastle University.

The action is entitled “Enhancing children's oral language skills across Europe and beyond: a collaboration focusing on interventions for children with difficulties learning their first language”. uk/costis1406/.

This international network brings together researchers and practitioners to share knowledge, develop skills and promote collaborations in the field of interventions for children with Language Impairment (LI). We aim to enhance the science, improve the effectiveness of services and develop a sustainable network of researchers in the field.

LI affects 5.8 million children and young people (0-18 years) across Europe. There is evidence for the efficacy and effectiveness of intervention to improve the language skills of these children but this information is not well disseminated and services are inconsistent across Europe. Since its launch the Action has grown to include more than 36 countries: a clear testament to the recognition of the needs of children with LI and the appetite to create positive change.

The action has three working groups that seek to understand evidence and practice with respect to:

  1. The Linguistic and Psychological Underpinnings of Interventions for Language Impairment
  2. The Delivery of Interventions for Children with Language Impairment
  3. The Social and Cultural Context of Intervention for Children with Language Impairment

A survey of intervention practice

In order to achieve our aims, we will be completing a survey of intervention practice, contacting the professional groups who deliver and oversee interventions in all of our member countries to ask them to complete the survey. We believe this will be the largest and most diverse survey of intervention practice for children with LI completed to date.

We are currently developing the survey that will be translated and piloted across all the relevant countries in the first quarter of 2017 before being rolled out across the COST member countries until September 2017.

To make this study a success we will need to encourage as many practitioners as possible to complete the survey. The COST representatives in each country will be contacting the relevant organisations over the coming months.

We ask the IASCL research community to please look out for calls for support over the coming year as we may need to call on people’s networks and contacts to achieve the high levels of response required to make this survey a success.

Please visit our webpages for more details of the wider COST Action activities, updates on our progress and let us know if you would like to become more involved in the Action’s work.

We look forward to presenting our findings to the 15th International Congress for the Study of Child Language – wherever that may be and to discussing our progress in Lyon 2017.

Updates on the Journal First Language

Chloë Marshall, University College London

Kevin Durkin is stepping down as Editor-in-Chief of First Language after more than 30 years at the helm. The new Editor-in-Chief, from 1st January 2017, will be Chloe Marshall (UCL Institute of Education), who has been one of the journal's Associate Editors since 2012. First Language is in a very strong position, with an impact factor that puts it firmly in the first quartile of linguistics journals and with a healthy submission rate. Chloe will be supported by an excellent team of Associate Editors: Yasuhiro Shirai (University of Pittsburgh), Ludovica Serratrice (University of Reading), Evan Kidd (Australian NationalUniversity), Virginia Mueller Gathercole (Florida International University), Judith Rispens (University of Amsterdam), Kirsten Abbott-Smith (University of Kent), Rosalind Thornton (Macquarie University), Katherine White (University of Waterloo) and Anita Wong (University of Hong Kong). The journal will continue to invite submission of papers on the following topics: syntactic, semantic, morphological, phonological, and pragmatic development; language and cognitive development; language and social development; language and educational development; language of children with developmental disorders; specific language impairment; exceptional language abilities; bilingual development; role of parental speech; interrelationships between language and nonverbal development; relationships between language and literacy; discourse analysis; socioeconomic factors and language acquisition; preverbal communication; language development across cultures; language and ethnic development; measurement and analysis issues in child language research. It will continue to publish high quality papers from diverse theoretical and methodological traditions, and to publish reviews. If you have any questions about the journal, please do not hesitate to contact Chloe at

Special Issue on Statistical Learning

We are pleased to announce that early online access is now available for a special issue on New Frontiers for Statistical Learning in the Cognitive Sciences [B. C. Armstrong, R. Frost, & M. H. Christiansen, Eds.], which will appear in print in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London: Biological Sciences, in January.

Overview of the Issue

Two decades ago, statistical learning (SL) was proposed as a powerful domain-general mechanism for processing a wide range of regularities. However, because of its rather narrow focus, SL research has largely failed to deliver on the wide-reaching promise of SL as a theoretical construct. This is mainly due to SL being investigated largely a separate ability, isolated from other aspects of cognition. This theme issue fosters a transition to studying statistical learning as an integral part of different cognitive systems, taking into consideration complementary perspectives from neurobiology, computation, development and evolutionary studies. This collection of work by international leaders from a range of disciplines shows that statistical learning is not simply learning to accurately represent the regularities of the environment. Rather it is a product of the complex interaction between environmental statistics, the neurocomputational principles of the cognitive systems in which learning takes place, and pre-existing biases due to previous experience and/or architectural constraints of the brain. This new perspective will enable statistical learning to impact a broad range of theories related to language, vision, audition, memory and social behaviour.

The full introduction to the special issue and a synopsis of the 13 articles in the theme issue are available at:

Table of Contents:

Spotlight Issue in Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism

Maialen Iraola Azpiroz, University of Kaiserslautern

Full Title: Spotlight Issue in Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism
Linguistic Field(s): Psycholinguistics, Bilinguals, Processing
Call Deadline: March 1st, 2017

Psycholinguistic approaches to production and comprehension in bilingual adults and children

Research in psycholinguistics has traditionally focused exclusively on either language production or language comprehension. This has led to informative developments in each of these areas, addressing important research questions. Recently, however, psycholinguistics researchers have started emphasizing the need for a unified account, reconciling production and comprehension processes within one model (Pickering & Garrod, 2014). Empirical evidence supporting these integrative theories is beginning to emerge (e.g., Silbert, Honey, Simony, Poeppel & Hasson, 2014), but far more work remains to be done. In particular, relatively little is yet known about the relationship between production and comprehension in bilinguals. It is widely accepted that bilingual production and comprehension are nonselective with respect to a bilingual’s languages during language processing in either language (e.g. Blumenfeld & Marian 2007). Research on bilingual codeswitching has also provided important insights into the interaction between bilingual production and comprehension processes (e.g., Fricke, Kroll & Dussias, 2016, Guzzardo Tamargo, Valdés, Kroff & Dussias, 2016). However, many issues in the field remain unresolved.

The proposed spotlight issue intends to fill this gap by focusing on the latest research results on bilingual child or/and adult production and comprehension. We welcome contributions that provide data integrating the two modalities, as well as those presenting either comprehension or production data and comparing them with existing findings obtained in the other modality. This includes studies in a variety of linguistic phenomena across different language domains (i.e. syntax, morphology, semantics, phonology, lexicon, pragmatics, and their interfaces).

The issue will consist of articles of 9,000 words each (references included), selected from among the submitted manuscripts. Manuscripts should conform to the Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism submission guidelines, and should be submitted through the Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism manuscript central site ( Manuscripts will be reviewed by three reviewers through the double blind-review system. Manuscripts that are successful in the review process but are not included in the spotlight issue will have the opportunity to be published as individual articles in Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism.

The deadline for submission is March 1st, 2017.

Prospective authors are encouraged to email the issue editors to discuss potential contributions: Maialen Iraola Azpiroz (, Shanley Allen (, Kalliopi Katsika (, and Leigh Fernandez (

Handbook of Communication Disabilities and Language Development in Sub-Saharan Africa

Julia Wendel, Leibniz University Hanover

We would like to publish a call for abstracts for the “Handbook of Communication Disabilities and Language Development in Sub-Saharan Africa”, edited by Ulrike M. Lüdtke (Leibniz University Hannover, Germany), Edward Kija (Muhimbili University, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania) and Mathew Kinyua Karia (Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya) through Springer publ., New York.

More information on the book and its contents as well as contact information can be found in the invitation letter:

The submission deadline for abstracts is January 15, 2017.

Magdalen Vernon PhD Studentships 2017

Ludovica Serratrice, University of Reading

The School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences is delighted to invite applications for three fully funded PhD Studentships in research projects aligned with the expertise of one of our three Research Divisions: Psychopathology & Affective Neuroscience; Language, Development and Aging; and Perception, Cognition & Nutrition.

The studentships are named in honor of Professor Magdalen Vernon (1901-1991), who was the first female Head of the then Department of Psychology at the University of Reading, and a founding member of the Experimental Psychology Society.

Each of these three-year studentships covers fees at the UK/EU rate and a maintenance stipend of £14,496. International students are welcome to apply but must be able to pay the difference between UK/EU fees and international fees.

Applications are especially welcomed from female applicants. We also welcome applications for part-time and flexible working.

Housed in state-of-the-art facilities, the School has established itself as a leading center for research. The School of Psychology & Clinical Language Sciences was ranked in the top 20 (15th) in the UK within its unit of assessment in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework based on research power. The successful candidates will join a thriving postgraduate research community of more than 70 PhD students who benefit from excellent support and resources from the School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences ( and membership of the University Graduate School (

Further information on the research expertise in our Research Divisions can be obtained by emailing Potential applicants are encouraged to contact the School through this email address prior to making an online application through the University's admissions portal (

Naming of the Elizabeth Carrow Woolfolk and Robert M. Woolfolk School of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Our Lady of the Lake University at San Antonio, Texas

Eva Nwokah, Our Lady of the Lake University

With the goal of developing an internationally recognized clinical program in communication sciences and disorders, the Board of Trustees of Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) is pleased to announce the naming of the Elizabeth Carrow Woolfolk and Robert M. Woolfolk School of Communication Sciences and Disorders on its San Antonio, Texas, campus. This decision recognizes the life work and significant achievements of Elizabeth Carrow Woolfolk, Ph.D. In addition to a new School of Communication Sciences and Disorders, this initiative will further support its department of speech-language pathology, a new doctoral program in communication disorders, and the establishment of a center for research in child language disorders. The current program director and department chair, who will lead the program expansion, is Eva Nwokah, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, who also holds the Woolfolk Endowed Chair in Child Language.

OLLU alumna Elizabeth Carrow Woolfolk, PhD, has dedicated her professional life to the study of reading, language theory and assessment. She is internationally recognized as scholar, author of a dozen books, clinician and researcher in the field. Woolfolk is the author of multiple editions of the Comprehensive Assessment of Spoken Language (CASL), the Oral and Written Language Scales (OWLS) test, the Test for Auditory Comprehension of Language (TACL) and co-author (with Amber Klein, PhD) of the Oral Passage Understanding Scale (OPUS) assessment. According to OLLU President Diane E. Melby, EdD, said, "A very important piece of this announcement is that Dr. Betty Woolfolk established this program and clinic almost 60 years ago at the university, and today she is still a leader in the field and along with her husband, Bob, is committing to making this one of the leading programs in the nation."

The current Communication and Learning Disorders Department and its Harry Jersig Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic is a nationally recognized program that has an emphasis on biliteracy and Mexican American culture.

The Second International Conference on Interdisciplinary Advances in Statistical Learning

Morten Christiansen, Cornell University

We are pleased to announce the second iteration of the International Conference on Interdisciplinary Advances in Statistical Learning, which will take place in Bilbao, Spain June 28-30, 2017. The full details of the program are available on the conference's website: http://www.

Conference updates will be broadcast under hashtag #StatLearnBCBL

Following up on the highly successful first meeting, the conference will discuss statistical learning and its underlying mechanisms from behaviour to neuroscience, in various domains such as language, music, vision, and audition, with data from adult participants, development, individual differences, computational modeling, and non-human species.

The conference will include invited speakers, regular talks, panel discussions, and poster sessions.

Invited Keynote Speakers

Theme Speakers

Important Dates

Scientific Organizers

Manuel Carreiras, Ram Frost, Blair Armstrong & Morten H. Christiansen

International Symposium on Monolingual and Bilingual Speech 2017 (ISMBS 2017)

Elena Babatsouli, Institute of Monolingual and Bilingual Speech

Location: Great Arsenali Conference Center, Chania, Crete, Greece
Date: 4-7 September 2017

Symposium Description

The International Symposium on Monolingual and Bilingual Speech 2017 will host original research on the acquisition and use of first language, second language, bilingual, and dialectal speech, child and adult, normal and disordered. The Symposium encourages a multidisciplinary exchange of ideas across phonology, phonetics, morphology, psycholinguistics, cognitive linguistics, neurolinguistics, clinical phonetics and linguistics, acoustics, educational linguistics, and the application of new technologies. Theoretical, experimental, observational, and computational contributions are welcome.

Plenary speakers

Special Lecture

Clinical Linguistics: towards and beyond the first 50 years
Nicole Müller and Martin J. Ball
University College Cork, Linköping University

Panel Discussion

Is L1 speech different from L2?

International Scientific Committee

Call for papers:
Abstract submission: 10 October 2016 - 10 February 2017
Date of notification: by 10 March 2017

The Third International Conference on Child Language Acquisition (ICSLA)

Asli Ozyurek & Beyza Sumer, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics

ICSLA 2018

We would like to announce that the 3rd International Conference on Child Language Acquisition (ICSLA) will take place in July 2018 in Turkey. More information about the exact dates, venue, programme, and the call for abstracts will follow soon.

ICSLA is an international conference that aims at disseminating recent research findings on sign language acquisition, which mostly cover, but not limited to, monolingual and bimodal acquisition, sign language acquisition as L2, developmental sign language disorders, and the interface between language acquisition and neuroscience.

We look forward to welcoming many of you in Turkey.

The Second International Symposium on Chinese Theoretical and Applied Linguistics (ISOCTAL-2)

Shenai Hu, Xiamen University

14-16 December 2017, University of Milano-Bicocca

Papers are invited for ISOCTAL-2 on any topics in Chinese linguistics, including syntax, morphology, phonetics and phonology, semantics, language variation and sociolinguistic studies, diachronic change, language contact, typology and comparative studies, child language acquisition, second language acquisition and teaching, applications of translation and code-switching to pedagogy.

There will be a thematic session on child language acquisition with emphasis on research that has cross-linguistic implications and empirical work that refers to Mandarin, Wu, Cantonese and other languages spoken in Chinese communities. All the abstracts on child language acquisition will by default be assigned to the thematic session, so that submitters do not have to specify this in their abstract.

Contact person: Giorgio Arcodia, Maria Teresa Guasti and Shenai Hu

Contact email:

ISOCTAL-2 website:

The Japanese Society for Language Sciences 19th Annual International Conference (JSLS2017)

Hiroko Kasuya, Bunkyo Gakuin University

Dates: Saturday, July 1- Sunday, July 2, 2017
Venue: Kyoto Women’s University, Kyoto, Japan
Abstract Submission Deadline: Friday, February 10, 2017 (Japan Standard Time).

Plenary Talk

Dr. Amy Schafer (University of Hawai‘i) is the plenary speaker and will address prosody, referential processing, information structure, and second language acquisition.

Special Sessions

There will be two other special sessions, one in English and the other in Japanese. The symposium conducted in English by Drs. Yuki Hirose (University of Tokyo), Chie Nakamura (MIT), and Ayaka Sugawara (Mie University) will discuss the use of prosody by children, adults, and learners.


JSLS2017 will be held at Kyoto Women’s University, Kyoto, Japan. The campus is 10 minutes by bus from Kyoto Station. Kyoto Station is approximately 90 minutes from Kansai International Airport.

We welcome proposals for two types of presentations: (1) oral presentations and (2) poster presentations. Submissions are invited in any research area related to language sciences. Oral presentations are eligible for the 8th JCHAT Awards (Best Paper, and Best Paper Using JCHAT/CHILDES). JSLS is a bilingual conference and papers and posters may be presented in either English or Japanese. Please be aware that the Conference Handbook abstracts will be accessible in PDF form via the JSLS website. This is a service exclusively for JSLS members.

Conference Website

Detailed information on the submission process will soon be available on the conference website:

JSLS2017 Conference Committee Chair

Jun Nomura (Kyoto Women’s University)

For inquiries, please contact us at


Workshop on First Language Acquisition in the Languages of the World: Differences and Similarities, 50th Annual Meeting of Societas Linguistica Europaea (SLE2017)

Jekaterina Mazara, University of Zurich

Date: 10 - 13 September 2017
Location: Zurich, Switzerland


The workshop outlined below is planned as a part of the 50th Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea (SLE), which will take place in Zürich, 10-13 September 2017. We invite submissions of preliminary abstracts (max. 300 words, excluding references) for 20 minute presentations. Please send your abstracts to Prof. Dr. Sabine Stoll ( by November 20, 2016.

Please note that, should the workshop be accepted, you will be invited to submit your full abstracts by January 15, 2017. The full abstracts will undergo the general SLE reviewing process and will be reviewed by members of the scientific committee of the SLE as well as the workshop convenors. At that stage, other prospective authors may also submit their abstracts to this workshop.

Important Dates

Children face a myriad of challenges when learning their first language(s), ranging from extracting meaningful units out of a noisy speech stream, attaching labels to changing referents and mastering the quirks of syntax and morphology inherent to the over 7000 languages spoken in the world today. A fundamental question in first language acquisition is whether the resources and the strategies used by children learning language are shared across languages, or whether they are language-specific.

General properties of the input seem to be uniformly available for all children regardless of their target language. For instance, other things being equal, more frequent linguistic units will feature in children’s repertoire earlier (Ambridge et al. 2015). The conditional frequency of the arrangement of units - i.e., which elements follow or precede others - for word segmentation (Pelucchi, Hay & Saffran 2009) as well as the distributional properties of linguistic units (Hills 2013) seem to have a similarly broad scope. In addition to the statistical properties of the input, species-wide behaviors, like the tendency to interpret pointing gestures as a communicative act, the drive towards cooperative communication (Tomasello 2009) and innate perceptual biases (e.g. towards syllabic well-formedness, Johnson et al. 2003) constitute the best generalizations in the field of first language acquisition.

In addition to these general strategies, individual languages might provide easier or more salient pathways to the acquisition of specific features. Word order cues, for instance, might be more reliable (and hence more useful) for specific tasks in some languages than in others, for instance when determining agency (Bates et al. 1984, Chan, Lieven and Tomasello 2009) or when learning properties of objects (Ramscar et al. 2010). Affixation preference (Gervain and Erra 2012) and stress allocation (Tyler and Cutler 2009) might bias the attention towards one particular word edge.

This divide is, however, discussable. A considerable amount of the research aimed at capturing universal learning strategies has been conducted in standard European languages (and most saliently, English) and some of the mechanisms that are deemed to be language-specific might be artifacts stemming from the lack of a comparative perspective on first language acquisition and data sparsity.

The goal of this workshop is to bring together specialists on first language acquisition that conduct research either on:

  1. the acquisition of language specific features (such as grammatical categories or morphological complexity) in relation to general acquisition strategies.
  2. languages underrepresented in the literature, which could help understand the limits and the plasticity of language-independent learning mechanisms as well as expanding the list of language-specific strategies or
  3. comparative settings, contrasting the same or similar phenomena in a range of languages.


Bates, E., MacWhinney, B. Caselli, C., Devescovi, A. Natale, F. & Venza, V. (1984). A cross-linguistic study of the development of sentence interpretation strategies. Child Development 55. 341–354.

Ambridge, B., Kidd, E., Rowland, C. F., & Theakston, A. L. (2015). The ubiquity of frequency effects in first language acquisition. Journal of Child Language, 42(02), 239-273.

Chan, A., Lieven, E., & Tomasello, M. (2009). Children's understanding of the agent-patient relations in the transitive construction: Cross-linguistic comparisons between Cantonese, German, and English. Cognitive Linguistics, 20(2), 267-300.

Dressler, W. (2012). On the acquisition of inflectional morphology: Introduction. Morphology, 22. 1-8.

Gervain, J., & Erra, R. G. (2012). The statistical signature of morphosyntax: A study of Hungarian and Italian infant-directed speech. Cognition, 125(2), 263-287.

Hills, T. (2013). The company that words keep: comparing the statistical structure of child-versus adult-directed language. Journal of Child Language, 40(03), 586-604.

Johnson, E. K., Jusczyk, P. W., Cutler, A., & Norris, D. (2003). Lexical viability constraints on speech segmentation by infants. Cognitive Psychology, 46(1), 65-97.

Pelucchi, B., Hay, J. F., & Saffran, J. R. (2009). Statistical learning in a natural language by 8-month-old infants. Child Development, 80(3), 674-685.

Ramscar, M., Yarlett, D., Dye, M., Denny, K., and Thorpe, K. (2010). The effects of feature-label-order and their implications for symbolic learning. Cognitive Science, 6(34), 909-957.

Stoll, S., Mazara, J. &, Bickel, B . (in press). The acquisition of polysynthetic verb forms in Chintang. In Fortescue, M., Mithun, M., and Evans, N. (Eds.) Handbook of Polysynthesis. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Tyler, M. D., & Cutler, A. (2009). Cross-language differences in cue use for speech segmentation. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 126(1), 367-376.

Tomasello, M. (2009). Constructing a language: A usage-based theory of language acquisition. Harvard University Press.

Workshop on The Developing Lexicon - Representations and Processing: Developing Minds Series

Laurence Bruggeman, Macquarie University

Dates: 26-27 April 2017
Venue: Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia

The lexicon forms the backbone for successful language development. However, despite its importance, little is known about how learners store and process phonological, morphological, syntactic and semantic aspects of lexical representations, and the role this plays in both language processing and speech planning.

This workshop brings together researchers working on the lexicon in language acquisition and development – using various methodologies and paradigms – to gain a better understanding of the architecture of the mental lexicon and its development. Submissions are welcome on all research exploring this issue in monolingual and multilingual children and adults, and in both typically developing and special populations (such as those with hearing impairments and language delays). The workshop will include keynote addresses and invited talks by experts in the fields of linguistics, computational modelling, cognitive science, and developmental psychology.

Keynote Speakers

We invite submissions of anonymous abstracts for 30-minute talks including discussion, or posters. Submissions should be in PDF or Word format on one page (12pt, single-spaced), plus an additional page of figures, tables, and references as needed. Please send your abstracts to by the deadline listed below.

Registration and Program

Registration for this workshop is free. More details on the workshop can be found at For further information or enquiries, please send an email to

Important Dates

Organizing Committee


Forthcoming Conferences and Workshops

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What: International Symposium on Bilingualism (ISB11)
When: 11-15 Jun 2017
Where: Limerick, Ireland

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

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

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

What: First Language Acquisition in the Languages of the World: Differences and Similarities, 50th Annual Meeting of Societas Linguistica Europaea (SLE2017)
When: 10-13 Sep 2017
Where: Zurich, Switzerland

Conference and Workshop Calls

What: Cognitive Modeling and Computational Linguistics 2017 (CMCL-2017)
When: 26-27 April 2017
Where: Valencia, Spain
Submission Deadline: 16 Jan 2017

What: Developing Mind Series - The Developing Lexicon: Representations and Processing
When: 26-27 April 2017
Where: Sydney, Australia
Submission Deadline: 29 Jan 2017

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: The Second International Conference on Interdisciplinary Advances in Statistical Learning
When: 28-30 Jun 2017
Where: Bibao, Spain
Submission Deadline: 3 Mar 2017

What: The Japanese Society for Language Sciences 19th Annual International Conference (JSLS2017)
When: 1-2 Jul 2017
Where: Kyoto, Japan
Submission Deadline: 10 Feb 2017

What: The 2nd Lancaster Conference on Infant and Early Child Development (LCICD)
When: 23-25 August 2017
Where: Lancaster University, UK
Submission Deadline: 1 March 2017

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

What: Workshop on Early Literacy and (Digital) Media
When: 21-22 September 2017
Where: University Paderborn, Germany
Submission Deadline: 1 March 2017

What: The Second International Symposium on Chinese Theoretical and Applied Linguistics (ISOCTAL-2)
When: 14-16 Dec 2017
Where: University of Milano-Bicocca, Milan, Italy
Submission Deadline: 15 May 2017

What: The 3rd International Conference on Child Language Acquisition (ICSLA)
When: July 2018
Where: Turkey
Details: tba
Submission Deadline: tba

Book Announcements

Editor: Ruth A. Berman
Title: Acquisition and Development of Hebrew: From Infancy to Adolescence
Publisher: John Benjamins
ISBN: 978-90-272-4409-3 (hardcover) 978-90-272-6704-7 (e-book)

The Linguistics of Sign Language

The volume addresses developing knowledge and use of Hebrew from the dual perspective of typologically specific factors and of shared cross-linguistic trends, aimed at providing an overview of acquisition in a single language from infancy to adolescence while also shedding light on key issues in the field as a whole. Essentially non-partisan in approach, the collection includes distinct approaches to language and language acquisition (formal-uni¬versalist, pragmatic-usage based, cognitive-constructivist) and deals with a range of topics not often addressed within a single volume (phonological perception and production, inflectional and derivational morphology, simple-clause structure and complex syntax, early and later literacy, writing systems), with data deriving from varied research method-ologies (interactive conversations and extended discourse, adult input and child output, longitudinal and cross-sectional corpora, structured elicitations). Each chapter provides background information on Hebrew-specific facets of the topic of concern, but typically avoids ethno-centricity by relating to more general issues in the domain. The book should thus prove interesting and instructive for linguists, psychologists, and educators, and for members of the child language research community both within and beyond the confines of Hebrew-language expertise.

More information:

Author: Eve Clark
Title: Language in Children
Publisher: Routledge & Linguistic Society of America
ISBN: 978-11-389-0604-4 (ISBN-13) 113-89-0604-2 (ISBN-10)

Language in Children

The LSA is pleased to announce the publication of Language in Children, the first book in the Routledge Guides to Linguistics series, produced as part of the LSA’s publishing partnership with Routledge. Language in Children is authored by LSA Fellow Eve V. Clark, and the series is edited by LSA member Betty Birner. A portion of the royalties for all of the books in this series will be contributed to the LSA, and support our many programs and services for the linguistics community.

More information:

Editor: Letitia R. Naigles
Title: Innovative Investigations of Language in Autism Spectrum Disorder
Publisher: American Psychological Association
ISBN: 3-11-040978-X(ISBN-10) 978-3-11-040978 (ISBN-13)

Innovative Investigations of Language in Autism Spectrum Disorder

In recent decades, a growing number of children have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a condition characterized by social interaction deficits and language impairment. Yet the precise nature of the disorder’s impact on language development is not well understood, in part because of the language variability among children across the autism spectrum. In this volume, experts in communication disorders, developmental and clinical psychology, and linguistics use innovative techniques to address two broad questions: Is the variability of language development and use in children with ASD a function of the language, such that some linguistic domains are more vulnerable to ASD than others? Or is the variability a function of the individual, such that some characteristics predispose those with ASD to have varying levels of difficulty with language development and use? Contributors investigate these questions across linguistic levels, from lexical semantics and single-clause syntax, to computationally complex phonology and the syntax–pragmatics interface. Authors address both spoken and written domains within the wider context of language acquisition. This timely and accessible volume will be of interest to a wide range of specialists, including linguists, psychologists, sociologists, behavioral neurologists, and cognitive neuroscientists.

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Thesis Announcements

Author: Iris Duinmeijer
Title: Persistent Grammatical Difficulties in Specific Language Impairment: Deficits in Knowledge or in Knowledge Implementation
Institution: University of Amsterdam

This study examines the grammatical abilities of children and adolescents with Specific Language Impairment (SLI). There were two research goals. Firstly, the persistence of grammatical problems over time was examined by comparing a younger group of children with SLI and an older group of adolescents with SLI. Secondly, this study explored whether difficulties in the grammatical domain in SLI purely reflect a grammatical deficit or may partly stem from problems in the implementation of grammatical knowledge due to problems in information processing. In the grammatical production tasks, the complexity of the linguistic context was therefore varied to examine whether this would cause a (larger) decrease in scores in the SLI groups. In addition, different measures of information processing ability were administered and the link between variability in performance and processing abilities was examined.

On the basis of the outcomes, two major claims are made. Firstly, grammatical problems in SLI are persistent into adolescence. For some grammatical aspects such as grammatical gender, fossilization seemed to take place before children reach adolescence. Other aspects, such as verb inflection, had clearly been acquired by adolescence but differences between SLI and typical development (TD) in the amount of errors still remained. Secondly, grammatical performance in SLI was affected by the linguistic context in which grammatical knowledge had to be implemented. Such effects were small or absent in the TD groups. The effect of context was related to the verbal processing abilities of the groups. Grammatical problems in SLI therefore do not always reflect a deficit in grammar. Even when grammatical knowledge has been acquired, a child or adolescent with SLI is not always able to implement this knowledge in performance. This dissertation is of relevance to researchers in the fields of language acquisition and language disorders, as well as to clinicians and teachers working with children and adolescents with language impairments.

Author: William Forshaw
Title: Little Kids, Big Verbs: The Acquisition of Murrinhpatha Bipartite Stem Verbs
Institution: University of Melbourne

This thesis examines the acquisition of Murrinhpatha, a polysynthetic language from northern Australia, based on longitudinal data from 5 children over two years. Murrinhpatha has morphological properties that pose challenges for theories of acquisition, including complex predicates and suppletive verbal paradigms. I show that Murrinhpatha-acquiring children rely on associative networks in acquiring these morphological structures and that children’s verbs are sensitive to prosodic factors of the adult language. This research contributes a new perspective to understanding acquisition and linguistic diversity. Link:

Author: Bibi E. Janssen
Title: The Acquisition of Gender and Case in Polish and Russian: A Study of Monolingual and Bilingual Children
Institution: University of Amsterdam

Polish and Russian are typologically closely related Slavic languages that have highly comparable nominal morphology within their gender and case systems in their written form. In their spoken form, however, they show crucial differences, specifically in the phonetic realisation of unstressed vowels. They thus form an ideal combination for testing language-specific phonetic factors that might influence the acquisition of gender and case systems. It is also the case that no comparative research has been done on the acquisition of gender and case in Polish and Russian in monolingual and bilingual children.

This study focuses on the acquisition of the gender and case systems in Polish and Russian children aged 3;6-6;6 in order to establish the impact of language-specific factors, in particular the phonetic realisation of unstressed vowels, on the acquisition of these systems. It is the first study that uses a research paradigm comparing two closely related languages, both on the production and comprehension of gender and case in monolinguals and bilinguals (with L2 Dutch), using the same method and highly similar test materials.

In conclusion, this study has shown that the reduced amount of phonetic clarity, the lower morphophonological regularity (expressed by the larger number of endings in Russian compared to Polish), and the low frequency of the end-stressed pattern result in Russian children being slower in the acquisition of gender and case. In future studies, this paradigm can be applied to the study of other, also non-Slavic languages, by adding other cases, the plural or involving agreement with adjectives in the oblique cases and past tense verbs.

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Author: Lauren J. Stites
Title: The Time is at Hand: The Development of Spatial Representations of Time in Children’s Speech and Gesture
Institution: Georgia State University

Children achieve increasingly complex language milestones initially in gesture before they do so in speech. In this study, we asked whether gesture continues to be part of the language-learning process as children develop more abstract language skills, namely metaphors. More specifically, we focused on spatial metaphors for time and asked whether developmental changes in children’s production of such metaphors in speech also became evident in gesture and what cognitive and linguistic factors contributed to these changes. To answer these questions, we analyzed the speech and gestures produced by three groups of children (ages 3-4, 5-6, and 7-8)—all learning English as first language—as they talked about past and future events, along with adult native speakers of English. We asked how early we find evidence of developmental changes in the orientation (sagittal vs. lateral), directionality (left-to-right, right-to-left, backward, or forward) and congruency (lateral gestures with Time-RP language and sagittal gestures with Ego-RP language) of the metaphorical gestures children produced; we also examined whether comprehension of metaphors for time and literacy skills would influence the changes in children’s gestures. Our findings showed developmental changes in both the orientation, directionality, and congruency of children’s gestures about time. Beginning with orientation (sagittal vs. lateral), children increased their use of lateral gestures with age, and this increase was predicted by improvements in their literacy skills. Turning next to directionality (left-to-right, right-to-left, forward, backward), we found that children’s metaphor comprehension and literacy skills selectively predicted the directionality of their sagittal and lateral gestures. Children who understood metaphors for time were more likely to produce sagittal gestures that placed the past behind and the future ahead; while children who showed higher levels of literacy were more likely to use lateral gestures that placed the past to the left and future to the right. Finally, for congruency (i.e., using gestures that correspond with spoke language), we found that older children who showed better metaphor comprehension and literacy skills were also more likely to pair lateral gestures with Time-RP language than with Ego-RP language. Overall, these results showed that children’s gestures about time follow a developmental pattern that is influenced by their literacy development, and to a lesser extent, by their metaphor comprehension.

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