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IASCL - Child Language Bulletin - Vol 37, No 1: August 2017
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Preliminary Information on IASCL 2020

Rhea Paul, Sacred Heart University

IASCL 2020

IASCL 2020
IASCL 2020

IASCL 2020 Philadelphia, PA, USA
July 13-17, 2020
Sponsored by University of Delaware & University of Pennsylvania

Mark your calendar For a week in the City of Brotherly Love

Meeting Venue: Houston Hall at U. of Penn. The Oldest Student Union in the US.
Conveniently located near public transportation and historic attractions.
Offering a range of food courts and lodging options.

IASCL 2020

We hope to see you in Philly, July 2020!

Report on IASCL 2017

Sophie Kern, Conference Organizer

IASCL 2017

The 14th International Congress for the Study of Child Language took place in the very unseasonably hot city of Lyon (France) from the 17th to the 21st of July 2017.

The congress was hosted by the University of Lyon2 and organized by colleagues from the Dynamique du Langage Laboratory. The opening ceremony and welcome reception took place in the Palais Hirsch and in the Cour d’Honneur of the University Lyon2, in the presence of the President of the IASCL, Anne Baker, the Vice President for International Relations of the University Lyon2, Jim Walker and the Chairs of the conference, Harriet Jisa and Sophie Kern.

IASCL 2017

Around 600 delegates from 51 different countries spent a very productive week – thinking – listening – talking about language development in a lifespan perspective.

IASCL 2017

Five plenary talks were given by leading experts in the domain. Sharon Paperkamp (Cognitive Science and Psycholinguistics laboratory, Paris) reviewed the recent research about early phonetic and phonological development, Aslin Ozyurek (Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen) showed the role of visual modality both in spoken language development accompanied by gestures as well as in development of sign languages, Marc Bornstein (NIH, Bethesda) addressed the question of sex and stability in early child language, followed by Gina Conti-Ramsden (University of Manchester) who discussed key findings in language disorders that could help better specify typical learning processes.

IASCL 2017

Finally Monica Schmid (University of Essex) discussed the notion of ‘complete L1 acquisition’ arguing that a more comprehensive approach to L1 development in bilinguals can provide insight into the nature of the bilingual language capacity. Three of the keynotes have been podcasted (Peperkamp, Ozyurek and Schmid) and will be available very soon.

IASCL 2017

300 posters and 50 symposia were accepted and presented during the week. Despite a very warm and windy weather, the posters were displayed in the exterior passageways of the University, allowing the participants to enjoy refreshing drinks and gourmet snacks while discussing the latest research results.

IASCL 2017

Beside all these presentations, a specific event was organized for the young researchers that attracted over 50 participants. A very friendly scientific dating session was organized whose goal was to exchange scientific subjects and envision in pairs new collaborations about innovative topics.

IASCL 2017

IASCL’s gala dinner was held on 20th of July at the Palais de la Bourse, one of the most beautiful historic buildings in Lyon, which currently houses the headquarters of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Lyon. The Palais de la Bourse has been classified as a National Heritage site since 1994. The evening started with a fine meal, giving the guests an opportunity to taste famous French cuisine in a very nice venue illuminated for the occasion. The event ended with a musical and dancing atmosphere.

IASCL 2017

On Friday morning, the Roger Brown award was given to Jean Berko Gleason, Professor Emerita, for her impressive work on child language development. No one will ever forget about her famous Wug test but also about her work on parental input and socialization, on language development in the Roma community or even on aphasia.

IASCL 2017

The best student poster award was sponsored by Springer Verlag. First place student poster award went to Amber Muhinyi for her poster on the Effects of story complexity on mothers’ abstract language use during shared reading with pre-schoolers, Second student poster award was given to Andreas Domberg for his poster entitled Children’s evaluation of reasonableness of others in argumentation, and Third place student poster award went to Judith Llanes-Coromina for her poster called Prominence in speech and gesture help pre-schoolers to recall and comprehend information.

The next IASCL conference will take place in Philadelphia. Hope to see many of you in 2020 in the city of brotherly!

New Members of the IASCL Executive Committee Elected

Mutsumi Imai (Chair), Natalia Gagarina and Christopher Fennel, Nominating and Appointments Committee

Below are the results of the elections for members of the IASCL Executive Committee. We are happy to inform our IASCL members, on behalf of the Nominating Committee, that the following 9 candidates have been elected.

Reili Argus - ESTONIA
Sharon Armon-Lotem - ISRAEL
Laura Bosch - SPAIN
Patricia Brooks - USA
Lourdes de Leon - MEXICO
Yuki Hirose - JAPAN
Aliyah Morgenstern - FRANCE
Ciara O'Toole - IRELAND

Congratulations to these members! They will serve for the Executive Committee from July 2017 until 2023. Their position on the committee was ratified at the IASCL business meeting in Lyon in July.

We wish to thank all the candidates for their willingness to run and serve on the Executive Committee.

Announcing FluencyBank

Nan Bernstein Ratner, University of Maryland; Brian MacWhinney, Carnegie Mellon University

The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders and the National Science Foundation have recently provided support to a new TalkBank initiative called FluencyBank ( Brian MacWhinney (Carnegie-Mellon) and Nan Bernstein Ratner (University of Maryland) are project co-directors. The goal of FluencyBank is to gather and curate data relevant to the study of typical fluency development in first and subsequent languages over the lifespan, as well as fluency disorders (such as stuttering). FluencyBank also hosts a teaching site with clinical interviews and assessments for class discussion and assignments.

FluencyBank can assist researchers in archiving past data relevant to the study of spoken fluency, and guide IRB applications that make research data compliant for TalkBank donation. It is also developing computational programs specific to creation of fluency profiles in speakers. The first new utility is FluCalc, which tabulates and sums typical and stutter-like disfluency types across transcripts and generates a weighted score that can discriminate typical disfluency profiles in young children from those consistent with a diagnosis of stuttering or other clinical fluency disorder.

Interested researchers and university instructors can obtain more information about FluencyBank by visiting or writing to Nan Ratner ( or Brian MacWhinney ( with questions or suggestions for utility development.

Announcements from the MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventories (CDIs)

Virginia Marchman, Stanford University; Philip Dale, University of New Mexico & Larry Fensen, San Diego State University

American English CDI Re-norming: Researcher Call

The MacArthur-Bates CDI Advisory Board is calling all researchers who are interested in joining the American English re-norming effort in 2017-2018! We hope to collaborate with researchers throughout the US who use CDIs in their research projects and who are willing to contribute their anonymized CDI data to an updated norming sample and ultimately to Wordbank ( You can contribute by collecting data using standard administration methods (paper forms), but we are primarily looking for researchers who will want to use our newly-developed fillable PDFs and/or our web-based administration system. Please let us know your interest by going to our website ( and filling out the form. Please tell us about the ages and demographic characteristics of your population, as we are interested in reaching families from diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. Contact Virginia Marchman ( with any questions.

Updates to Adaptations Page

Are you an author of a MB-CDI adaptation? The MacArthur-Bates Advisory Board is updating the contact information on the website and would appreciate your help! Please go to the website ( and make sure all of your contact information is up to date. You should have also received an email with instructions on how you can provide more information on our site. Please contact Philip Dale ( with any questions.

Now Available - CDIs in Fillable pdf format

The Advisory Board is pleased to announce the availability of English CDI:Words & Gestures, CDI:Words & Sentences, and CDI III in fillable PDF format! Like the short forms, parents can fill out the classic MacArthur-Bates instruments on their own laptops or computers using Adobe Reader. Exporting the data requires Adobe Acrobat. Now available from Brookes Publishing Company (

Calling for Contributors to Wordbank

Wordbank is a site for archiving, sharing, and exploring anonymized MacArthur-Bates CDI data from the American English form and from CDI adaptations in many languages. We currently have 25 languages and nearly 75,000 CDI administrations! Wordbank compiles responses from norming studies but also includes data that individual researchers have contributed from various research projects, large and small. The Wordbank interactive analysis system allows researchers to browse these data and conduct many different analyses through the website or via the Wordbank R package. Check us out at Interested in contributing? We welcome your data regardless of whether you have hundreds (or even thousands) of forms, or if you only have a few dozen! By contributing to Wordbank, you will become part of a consortium of researchers who believe that, by combining our data together, we increase our power to conduct crosslinguistic analyses of early language development by researchers around the world. Check out our FAQ page for more information:

Workshop on Many Paths to Language (MPaL)

Marisa Casillas, Alex Cristia, and Caroline Rowland, Workshop Organizers

This 3-day workshop on 6 to 8 Oct 2017 at Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen explores: (a) children’s linguistic and cultural environments, their non-linguistic skills, and the structural properties of the languages they are acquiring as possible sources of variation, alongside (b) the implications of this variation for the mechanisms that drive and support native language acquisition given the overall robustness of learning in the face of this variability. Abstract submission is now closed, but if you would like to attend as a non-presenter, stay tuned to for updates about how to register for in-person or remote participation.

BUCLD Symposium on Autism

Stephanie Durrleman, University of Geneva

There will be a symposium at BUCLD on 4 November 2017, titled “On links between language development and extra-linguistic cognitive knowledge: What we can learn from autism”, presented by Jeannette Schaeffer, Stephanie Durrleman and Inge-Marie Eigsti. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is characterized by persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction. Unsurprisingly, pragmatics is a domain of significant impairment; however, some pragmatic skills are intact. Furthermore, research also indicates significant syntactic deficits even in verbally fluent individuals with age-appropriate cognitive skills. This symposium asks: What areas of pragmatics are spared, and what areas of syntax are impaired? What are the links between syntactic and pragmatic development and domain-general processes of intelligence, working memory, and theory of mind? Drawing on research in Dutch, French, English and Danish, with individuals with ASD across a range of ages and cognitive levels, we discuss new research providing a unique perspective on the developmental associations among these processes. Findings reveal the degree to which the acquisition of critical language skills requires general intelligence, working memory and theory of mind, and vice versa.

TaalStaal conference on the effects of intervention in young and school-age children with developmental language disorders (DLD) in Utrecht

Rob Zwitserlood, HU University of Applied Sciences

On November 10th of 2017, the international scientific conference TaalStaal will be held for the third time in Utrecht, the Netherlands. The conference is organized by the Royal Dutch Auris Group, Royal Kentalis, Pento, NSDSK, Utrecht University, and Utrecht University of Applied Science. The theme of this edition is ‘Effective interventions for children with developmental language disorders’. Keynote speakers are Dorothy Bishop, Laurence Leonard and James Law. The presentations of the Dutch researchers will be translated in English simultaneously for non-Dutch attendees. During the coffee- and lunch breaks, a poster session will take place. On the two days prior to TaalStaal, the Management committee of COST Action IS1406‘Enhancing children's oral language skills across Europe and beyond - a collaboration focusing on interventions for children with difficulties learning their first language’ ( will meet in Utrecht. Many COST members will stay for an extra day and present their research on intervention for children with developmental language disorders or on service delivery for these children in their European countries at the poster session. More information in English about the programme and registration can be found at

The 15th Nordic Symposium on Child Language

Teresa Cadierno & Laila Kjærbæk, University of Southern Denmark

The Center for Language Learning, University of Southern Denmark, is organising the 15. Nordiske Symposium om Børnesprog [15th Nordic Symposium on Child Language]. The symposium will take place at the University of Southern Denmark from May 23-24, 2018. The symposium is an interdisciplinary meeting place for researchers and practitioners within the fields of speech and language therapy, linguistics, psychology, and other professionals with an interest in child language. The symposium will cover a variety of themes related to child language acquisition and general learning in school, for example:

Invited plenary speakers:

For more information of the symposium website:

We are looking forward to seeing you in Odense.

Child Language Symposium 2018 (CLS 2018)

Ludovica Serratrice, University of Reading

The Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism at the University of Reading (UK) will be hosting the 2018 edition of the Child Language Symposium on 25th-26th June.

The four keynote speakers are:

Prof. Kate Cain –Lancaster University
Prof. Erika Hoff – Florida Atlantic University
Prof. Caroline Rowland – Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics
Prof. Charles Yang – University of Pennsylvania

The first call for papers will be circulated in September 2017.

The 3rd International Conference on Sign Language Acquisition (ICSLA)

Beyza Sumer, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics


We are happy to announce that the 3rd International Conference on Sign Language Acquisition (ICSLA) will take place between 27-29 June 2018 in Izmir, Turkey. Please mark the dates in your calendar!

Our keynote speakers are:

1. Prof Marie Coppola, University of Connecticut, the USA
2. Prof Bencie Woll, University College London, the UK
3. Dr Rain Bosworth, University of California San Diego, the USA

Please check for further information (with videos in International Sign and Turkish Sign Language). Abstract submission is already open!

International Symposium on Bilingualism 12 (ISB12)

Elena Nicoladis, University of Alberta

Save the dates! International Symposium on Bilingualism 12 (ISB12) will take place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada from June 23 to June 28, 2019. Presentations related to all topics related to bilingualism will be welcome. The theme of the conference is: The Next Generation, highlighting both the importance of the next generation in language maintenance and survival as well as the importance of the next generation of scholars in moving the field forward.

Keynote speakers include:

Richard Clément
Erika Hoff
Marco Jacquemet
Enric Llurda
Roy Lyster

Invited theme sessions include:

Bilingualism in the context of world Englishes (organizer: Suzanne Hilgendorf)
First language learning and the brain (organizer: Thierry Nazzi)
Heritage language learning in children (organizer: Silvina Montrul)
Immersion (organizer: Diane Tedick)
Language and thought (organizer: Bene Benedetti)

Papers can be presented in either English or French. More information at

First call for papers: January, 2018
Second call for papers: June, 2018
Final call for papers: October, 2018
Abstract deadline: October 15, 2018

Special Issue on Multi-Word Sequences in Language Learning and Use (July 2017)

Morten Christiansen, Cornell University

We are pleased to announce the publication of a special topic section of Topics in Cognitive Science on “More Than Words: The Role of Multiword Sequences in Language Learning and Use”, edited by Morten H. Christiansen and Inbal Arnon, in the July 2017 issue:


The ability to convey our thoughts using an infinite number of linguistic expressions is one of the hallmarks of human language. Understanding the nature of the psychological mechanisms and representations that give rise to this unique productivity is a fundamental goal for the cognitive sciences. A long-standing hypothesis is that single words and rules form the basic building blocks of linguistic productivity, with multiword sequences being treated as units only in peripheral cases such as idioms. The new millennium, however, has seen a shift toward construing multiword linguistic units not as linguistic rarities, but as important building blocks for language acquisition and processing. This shift—which originated within theoretical approaches that emphasize language learning and use—has far-reaching implications for theories of language representation, processing, and acquisition. Incorporating multiword units as integral building blocks blurs the distinction between grammar and lexicon; calls for models of production and comprehension that can accommodate and give rise to the effect of multiword information on processing; and highlights the importance of such units to learning. In this special topic, we bring together cutting-edge work on multiword sequences in theoretical linguistics, first-language acquisition, psycholinguistics, computational modeling, and second-language learning to present a comprehensive overview of the prominence and importance of such units in language, their possible role in explaining differences between first- and second-language learning, and the challenges the combined findings pose for theories of language.

Table of Contents

More Than Words: The Role of Multiword Sequences in Language Learning and Use
Morten H. Christiansen and Inbal Arnon (Open Access)

Multiword Constructions in the Grammar
Peter W. Culicover, Ray Jackendoff and Jenny Audring

Formulaic Sequences as a Regulatory Mechanism for Cognitive Perturbations During the Achievement of Social Goals
Alison Wray

Multiunit Sequences in First Language Acquisition
Anna Theakston and Elena Lieven

Thinking About Multiword Constructions: Usage-Based Approaches to Acquisition and Processing
Nick C. Ellis and Dave C. Ogden

The Role of Multiword Building Blocks in Explaining L1–L2 Differences
Inbal Arnon and Morten H. Christiansen

Computational Investigations of Multiword Chunks in Language Learning
Stewart M. McCauley and Morten H. Christiansen

Idiom Variation: Experimental Data and a Blueprint of a Computational Model
Kristina Geeraert, John Newman and R. Harald Baayen

Special Issue on the Gesture–Sign Interface in Language Acquisition

Michèle Guidetti & Aliyah Morgenstern, Guest Editors

Guest editors : Aliyah Morgenstern and Michèle Guidetti
Title of the special issue: The gesture–sign interface in language acquisition
Title of the journal: LIA (Language, Interaction, Acquisition)
Publisher: John Benjamins Publishing Company

The aim of this special issue coordinated after an international workshop organized in Paris in 2014 and sponsored by the CNRS is to present the links between gestures and signs and their theoretical and methodological impact. The various papers of this special issue focus on these issues and capture a variety of relations between language and cognition during language development. The contributions to this special issue, as always, probably raise more questions than they give answers, concerning the definition of gestures and signs and their structural and functional role in hearing and deaf children’s language acquisition. The goal was to enlarge the general perspective on gestures and signs by taking into account not only hearing children coming from various linguistic and cultural backgrounds, but also deaf children of deaf parents and deaf children of hearing parents. The aim was to show that we must view language as a multimodal phenomenon with both its arbitrary and iconic components in order to better understand the gesture-sign interface in language acquisition. This special issue and its diverse set of papers constitute an attempt to connect psychological, linguistic as well as anthropological issues that highlight the plurisemiotic resources that characterize child language acquisition as well as the multidisciplinary approaches necessary for its study.

More information:


Forthcoming Conferences and Workshops

What: The 50th Anniversary Meeting of the British Association for Applied Linguistics
When: 31 Aug-2 Sep 2017
Where: University of Leeds, Leeds, UK

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

What: The 23rd Conference of Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing (AMLaP 2017)
When: 7-9 Sep 2017
Where: Lancaster, UK

What: Workshop on Greek as A Minority and as A Majority Language in Heritage Contexts
When: 7-9 Sep 2017
Where: The University of Westminster, London, UK

What: Workshop on Language Learning in Children and Robots at IEEE ICDL-EPI
When: 18 Sep 2017
Where: Lisbon, Portugal

What: Workshop on Early Literacy and (digital) Media
When: 21-22 Sep 2017
Where: Paderborn, Germany

What: Workshop on Many Paths to Language (MPaL)
When: 6-8 Oct 2017
Where: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

What: Workshop on Meaning in Flux: Connecting Development, Variation, and Change
When: 12-14 Oct 2017
Where: Yale University, New Haven, CT

What: The 36th Second Language Research Forum (SLRF2017)
When: 12-15 Oct 2017
Where: The Ohio State University, Ohio, USA

What: Workshop on Event Representations in Brain, Language, and Development
When: 27-28 Oct 2017
Where: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

What: Boston University Conference on Language Development (BUCLD)
When: 3-5 Nov 2017
Where: Boston University, Boston, MA, USA

What: The 2017 ASHA Convention
When: 9-11 Nov 2017
Where: Los Angeles, California, USA

What: TaalStaal Conference on the Effects of Intervention in Young and School-age Children with Developmental Language Disorders (DLD)
When: 10 Nov 2017
Where: Utrecht, The Netherlands

What: The 7th International Conference Applied Linguistics and Professional Practice (ALAPP)
When: 21-23 Nov 2017
Where: Ghent University, Belgium

What: The 92nd Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America (LSA 2018)
When: 4-7 Jan 2018
Where: Salt Lake City, Utah, USA

Conference and Workshop Calls

What: 2018 Budapest CEU Conference on Cognitive Development (BCCCD18)
When: 4-6 Jan 2018
Where: Budapest, Hungary
Submission Deadlines: 11 Sep 2017

What: ICFLTAL 2018: International Conference on Foreign Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics
When: 18-19 Jan 2018
Where: London, United Kingdom
Submission Deadline: 15 Sep 2017

What: The 40th Annual Conference of the German Linguistic Society (DGfS 2018)
When: 7-9 Mar 2018
Where: Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Submission Deadline: 31 Aug 2017

What: Australian Eye-Tracking Conference 2018 (AusET2018)
When: 26-28 Apr 2018
Where: Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia
Submission Deadlines:
Early Due Date: 2 Oct 2017 (For notification on 13 Nov 2017)
Final Due Date: 13 Nov 2017 (For notification on 15 Jan 2018)

What: The Asian Conference on Language Learning 2018 (ACLL 2018)
When: 27-29 Apr 2018
Where: Kobe, Japan
Submission Deadline: 8 Dec 2017

What: The 15th Nordic Symposium on Child Language
When: 23-24 May 2018
Where: University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark
Submission Deadlines:
Theme session proposals: 1 Oct 2017
Oral presentations and posters: 1 Dec 2017

What: Child Language Symposium 2018 (CLS 2018)
When: 25-26 Jun 2018
Where: The University of Reading, Reading, UK
Submission Deadline: To be announced

What: The 3rd International Conference on Sign Language Acquisition (ICSLA)
When: 27-29 Jun 2018
Where: Izmir, Turkey
Submission Deadline: 3 Nov 2017

What: The 8th Conference of the International Society for Gesture Studies: Gesture and Diversity
When: 4-7 Jul 2018
Where: Cape Town, South Africa
Submission Deadline: 17 Nov 2017

What: The 25th Biennial Meeting of the International Society for the Study of Behavioural Development
When: 15-19 Jul 2018
Where: Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
Submission Deadline: 30 Sep 2017

What: The International Conference on Construction Grammar- ICCG10
When: 16-18 Jul 2018
Where: Paris, France
Submission Deadline: 1 Dec 2017

What: The 11th International Conference on Multilingualism and Third Language Acquisition
When: 13–15 Sep 2018
Where: Lisbon, Portugal
Submission Deadline: 30 Oct 2017

What: International Symposium on Bilingualism 12 (ISB12)
When: 23-28 Jun 2019
Where: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Submission Deadline: To be announced

What: International Society on Early Intervention Conference 2019
When: 25-28 Jun 2019
Where: Sydney, Australia
Submission Deadline: 1 Oct 2018

Book Announcements

Editors: Alejandra Auza Benavides & Richard G. Schwartz
Title: Language Development and Disorders in Spanish-Speaking Children
Publisher: Springer International Publishing
ISBN: 978331953646 (e-book)

Language Development and Disorders in Spanish-Speaking Children

Prominent researchers from the US, Mexico, Chile, Colombia and Spain contribute experimental reports on language development of children who are acquiring Spanish. The chapters cover a wide range of dimensions in acquisition: comprehension and production; monolingualism and bilingualism; typical development, children who are at risk and children with language disorders, phonology, semantics, and morphosyntax. These studies will inform linguistic theory development in clinical linguistics as well as offer insights on how language works in relation to cognitive functions that are associated with when children understand or use language. The unique data from child language offer perspectives that cannot be drawn from adult language. The first part is dedicated to the acquisition of Spanish as a first or second language by typically-developing children, the second part offers studies on children who are at risk of language delays, and the third part focuses on children with specific language impairment, disorders and syndromes.

More information:

Authors: María Blume & Barbara Lust
Title: Research Methods in Language Acquisition
Publisher: De Gruyter Mouton
ISBN: 9783110415223 (e-book)

Research Methods in Language Acquisition

Language acquisition research is challenging - the intricate behavioral and cognitive foundations of speech are difficult to measure objectively. The audible components of speech, however, are quantifiable and thus provide crucial data. This practical guide synthesizes the authors’ decades of experience into a comprehensive set of tools that will allow students and early career researchers in the field to design and conduct rigorous studies that produce reliable and valid speech data and interpretations.

The authors thoroughly review specific techniques for obtaining qualitative and quantitative speech data, including how to tailor the testing environments for optimal results. They explore observational tasks for collecting natural speech and experimental tasks for eliciting specific types of speech. Language comprehension tasks are also reviewed so researchers can study participants’ interpretations of speech and conceptualizations of grammar. Most tasks are oriented towards children, but special considerations for infants are also reviewed, as well as multilingual children.

Chapters also provide strategies for transcribing and coding raw speech data into reliable data sets that can be scientifically analyzed. Furthermore, they investigate the intricacies of interpretation so that researchers can make empirically sound inferences from their data and avoid common pitfalls that can lead to unscientific conclusions.

More information:

Author: Anja Binanzer
Title: Gender – Agreement and Classification: Evidence from L2 Acquisition of German
Publisher: Mouton De Gruyter
ISBN: 9783110548549 (e-book)

Gender – Agreement and Classification: Evidence from L2 Acquisition of German

Acquisition of gender is acquisition of agreement. For the first time, the acquisition of the German gender system is systematically viewed under this perspective. Furthermore, the study addresses the question of how the two different challenges – acquisition of gender agreement and acquisition of gender classes – interact.

Based on a functional approach (of the linguistic phenomenon), the study focuses on the development of the L2 learner’s strategies in marking gender not only on determiners, but even on adjectives and pronouns in order to establish consistent agreement patterns between different linguistic units. Furthermore, the study discusses how the “reference tracking” is influenced by the degree to which the above mentioned linguistic units are linked in morphosyntactic terms to the noun triggering the agreement. Against this background, a functional model of gender acquisition is developed whose empirical verification takes place by analysing productive data of 195 children. Although the L1 of the studied L2 children (Turkish, Russian) differ typologically concerning the category of gender, both child groups initially develop the same semantic and later on the same grammatical strategies of form-function-mapping. Between the two test groups solely a difference concerning the onset of developing those strategies was found: Russian learners mark semantic/grammatical gender earlier than Turkish learners. This observation supports the assumption that learners familiar with gender from their L1 transfer this knowledge to their L2 acquisition. Therefore, the acquisition of gender can be modelled as a systematic sequence of semanticization and grammaticalisation processes.

More information:

Editors: Richard G. Schwartz
Title: Handbook of Child Language Disorders (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Routledge, Taylor & Francis
ISBN: 9781848725966 (Paperback) 9781848725959 (Hardback) 9781315283531 (e-book)

Handbook of Child Language Disorders (2nd Edition)

This second edition of the Handbook of Child Language Disorders brings together a distinguished group of clinical and academic researchers who present novel perspectives on researching the nature of language disorders in children. The handbook is divided into five sections: Typology; Bases; Language Contexts; Deficits, Assessment, and Intervention; and Research Methods. Topics addressed include autism, specific language impairment, dyslexia, hearing impairment, and genetic syndromes and their deficits, along with introductions to genetics, speech production and perception, neurobiology, linguistics, cognitive science, and research methods. With its global context, this handbook also includes studies concerning children acquiring more than one language and variations within and across languages.

Thoroughly revised, this edition offers state-of-the-art information in child language disorders together in a single volume for advanced undergraduate students and graduate students. It will also serve as a valuable resource for researchers and practitioners in speech-language pathology, audiology, special education, and neuropsychology, as well as for individuals interested in any aspect of language acquisition and its disorders.

More Information:

Authors: R. Zebib, G. Henry, A. Khomsi, C Messarra. &E. Hreich
Title: Evaluation du langage oral chez l’enfant libanais : ELO-L
Publisher: Liban Tests Editions

Handbook of Child Language Disorders (2nd Edition)

The ELO-L (Evaluation du langage oral chez l’enfant libanais, the first complete battery for language assessment of (Levantine) Arabic-speaking children, has appeared. This project was led by Racha Zebib, of François Rabelais University, Tours (France). Normed over a total of 1 718 Lebanese children aged 3 to 8, this assessment tool includes five different subtests for evaluating, respectively, phonology, receptive and expressive vocabulary, and morphosyntax in production and in comprehension.

More information:

Thesis Announcements

Author: Valentina Cristante
Title: The Processing of Non-Canonical Sentences in Children with German as a First or Second Language and German Adults: Evidence from an Eye-Tracking Study
Institution: University of Münster

The dissertation investigates the online processing and offline interpretation of passive and object-first sentences in children and adults with German as a first language as well as children with German as a second language. Linguistic knowledge of morphosyntactic cues (auxiliaries and case marking) is a prerequisite for a target linguistic comprehension of these sentences. In order to inquire into participants’processing, their eye movements while listening to the sentences were measured (Visual World Paradigm). The final sentence interpretation was collected through a sentence-picture matching task. The findings show that all three participant groups interpret passive sentences correctly. The children with German as second language needed more time than the monolingual children to reach the correct interpretation online. The processing and interpretation of object-first sentences, however, revealed considerable differences between the three participant groups. This work provides new insights into the processing of German non-canonical sentences and contributes to the young research field of early second language processing.


Author: Stephanie DeAnda
Title: Lexical-Semantic Development in Monolingual and Bilingual Children
Institution: San Diego State University/University of California San Diego Joint Doctoral Program in Language and Communicative Disorders

This dissertation explores lexical-semantic development in early toddlerhood across monolingual and bilingual language learners. It begins with a comprehensive review of the empirical literature examining lexical-semantic development in young monolingual and bilingual children followed by a discussion of theoretical models and their ability to account for the available evidence, drawing attention to gaps in our understanding of bilingual development. The first study introduces a methodological tool for operationalizing language exposure in dual language learning contexts. The next study examines the influence of vocabulary size on speed of auditory word recognition using haptic responses in 16 to 22 month old monolingual and bilingual toddlers. The final set of studies investigate how single or dual language exposure and vocabulary size influence the emergence of lexical-semantic priming. Throughout this dissertation, the focus is on how theoretical models can guide predictions and be revised to account for early development. Together these investigations advance our understanding of bilingual language representation in the semantic domain.

Author: Brigitta Keij
Title: Rhythm & Cues: Rhythmic Structure and Segmentation in Early Language Acquisition
Institution: Utrecht Institute of Linguistics OTS, Utrecht University

This dissertation studies the early acquisition of rhythmic structure and its use in speech segmentation from a cross-linguistic perspective. The main claim is that infants are able to acquire the rhythmic structure of their native language by the age of 6 months and that they are, in addition, able to use linguistic stress as a cue to speech segmentation, however not in a language-specific manner, by the age of 8 months. It is argued that infants start out by discovering rhythmic patterns at the phrase level before progressing to acquire rhythmic patterns at the word level and that this transition is related to the degree of lexical development during early language acquisition.

Two phases in this early language acquisition process are studied experimentally: the development of rhythmic preferences and word segmentation. This series of experiments demonstrates that Dutch-learning infants show a preference for the dominant word stress pattern of their native-language by the age of 6 months and that they subsequently use stress as a cue to segmentation in a non-language-specific manner at 8 months of age. However, Turkish-learning infants do not show a preference for the dominant word stress pattern of their native language by the age of 6 months, but they do seem to display an early preference for the dominant phrase level rhythmic pattern of Turkish at 4 months of age, thus demonstrating a rhythmic sensitivity. At 8 months of age, Turkish-learning infants use the same stress cues to segmentation as the Dutch-learning infants, thus in a universal manner. The experiments that are reported in this dissertation suggest that infants use their early rhythmic sensitivity initially to discover phrase level patterns and that they progress to discovering word level patterns only later on. This marks the importance of differentiating between prosodic levels when studying early phonological development and encourages conducting theoretically informed experiments in language acquisition research.

This book is of interest to theoretical linguists working on phonological theory as well as experimental linguists working on early language acquisition. More generally, it is relevant to scholars from any field who are interested in the topic of how language is acquired, in particular, in the first year of life.

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Author: Sofia Krasnoshchekova
Title: Mestoimennyj deiksis v russkoj detskoj rechi (in Russian) [Pronominal Deixis in Russian Children’s Speech]
Institution: Institute for Linguistic Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences

The thesis is dedicated to the emergence and behavior of deictic pronouns in the speech of Russian-speaking children of early age. The goal of the research was to describe the process of building of child’s individual pronominal system and functional features of all Russian personal, possessive, demonstrative, reflexive and relative pronouns. The utterances with pronouns (total number 8000) were extracted from longitudinal data (recordings of 18 Russian-speaking children) and analyzed. To the age of 4 years children usually use all analyzed pronouns and their functions, but the frequencies of lexemes, functions and forms are different than those in the speech of adults. The results include the following:

  1. The process of acquisition of pronouns has systemic features and follows the law of the development of systems. This manifests in the parallel acquisition of personal and locative deixis, synchronic acquisition of pronouns that are close in function (for example, personal pronouns and their possessive counterparts) and development of meanings from more general to more specific.
  2. While using demonstrative pronouns young children don’t make errors common for the use of personal pronouns and dependant on the acquisition of shifter nature of deictics (for example, personal name instead of ja ‘I’). This makes personal pronouns more deictic and demonstrative pronouns less deictic.
  3. The principle of agreement of an anaphoric pronoun with its co-referent word is at first acquired on the basis of demonstrative e~tot ‘this’ in utterances without any verbal antecedent and is later transferred to anaphoric constructions with 3rd person pronouns.

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Author: Sira Määttä
Title: Developmental Pathways of Language Development: A Longitudinal Predictive Study from Pre-linguistic Stage to Outcome at School Entry
Institution: Niilo Mäki Institute and the University of Jyväskylä, Finland

This research focused on the pathways of development during the prelinguistic stage and from prelinguistic development to later language ability. The first goal was to follow and describe the development of several prelinguistic communication skills during the first two years of life (Studies I and II). The second goal was to examine the predictive relations between this development and language ability and difficulties, as well as memory, up to school age (Studies I, II, and III). The third goal evaluated the feasibility of parental screening in identifying children at risk for language and communication difficulties (Studies I, II, and III). Prelinguistic skills were followed with a parental screener administered at three month intervals from age 6 to 24 months (seven measurements, n = 508, 203–330 by age). The same children were followed from ages 2 to 8 years (five measurements, n = 102–296). Both variable- and person-oriented approaches were applied. Development across several prelinguistic skills emerged as a rather continuous and stable characteristic of individual differences. Individuals differed widely in development, and six clearly distinguishable developmental trajectories were identified. Prelinguistic development was consistently related to parental and psychometric measures of later language ability and performance in working memory measures up to age 8. Growth across several prelinguistic skills was the best predictor of later language ability. The most prominent feature of developmental risk was the accumulation of early difficulties, especially if symbolic and social abilities were included. The connection between prelinguistic development and later verbal working memory was particularly strong. The findings suggest that a notable proportion of children who show multiple at-risk features of development already before their second birthday continue to show poor language and communication skills along with limitations in working memory in their later development. The findings support the rationale for early screening and indicate that features of early development that predict later development can be identified using parent reports. The key implications to screening are that assessment should cover several prelinguistic communication skills and that repeated surveillance tapping the growth of child’s skills should be favored instead of one-time screening.

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Author: Rita Obeid
Title: Exploring the Relationship between Sequence Learning, Motor Coordination, and Language Development
Institution: The Graduate Center, City University of New York

Dual-route approaches to language acquisition posit separable mechanisms for acquisition of vocabulary and grammar (e.g., Pinker, 1998). Working within the dualistic framework, Ullman and Pierpont (2005) proposed the procedural deficit hypothesis, which proposes that impairments in rule-based aspects of language (e.g. grammar, phonology) observed in children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI) may be linked to neural deficits that govern procedural memory and are critical for the procedural/sequence learning of both, cognitive and motor skills. In support of this hypothesis, recent meta-analyses indicate significant deficits in sequence learning in children with SLI relative to controls (Lum et al., 2014). Further research has found deficits in nonword repetition among children who are language impaired. Nonword repetition has also been associated with children's vocabulary development (Gathercole & Baddeley, 1990) suggesting that while nonword repetition is hypothesized to be procedural in nature, it is highly associated with children's word learning, which is thought to be learned declaratively.

In contrast to the dual-route framework, which has received more attention in the more recent years, single-route approaches to language development view vocabulary and grammar learning as fundamentally interconnected, as supported by very high correlations between measures of vocabulary diversity and grammatical complexity (e.g., mean utterance length) at all stages of development. This idea that all aspects of language are interrelated emerges from domain-general theories of child development and extends beyond language by suggesting that links exist between children’s language, motor, and cognitive development (Bates & Dick, 2000; Iverson & Thelen, 1999). This approach is supported by neurodevelopmental research (Diamond, 2000), in addition to research showing that children with language impairments also show difficulties in motor control. In line with this view, researchers have been pushing for a unification between the fields of motor and language development (Iverson, 2010).

The majority of the literature that has found support for the dual-route hypothesis has used extreme-group design to examine differences between clinical and typically developing populations. In this study, we use an individual differences approach to examine the role of sequence learning and motor coordination (fine motor coordination in particular) in language development in a community sample of school ages children. We administered a battery of language and cognitive assessments to a diverse community sample of 63 children (33 girls, 30 boys), mean age 8 years; 2 months (SD 1;3). We employed a commonly used measure of sequence learning (the Serial Reaction Time task) in addition to the pegboard task to examine motor coordination and the nonword repetition task to examine phonology. Results showed that while controlling for age and nonverbal working memory, using the traditional measures of sequence learning, we were unable to find a relationship with any measure of language, this finding was in line with some of the individual differences research in the field (Lum & Kidd, 2012) but not with group-level research looking at sequence learning between SLI and typically developing children. On the other hand, measures of motor coordination (as measured using the pegboard task) were related to individual differences in all aspects of language, including vocabulary, grammar, and phonology. Furthermore, all language measures were correlated with one another. In attempts to replicate these findings, we found associations between motor coordination (measured using accuracy on Block 1 of the SRT task) and measures of vocabulary and grammar. Post-hoc analyses also showed that nonverbal intelligence was also associated with performance on the pegboard task. These results implicate fine motor coordination as a factor contributing to variance in language and cognitive abilities, but fail to support the view that word-based (vocabulary) and rule-based (grammar and phonology) aspects of language are different and possibly acquired via separable mechanisms. Our findings are in line with domain-general approaches to development which discuss the relationships between both verbal and motor abilities in children, suggesting that these two developmental areas are largely intertwined (Thelen, 2010).

Author: Natalia Rohatyn-Martin
Title: Inclusion in Mainstream Classrooms: Experiences of Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing (D/HH)
Institution: University of Alberta

In current educational contexts Deaf and hard of hearing (D/HH) students are being educated in inclusive classrooms. However, academic and social outcomes for these students remain highly variable. To date, there are few studies examining inclusion from the perspectives of students who are D/HH. Research in this area may impact students’ future social and/or economic outcomes. This research can inform and enhance pedagogical decisions with respect to inclusion, resulting in increased student engagement, motivation, and achievement. The purpose of this study was to discover the day-to-day experiences of D/HH students (ASL and spoken English users) through narrative research. Study participants comprised 6 junior high and high school students who have severe-to-profound bilateral sensorineural hearing loss and attend inclusive classrooms in Alberta, Canada. Two students communicated in ASL, three used spoken English, and one communicated using Signed English and spoken English. Semi-structured indepth interviews were conducted with participants focused on their experiences of inclusion. Additional data sources (participant demographic data, pre-interview activities, and the researcher audit trail) were also collected. The findings are demonstrated through five overarching themes: (a) Educational Adaptations; (b) Identity Development; © Effect of Communication Style on Social Relationships; and (d) Importance of Language. Findings from this study are also discussed in terms of Universal Design for Learning and the implications for teachers, administrators, parents, and students themselves. This study adds unique evidence about inclusion through the lens of the students’ described experiences in, and perceptions of, inclusive classrooms in an Albertan context.

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 Lyon 2017, you will remain a member of IASCL until the first day of the 2020 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
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Manchester M13 9PL