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Conference Information

Full Title: Workshop: Universal Biases on Phonological Acquisition and Processing

Location: Leipzig, Germany
Start Date: 04-Mar-2015 - 06-Mar-2015
Contact: Natalie Boll-Avetisyan
Meeting Email: click here to access email
Meeting URL:
Meeting Description: Typological research indicates that many languages share specific patterns
regarding their phoneme inventories, syllable structures, phonotactics and
prosodic systems. A recurrent topic in acquisition research is the question
of whether typologically well-attested patterns reflect universal biases on
phonological acquisition and/or speech processing. This workshop aims at
discussing the nature of these biases and to what extent they influence
phonological acquisition and processing of L1 and L2 in children and adults.

There seems to be a strong consensus among researchers that phonological
acquisition is guided by universal biases. Yet, the specific nature of
these biases is unclear: are they functional or analytical, domain-general
or domain-specific? What is it that makes some patterns, often called
natural patterns, more easily accessible and learnable than others: Are
they are innate or are they triggered by experience with language? In
addition, it is debated whether there are time limits on the operating
periods of biases (possibly reflecting difficulties in L2 phonological
acquisition, i.e., a critical period), or whether they also influence L2
phonological acquisition. If they influence the L2, what happens when the
L1 phonological system is in conflict with the L2? In addition, the
question arises to what extent universal biases might be at work even
during speech processing after acquisition is completed. These classical
questions have recently received new attention and benefit from the revival
of artificial language paradigms, which enable us to investigate language
acquisition and processing likewise.

The goal of the workshop is to discuss effects of biases on L1 and early L2
phonological acquisition and their relation to age of acquisition from
theoretical and empirical perspective. We aim to contribute to the current
debate by assembling new insights to get a more concrete comprehension of
the nature of universal biases.

Keynote speakers: To be announced
Linguistic Subfield: Language Acquisition; Phonology; Psycholinguistics
LL Issue: 25.2437

This is a session of the following meeting:
Annual Meeting 2015 of DGfS (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Sprachwissenschaft)

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