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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:

Sharon Peperkamp (CNRS, Institut d'Etudes de la Cognition, Ecole Normale Superieure, Paris)
Elliott Moreton (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Linguistic Subfield: Language Acquisition; Phonology; Psycholinguistics
LL Issue: 25.3390

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

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