LINGUIST List 12.3055

Thu Dec 6 2001

Calls: L1 Attrition,Comp Assisted Language Learning

Editor for this issue: Dina Kapetangianni <>

As a matter of policy, LINGUIST discourages the use of abbreviations or acronyms in conference announcements unless they are explained in the text.


  1. L1 attrition conference, L1 attrition conference: 2nd Call for papers
  2. Jozef Colpaert, Computer Assisted Language Learning

Message 1: L1 attrition conference: 2nd Call for papers

Date: Thu, 06 Dec 2001 12:43:49 +0000
From: L1 attrition conference <>
Subject: L1 attrition conference: 2nd Call for papers

2nd Call for papers

International conference
First language attrition: Interdisciplinary perspectives on
methodological issues
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Aug. 22-24th, 2002

Monika S. Schmid:
Barbara Koepke:

Plenary speakers will include:
Roger Andersen (UCLA)
Kees de Bot (KU Nijmegen)
Roeland van Hout (KUB Tilburg)
Peter Jordens (VU Amsterdam)
Pieter Muysken (KU Nijmegen)
Aneta Pavlenko (Temple University, Philadelphia)
Kutlay Ya&#287;mur (KUB Tilburg)

Deadline for submission of abstract (max. 300 words): 10.
January 2002
Pre-registration: until May 15th

The study of first language attrition is currently entering
its third decade. However, after twenty years of diligent
investigation resulting in numerous theoretical and
empirical papers the questions on this topic still by far
outweigh the answers. Findings from individual studies seem
to underscore that it cannot even be said with any certainty
whether a first language in which a certain level of
proficiency has been reached can ever undergo significant
attrition, let alone how or why. 
Two decades after the field of language attrition was
inaugurated, research is still very much divided on the
question of whether any such thing as adult L1 attrition
exists in the first place. Such differences are likely to be
the outcome of inconsistencies in the methodology used in
the collection and interpretation of the data &#8211; and
not necesarily of actual differences in the linguistic
repertoire of the speakers analysed by these different
studies (for a broader and more detailed comparison of the
results of language attrition studies see K�pke
It has been pointed out that there is great variance in the
amount of attrition that individual studies have found, but
it has not, so far, been investigated in what way these
differences are linked to the methodology of collecting and
analyzing data. 
The current project is intended to reconcile some of these
differences, and develop a sound methodological framework
for further studies in language attrition. For this, it
appears crucial to reconcile the different disciplines
involved, to take advantage of the strength of the
linguistic, sociolinguistic and psycholinguistic approaches
and to join them in an interdisciplinary frame able to
account for all types of variation which render comparisons
between different studies difficult or impossible. 
This conference attempts to do this, to bring researchers
together and ask them to re-evaluate their own findings on
the basis of methodological issues.
We would like to encourage participants to address some (or
all) of the following issues:
We want researchers to arrive at a better (and more
standardized) understanding of what methodological means
permit what kinds of conclusions. This includes issues like
the following:

Concerning data :
1.What is a &#8216;mistake&#8217;? How many judges do you
need in order to establish whether something is a mistake or
2.What are the differences in the occurrence of
&#8216;mistakes&#8217; in elicited vs. spontaneous data?
What methods are there available to generate elicited data
that is more like spontaneous data?
3.Can a study of language attrition be confined to
analysing interference data, or is it necessary to also
include an analysis of &#8216;proficiency data&#8217; (e.g.
type-token frequencies, syntactic and morphological
complexity etc.)

Concerning data collection : 
4.What are the possibilities and limitations of different
tests, i.e. what are the processing demands involved in a
specific test and what kind of observations does it allow?
5.How does the procedure of data collection influence the
results? (language choice, bilingual vs. unilingual
interviewers, codeswitching during the test, etc.)
6.Is a control group necessary, and, if so, how do we
establish one? (methodological differences here include the
fact that a control group should, ideally, be unilingual
&#8211; but that very often, chosing a unilingual group of
subjects will produce an average level of education that is
much lower than that of the group of attriters.)

Concerning sociolinguistic factors :
7.What extralinguistic factors (age, education, gender
etc.) do we have to take into account?
8.To what degree do we have to allow for dialectal and
sociolectal variation among our attriters, and how do we
control for that? 
9.How to we acccount for variation in the socio-cultural
environnement and/or history of the subjects and of its
consequences on attitudes or motivation?

And finally:
10. If I could do the research all over again from the
start, what would I do differently?

Abstracts are invited for 20-minute presentations in English
or French or posters (please state your preference!)
For further information, please consult the conference
website at

Language Attrition Conference 
Organising Committee

Mailing address:
Monika S. Schmid 
Engelse Taal en Cultuur
Faculteit der Letteren
Vrije Universiteit
De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam
The Netherlands
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Message 2: Computer Assisted Language Learning

Date: Thu, 6 Dec 2001 15:14:33 +0100
From: Jozef Colpaert <>
Subject: Computer Assisted Language Learning

Computer Assisted Language Learning

Tenth International CALL Conference
"CALL Professionals and the Future of CALL Research"
Antwerp, 18-20 August 2002.

Second Call for Proposals (deadline January 7th 2002!)

Combine Eurocall 2002 with CALL 2002. Experience the magic of Exeter,
now in Antwerp. Read all about it on:

Jozef Colpaert
director Research Centre DIDASCALIA
editor C.A.L.L. Journal (Swets & Zeitlinger)
Universiteit Antwerpen (UIA)
Universiteitsplein, 1
B-2610 Antwerpen (Belgium)

tel.	32 (0)3 820 29 72
fax 	32 (0)3 820 29 86
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