LINGUIST List 9.251

Fri Feb 20 1998

Confs: Ecology of Language Acquisition

Editor for this issue: Elaine Halleck <>

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  1. Jonathan Leather, Ecology of Language Acquisition

Message 1: Ecology of Language Acquisition

Date: Thu, 19 Feb 1998 12:36:40 +0100 (MET)
From: Jonathan Leather <>
Subject: Ecology of Language Acquisition

 international research workshop

 University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
 11 - 15 January 1999

 ******** first announcement ********

This workshop re-examines certain assumptions implicit in much language
acquisition research to date, such as the primacy of the
one-speaker-one-hearer interaction; the predominance of verbal over prosodic
and paralinguistic dimensions of talk; a static interpretation of "context"
and participant roles; and the presupposition of a monolingual/monocultural
social matrix. The focus of the meeting is thus the complexity of
circumstances in which the language acquirer operates, addressed in such
questions as:

* How should discourse-analytic and anthropological descriptions of
communicative interaction be integrated to account not only for
"conversation", multi-party and ritual talk, but also man-machine
interaction and forms of virtual participation in the networks of

* How should the notion of "shared context" be extended to capture the floor
shifts and on-line construction of meaning that take place over the progress
of an unfolding discourse?

* How can theories of acquisition be made more sensitive to complex
linguistic and sociocultural environments that are to varying degrees
plural, mixed, and in flux?

The intention is to bring together people and paradigms from L1 and L2
acquisition research with the aim of exploring from an empirical base how
the multiple contexts of language acquisition are interrelated, and how,
with ecosystemic validity, such interrelations may be theoretically

Although we are obliged to limit "real" participation to 30 people, we are
making provision for a form of remote partial participation via e-mail (with
possible audio links). Further details will follow in future announcements.
Meanwhile, if you think you will be interested in participating in either
capacity, it would help our planning to send us an e-mail message to this

In the programme there will be room for some 12 papers, thematically
grouped, with keynote speakers. If you would like to propose a paper,
please send in an abstract (maximum 300 words) by e-mail before 15 April to:


 Web page:
This workshop is being organized by Jet van Dam, Jonathan Leather and Anne
Bannink (Faculty of Humanities, University of Amsterdam)
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