LINGUIST List 23.3008

Tue Jul 10 2012

Calls: Psycholing, Language Acquisition, Syntax/Switzerland

Editor for this issue: Alison Zaharee <>

Date: 10-Jul-2012
From: Stephanie Durrleman <>
Subject: Workshop: Language and Mind in Autism
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Full Title: Workshop: Language and Mind in Autism
Date: 22-Jul-2013 - 27-Jul-2013 Location: Geneva, Switzerland Contact Person: Stephanie Durrleman
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >
Web Site:
Linguistic Field(s): Language Acquisition; Psycholinguistics; Syntax

Call Deadline: 15-Aug-2012

Meeting Description:

Delays and deficits in language are among the diagnostic criteria for autism (APA 2000). Research on language impairment in autism has given vast importance to explaining pragmatic deficits (e.g. Happé 1993; 1995; Baron-Cohen 1997, Reddy et al. 2002; Frith 2003) as well as their connection to the development of cognitive abilities such as theory of mind (ToM) (Frith 1989, Baron-Cohen 1995). ToM has also been proposed to influence other language skills such as lexical development (Happé 1995) and prosody (Baron-Cohen 1995). Still, studies outside the realm of pragmatics in autism are relatively rare. Indeed 'the emphasis on the pragmatic language impairment in autism has led to a relative neglect of other linguistic deficits that are found in most individuals with this disorder' (Tager-Flusberg 2000, emphasis ours).

Among the understudied areas is syntactic development. Interestingly, recent work on syntax in autism suggests that it may play a role in the very development of ToM because syntax has been found to be the strongest predictor of ToM abilities in this population (Paynter and Peterson 2010), in particular the ability to use and understand complement clauses (Tager-Flusberg 2001, Tager-Flusberg & Joseph 2005, Lind & Bowler 2009). In turn it has been proposed that syntactic skills in autism are related to working memory capacities (Eigsti 2009). However the nature of syntactic development remains to be better understood. Despite some reports that specific syntactic structures are affected in groups of individuals with this condition (e.g. Roberts et al. 2004, Perovic et al. 2007, in press, Durrleman & Zufferey 2011, in press, Tuller et al 2011, Terzi et al 2012) there are still relatively 'few studies [which] have examined grammatical abilities in autism, with mixed findings' (Eigsti et al 2007).

On the occasion of the International Congress of Linguists (22-27 July 2013, Geneva, Switzerland), we are pleased to announce the workshop 'Language and Mind in Autism'. This meeting aims to bring together experts and new researchers exploring (1) grammatical development in autism (Delay/deviance; Differences/similarities to other language impaired children) and (2) its connections to other cognitive abilities (e.g. theory of mind, working memory, executive functioning, non-verbal intelligence, etc). Among the confirmed speakers are Helen Tager-Flusberg, Inge-Marie Eigsti, Alexandra Perovic, and Anne Reboul.

Organizing Committee:

Stephanie Durrleman, Hélène Delage, Laurie Tuller, Philippe Prévost, Ira Noveck


2nd Call for Papers:

We are now welcoming contributions for the workshop Language and Mind in Autism until 15 August 2012 (extended deadline). Talks will be selected by the organizing committee with the help of outside reviewers. To submit an abstract, please send the following information to stephanie.durrleman(at)unige(dot)ch: name, institution, title of abstract, abstract (maximum of 500 words excluding title and references).

Notification of acceptance to authors of abstracts will be sent by 15 October 2012. Accepted papers will be allotted 20 minutes for presentation plus 10 minutes for discussion.

Page Updated: 10-Jul-2012