LINGUIST List 26.743

Wed Feb 04 2015

Calls: Cognitive Science, Neurolinguistics/Cyprus

Editor for this issue: Anna White <>

Date: 03-Feb-2015
From: Christiana Christodoulou <>
Subject: Advances in the Sciences of Language Disorders
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Full Title: Advances in the Sciences of Language Disorders
Short Title: ASLDCyprus

Date: 19-Jun-2015 - 21-Jun-2015
Location: Limassol, Cyprus
Contact Person: Christiana Christodoulou
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >

Linguistic Field(s): Cognitive Science; Neurolinguistics

Call Deadline: 30-Mar-2015

Meeting Description:


Christiana Christodoulou and Kleanthes Grohmann
University of Cyprus and Cyprus Acquisition Team

Keynote Speakers:

Prof. Mabel Rice, University of Kansas
2nd Speaker: TBC

This conference aims to contribute to our understanding of language development in individuals diagnosed with a language disorder (acquired or genetic). Acquired disorders like aphasia may cause severe cognitive and linguistic restrictions. Most genetic disorders have been reported to result in severe intellectual impairment. The study of the grammar of individuals diagnosed with genetic disorders such as Down Syndrome, Williams Syndrome, Autism, and others has the potential of helping to answer the guiding question: To what extent does intellectual impairment make it impossible to develop grammar? It is often assumed that due to cognitive restrictions the linguistic system is also affected. A number of studies, however, provide evidence that intellectual challenges do not necessarily prevent the development of language (e.g., Bellugi et al. 1988 and Clahsen et al. 2004 for Williams Syndrome, Smith & Tsimpli 1995 for language savantism). Comparisons with typically developing children show greater or minimal variability, depending on a number of factors such as age, speech–language services (therapy, rehabilitation, intervention), methodology of data collection, language-specific characteristics, genetic make-up, etc.

Innovative methods of more effective and inclusive study, analysis and rehabilitation to improve the linguistic abilities of individuals diagnosed with a language disorder have emerged over the past few years. With this meeting we aim to bring together some of those methods.

Special Section on Down Syndrome:

One of these genetic disorders is Down Syndrome. Down Syndrome is the most common cause of intellectual challenges, with the possible exception of Autism Spectrum Disorders. Despite of this, it has not been studied extensively across different languages. Cross-linguistic inconsistencies on the (morpho)syntactic abilities of individuals with Down Syndrome suggest that perhaps language-specific characteristics could affect the way we view the linguistic abilities of individuals with Down Syndrome. In addition, the variability in studies on a specific language like English, or across different languages, ranging from “low functioning” individuals with minimal or no language production to highly proficient individuals, could also suggest that Down Syndrome may spread across a spectrum. The variability in their linguistic abilities may depend on a number of different factors related to either the genome—i.e. different types of Down Syndrome: trisomy 21, translocation or mosaic—or other factors independent of the genetic make-up.

This special section aims to contribute to our understanding of language development in individuals diagnosed with Down Syndrome and explore the linguistic challenges that they face during or after the process of language acquisition. Physiological and linguistic restrictions cause productions by individuals with Down Syndrome to differ from those of typically developing individuals. Determining the nature of those differences and exploring how they relate across different languages may offer a different insight as to how the language of individuals with Down Syndrome develops. It may also serve as a window into the properties of the human language faculty.

Call for Papers:

We invite one-page abstracts (with an additional page for tables, examples and references) on any topic related to linguistic development in language disorders. Send anonymized abstracts to by 15 March 2015, and include personal information (name, institution, contact information) in your email.

Abstract submission deadline: 30 March 2015

This conference is a dissemination activity for the CGDS Morphosyntax project funded by:
Marie Curie Career Integration Grant (FP7/2007-2013, no. PCIG11-GA-2012-322005), ‘The Development of Cypriot Greek in Individuals with Down Syndrome: Their Morphosyntactic Profile, and the Effects of Phonetics and Phonology’

Project website:

Page Updated: 04-Feb-2015