LINGUIST List 29.639

Wed Feb 07 2018

Calls: Slavic, Language Acquisition/Germany

Editor for this issue: Kenneth Steimel <>

Date: 03-Feb-2018
From: Natalia Gagarina <>
Subject: Heritage Slavic Languages in Children and Adolescents
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Full Title: Heritage Slavic Languages in Children and Adolescents
Short Title: HeSLA

Date: 05-Dec-2018 - 07-Dec-2018
Location: Göttingen, Germany
Contact Person: Natalia Gagarina
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >
Web Site:

Linguistic Field(s): Language Acquisition

Language Family(ies): Slavic Subgroup

Call Deadline: 15-May-2018

Meeting Description:

Due to migration, the number of children and adolescents who speak a (minority) language at home different from the societal (majority) language has increased. Depending on the country and place of residence, speakers of these minority - Slavic - languages have different possibilities for maintaining them (Moser & Polinsky, 2013). On the one hand, this increases diversity wrt acquisition paths, timing, and levels of attainment. On the other hand, it creates greater potential for instable use of already acquired categories. Although Slavic languages exhibit rich morphology and are known for the high speed at which noun and verb inflection are acquired (Xantos et al. 2011), the multilingual environment does not provide sufficient input for a 'typical' developmental path in these languages. The crucial role of input for acquisition and use of language by children and adolescents is accepted by both UG-based and usage-based theories. Usage-based approaches emphasize the crucial role of children's linguistic experience and suggest that structural properties emerge from usage (e.g. Barlow & Kemmer 2000, Langacker 1987) and communication needs (Tomasello 2003). Formal theories, on the contrary, outline language in children and adolescents as a system of abstract categories and formal representations, which children possess from birth. The goal of the workshop is to compare various theoretical approaches in terms of how they fare vis-à-vis empirical data from children and adolescents using Heritage Slavic languages. Additionally, the similarities and divergence in language development and use by children and adolescents are in need of (more) explanation.

This workshop suggests (but is not limited to) the following topics:

- Acquisition path and timing of nominal and verbal categories
- Linguistic input and non-linguistic environmental factors in the acquisition of Heritage Slavic languages
- Age of onset and attainment in the acquisition of Heritage Slavic languages
- Diversity in the adolescents' Heritage Slavic languages


Barlow, M. & S. Kemmer. 2000. Usage-based models of language. Stanford: CSLI Publications.
Langacker, R. 1987. Foundations of cognitive grammar. Vol. I. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
Moser, M. & M. Polinsky (eds.) 2013. Slavic Languages in Migration. Wien, Zürich: Lit Verlag.
Montrul, S. 2008. Incomplete acquisition in bilingualism: re-examining the age factor. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Schmid, M. and B. Köpcke (eds.) 2013. First Language Attrition. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Tomasello, M. 2003. Construction a Language: A Usage-based Theory of Language Acquisition. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Xanthos, A., Laaha, S., Gillis, S., Stephany, U., Aksu-Koç, A., Christofidou, A., Gagarina, A. et
al. 2011. On the role of morphological richness in the early development of noun and verb inflection. First Language 31(3). 461-479.

Call for Papers:

Abstracts are invited for 30-minute slots (20-minute presentation plus 10 minutes for discussion) on formal aspects of NP semantics in Slavic languages.

Abstracts must be anonymous (nothing in the abstract or the document should identify the authors) and consist of no more than two pages (margins: 2.5 cm or 1 inch, character size: 12 points, spacing: single), including references, figures, and data.

Abstracts must be submitted in PDF format via Easychair (

An individual may submit at most one single and one co-authored abstract or two co-authored abstracts, but not with the same co-author.

Please make sure you select the Heritage Slavic Languages in Children and Adolescents Workshop as goal of your submission!

Deadline for the receipt of abstracts: May 15, 2018
Notification of acceptance: August 15, 2018

Conference homepage:

Page Updated: 07-Feb-2018