Universal Biases on Phonological Acquisition and Processing [Call for papers]

Readers who work in the fields of Language Acquisition, Phonetics and Phonology, and Psycholinguistics may be interested in a workshop titled “Universal Biases on Phonological Acquisition and Processing” which will take place in Leipzig (Germany) between 4 and 6 March 2015. Here’s an extract from the call for papers:

There seems to be a strong consensus among researchers that phonological acquisition is guided by universal biases. Yet, the specific nature of these biases is unclear: are they functional or analytical, domain-general or domain-specific? What is it that makes some patterns, often called natural patterns, more easily accessible and learnable than others: Are they are innate or are they triggered by experience with language? In addition, it is debated whether there are time limits on the operating periods of biases (possibly reflecting difficulties in L2 phonological acquisition, i.e., a critical period), or whether they also influence L2 phonological acquisition. If they influence the L2, what happens when the L1 phonological system is in conflict with the L2? In addition, the question arises to what extent universal biases might be at work even during speech processing after acquisition is completed. These classical questions have recently received new attention and benefit from the revival of artificial language paradigms, which enable us to investigate language acquisition and processing likewise.

Call for Papers

Proposals for 30-minute presentations (including discussion) are invited, which report on research on biases on phonological acquisition and processing of segmental and suprasegmental structures in a variety of contexts (e.g., natural and artificial languages, monolingual and bilingual infants, children and adults). The conference organisers especially welcome papers which link empirical findings to linguistic theory.

Authors are requested to produce one-page abstracts in English (Times New Roman, 12pt, 1-inch margins). These are to be saved as .pdf files with the author’s name in the file name. Two copies should be submitted, an anonymous one and one containing the author’s name(s), affiliation, and email address.

Both copies should be sent to: nbolluni[at]potsdam[dot]de) by 15 August 2014. Notification of acceptance will be provided by mid- September 2014.

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