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Language acquisition, variation and change: A view from syntax and its interfaces

The workshop aims to discuss language variation in synchrony, diachrony and language acquisition (L1 and L2) in the framework of generative grammar. In particular, the following main questions will be addressed: 

  • Which role is played by syntax and the interfaces in the process of language change and variation? 
  • Which principles (syntactic, semantic, phonological) interact in determining diachronic changes in language? Is it possible to identify typical patterns of change of syntactic structures? 
  • How does child syntax differs from adult syntax? Do children comply with universal strategies of language production? What is the relationship between language acquisition (monolingual and bilingual) and diachronic change? 
  • How does the acquisition of syntax interact with cognitive development (working memory capacity, processing contraints, etc.)? 

The workshop will offer the opportunity to discuss methodologies suitable for addressing these questions (e.g., psycholinguistics experiments and use of computerized corpora), in order to ground the theoretical analysis on a solid empirical basis. 


LOCATION: Seminargebäude of the University of Cologne (Building 106, Universitätsstraße 37, 50931 Köln, see here), Tagungsraum 004. 


The workshop is funded by the Cologne Center of Language Sciences (CCLS)