15.3494, FYI: Language Acquisition: European Grant

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Tue Dec 14 19:15:39 UTC 2004

LINGUIST List: Vol-15-3494. Tue Dec 14 2004. ISSN: 1068 - 4875.

Subject: 15.3494, FYI: Language Acquisition:  European Grant                                                                                                                                                                   

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Date: 14-Dec-2004
From: Kazuko Yatsushiro < yatsushiro at zas.gwz-berlin.de >
Subject: European Language Acquisition Grant 

-------------------------Message 1 ---------------------------------- 
Date: Tue, 14 Dec 2004 14:11:02
From: Kazuko Yatsushiro < yatsushiro at zas.gwz-berlin.de >
Subject: European Language Acquisition Grant 

Call for Participation

The COST program is an intergovernmental framework for European co-operation in
the field of scientific and technical research
(http://cost.cordis.lu/src/home.cfm).  We have applied for funding for a
European research network for first-language acquisition with emphasis on
semantics/pragmatics and language impairment (SLI).  Final approval is pending
at this point, and it is still possible for researchers from certain European
countries to join this action.  We call on researchers from the following
countries to apply for network membership:

Czech Republic, Finland, Ireland, Latvia, Luxembourg, Former Yugoslav Republic
of Macedonia, Malta, Slovakia, Slovenia, Serbia and Montenegro, Sweden

Only researchers based in one of the above countries should apply at this point.
Members will receive travel reimbursement to participate in network meetings.

Application information:

Please send your curriculum vitae with a list of your publications and a
statement describing your interest in this project by email (preferred) or
regular mail to the address below.  In the letter, please describe currently
ongoing research projects of yours in first-language acquisition and relations
between your research and the project as described in the abstract below.

Call Deadline: December 31st, 2004

Email address: cost at zas.gwz-berlin.de

Regular Mail:
COST - Dr. Kazuko Yatsushiro
Jägerstr. 10/11
10117 Berlin

Selection committee:

Tom Roeper
Uli Sauerland
Jürgen Weissenborn

Decisions will be announced by mid-January.

ABSTRACT of the project:

'Cross-linguistically Robust Stages of Children's Linguistic Performance with
Applications to Language Assessment' (Proposer: U. Sauerland)

Research in Language Acquisition has identified stages children go through when
acquiring their native language(s).  In the United States, results of this
research have been used to create standardized test to identify and classify
individuals with language problems.  Similar developments exist in Europe, but
are at a much earlier stage because of three challenges: 1) The linguistic
diversity of Europe requires easily translatable tests, but many test methods
are tied to features of a specific language.  2) Local dialects that diverge
significantly from the standard language exist in many European regions. 
Children acquiring a dialect may exhibit a harmless deficit in the standard
language. 3) Multilingualism occurs frequently in border regions, immigrant
populations, and families of mixed nationality.  Multilingualism can cause a
harmless language delay.

The broad goal of this project is to coordinate and harmonize European efforts
to advance the understanding of the language acquisition process in children and
to apply such results to the detection of language impairment.  Our particular
focus is to develop test methods that are less sensitive to the language(s) and
dialect(s) a child is exposed to. Initially we consider five to six-year old
children, but we plan to extend the project to younger children at a later
point. An important precedent for some of the planned work are American efforts
aimed at minority populations whose mother tongue differs from mainstream
American English.  The innovative DSLT-test (Seymour, Roeper, and de Villiers
2002) has succeeded with tests for semantic competence. Several European
research groups already started with the creation of similar tests for specific
languages.  This project seeks to coordinate these developments and to spread
them to all European languages. Though no area of linguistic competence is
excluded, the project pays special attention to semantic and pragmatic competence. 

Linguistic Field(s): Language Acquisition

LINGUIST List: Vol-15-3494	


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