This grant provides support for the 2012 Generative Approaches to Language Acquisition-North America (GALANA) conference, with a special theme on Psycholinguistic and Neurolinguistic Approaches to Language Development. The conference will be held at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas on October 11-13, 2012.
This conference will be the fifth meeting of GALANA, an international conference which has emerged as a leading forum for research in language development that is informed by linguistic theory. Language acquisition research in the generative framework addresses several core questions regarding the mental representation of linguistic knowledge, the ways in which that knowledge emerges over time, and the degree to which that knowledge is specialized or independent of other cognitive domains. In recent years, psycholinguistic and neurolinguistic techniques have provided new ways to investigate the recruitment of linguistic knowledge in real time processing, and have successfully been utilized with both child and adult learner populations. The goal of this session is to consider the application of these new approaches for theory building and testing in the domains of first and second language acquisition. This session will be the first of its kind to consider first language acquisition, second language acquisition, and language disorders under the same umbrella. As there is overlap with respect to the core theoretical questions at the heart of these sub-fields, it is advantageous to encourage discussion among researchers from these different disciplines.
The findings of this conference will be broadly disseminated in two outlets: a proceedings volume for the general conference and a special issue of a journal that will be dedicated to the special theme. The conference encourages broad participation by highlighting the work of junior scholars in several invited presentations. The conference also encourages participation from junior researchers by offering merit-based travel awards to graduate students and post-docs.
was held at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas on October 11-13, 2012. GALANA is an international conference which has emerged as a leading forum for research in language development that is informed by linguistic theory. The conference featured eight invited talks, all focusing on the special theme of the conference. Plenary talks were presented by Drs. Silvina Montrul (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), Colin Phillips (University of Maryland), Mabel Rice (University of Kansas), and Jesse Snedeker (Harvard University). These talks highlighted recent research in first and second language acquisition, language disorders, and sentence processing, focusing on how novel methodological approaches can shed light on core questions in language acquisition. In addition, four speakers participated in an invited panel dedicated to the special theme. Drs. Barbara Conboy (University of Redlands), Holger Hopp (Mannheim University), Eric Pakulak (University of Oregon), and Nicole Wicha (University of Texas, San Antonio) gave talks which highlighted recent research in brain imaging and psycholinguistics and discussed how these techniques can be used to address new questions in the domains of language development and processing. These eight invited talks allowed us to highlight the important findings of both established researchers and junior scholars, five of whom are female. It is the first conference to unite a discussion of first and second language acquisition, language disorders, and language processing under one umbrella, which is advantageous as there is overlap with respect to the core theoretical questions at the heart of these disciplines. In addition to the invited talks, there were an additional 27 oral presentations and 41 poster presentations. Researchers came from thirteen different countries to present their work including Australia, Canada, China, the Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Japan, Kuwait, Mexico, the Netherlands, and Spain . The conference attracted 149 attendees including many undergraduate and graduate students from the University of Kansas who were attending an international conference for the first time. The conference exposed students and junior researchers from a range of departments to cutting-edge research in language development and provided them with an opportunity to interact with scholars from around the world.