Københavns Universitet
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The effect of polysynthetic structure on language acquisition: The case of Inuktitut, lecture by Shanley Allen (University of Kaiserslautern-Landau)

Foredrag — Lingvistkredsen inviterer til foredrag med Shanley Allen. Læs mere på: https://lingvistkredsen.ku.dk/kalender/foraar-2024/the-effect-of-polysynthetic-structure-on-language-acquisition/


Date & Time:

South Campus, room 24.0.11

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Children all over the world acquire the languages in their environment in similar ways. But what is universal vs. language-specific, and how does language typology affect the acquisition trajectory? In this talk, I explore the acquisition of Inuktitut – a polysynthetic agglutinative language spoken in northern Canada. Based on spontaneous speech data from eight children aged 1-4 years, I lay out the typical trajectory of acquisition in Inuktitut and how it differs from that of “Standard Average European” languages that are more isolating or fusional. I focus on the mean length of utterances and words, valency alternating structures, polysynthetic structures, argument realization, word order, and verbal inflexion.

Shanley Allen is a Professor of Psycholinguistics and Language Development at the University of Kaiserslautern-Landau. She has published extensively on the acquisition and processing of morphosyntax and information structure in monolingual and bilingual children and adults, across typologically different languages including Inuktitut. She is Co-Editor of the book series Trends in Language Acquisition Research, is on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Child Language, and is President-Elect of the International Association for the Study of Child Language