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Language, Interaction and Acquisition

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ISSN 1879-7865
E-ISSN 1879-7873

<em>LIA</em>is a bilingual English-French journal that publishes original theoretical and empirical research of high scientific quality at the forefront of current debates concerning language acquisition. It covers all facets of language acquisition among different types of learners and in diverse learning situations, with particular attention to oral speech and/or to signed languages. Topics include the acquisition of one or more foreign languages, of one or more first languages, and of sign languages, as well as learners’ use of gestures during speech; the relationship between language and cognition during acquisition; bilingualism and situations of linguistic contact – for example pidginisation and creolisation. The bilingual nature of <em>LIA</em> aims at reaching readership in a wide international community, while simultaneously continuing to attract intellectual and linguistic resources stemming from multiple scientific traditions in Europe, thereby remaining faithful to its original French anchoring. <em>LIA</em> is the direct descendant of <a href="">the French-speaking journal <em>AILE.</em></a>

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  • Conventions for sign and speech transcription of child bimodal bilingual corpora in ELAN
    • Authors: Deborah Chen Pichler, Julie A. Hochgesang, Diane Lillo-Martin, and Ronice Müller de Quadros
    • Source: Language, Interaction and Acquisition, Volume 1, Issue 1, 2010, pages: 11 –40
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    • This article extends current methodologies for the linguistic analysis of sign language acquisition to cases of bimodal bilingual acquisition. Using ELAN, we are transcribing longitudinal spontaneous production data from hearing children of Deaf parents who are learning either American Sign Language (ASL) and American English (AE), or Brazilian Sign Language (Libras, also referred to as Língua de Sinais Brasileira/LSB in some texts) and Brazilian Portuguese (BP). Our goal is to construct corpora that can be mined for a wide range of investigations on various topics in acquisition. Thus, it is important that we maintain consistency in transcription for both signed and spoken languages. This article documents our transcription conventions, including the principles behind our approach. Using this document, other researchers can chose to follow similar conventions or develop new ones using our suggestions as a starting point.
  • Tracing trajectories: Motion event construal by advanced L2 French-English and L2 French-German speakers
    • Authors: Mary Carroll, Katja Weimar, Monique Flecken, Monique Lambert, and Christiane von Stutterheim
    • Source: Language, Interaction and Acquisition, Volume 3, Issue 2, 2012, pages: 202 –230
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    • Although the typological contrast between Romance and Germanic languages as verb-framed versus satellite-framed (Talmy 1985) forms the background for many empirical studies on L2 acquisition, the inconclusive picture to date calls for more differentiated, fine-grained analyses. The present study goes beyond explanations based on this typological contrast and takes into account the sources from which spatial concepts are mainly derived in order to shape the trajectory traced by the entity in motion when moving through space: the entity in V-languages versus features of the ground in S-languages. It investigates why advanced French learners of English and German have difficulty acquiring the use of spatial concepts typical of the L2s to shape the trajectory, although relevant concepts can be expressed in their L1. The analysis compares motion event descriptions, based on the same sets of video clips, of L1 speakers of the three languages to L1 French-L2 English and L1 French-L2 German speakers, showing that the learners do not fully acquire the use of L2-specific spatial concepts. We argue that encoded concepts derived from the entity in motion vs. the ground lead to a focus on different aspects of motion events, in accordance with their compatibility with these sources, and are difficult to restructure in L2 acquisition.
  • First language retention and attrition in an adult Guatemalan adoptee
    • Author: Silvina A. Montrul
    • Source: Language, Interaction and Acquisition, Volume 2, Issue 2, 2011, pages: 276 –311
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    • This case study illustrates the long-term effects of interrupted input and subsequent re-exposure to the first language in childhood in the adult linguistic competence of an internationally adopted individual. Alicia — the subject of the case study — is a 34-year-old Guatemalan adopted by an American family at age 9 and raised in a small Mid-America town with no Hispanic population at that time. In several sessions, Alicia completed oral production and written tasks (including interpretation, judgment and truth value judgment tasks) targeting knowledge and use of Spanish morphosyntax. On the overall proficiency measures, Alicia demonstrates native-like knowledge of English and significant attrition in Spanish, although not to the extent reported in recent studies of Korean adoptees. Alicia’s degree of L1 attrition and retention after several years of severed input challenges Pallier et al. (2003) and Ventureyra et al.’s (2004) Language Replacement and Impediment Hypothesis, and is more consistent with the view that there are age effects for L1 attrition (Hyltenstam et al. 2009; Montrul 2008).
  • The ‘thinking’ in thinking-for-speaking: Where is it?
    • Authors: Panos Athanasopoulos, and Emanuel Bylund
    • Source: Language, Interaction and Acquisition, Volume 4, Issue 1, 2013, pages: 91 –100
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    • According to the thinking-for-speaking (TFS) hypothesis, speakers of different languages think differently while in the process of mentally preparing content for speech. The aim of the present paper is to critically discuss the research carried out within the TFS paradigm, against the background of the basic tenets laid out by the proponents of this framework. We will show that despite substantial progress in the investigation of crosslinguistic differences in the organisation of information in discourse, the studies that actually examine the cognitive aspects of speech production are, to date, vanishingly few. This state of affairs creates a gap in our knowledge about the thought processes that co-occur with speech production during language use and acquisition. We will argue that in order to reach a more comprehensive picture of the cognitive processes and outcomes of speech production, methodologies additional to the analysis of information organisation must be used.
  • Comparing child and adult development of a visual phonological system
    • Authors: Gerardo Ortega, and Gary Morgan
    • Source: Language, Interaction and Acquisition, Volume 1, Issue 1, 2010, pages: 67 –81
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    • Research has documented systematic articulation differences in young children’s first signs compared with the adult input. Explanations range from the implementation of phonological processes, cognitive limitations and motor immaturity. One way of disentangling these possible explanations is to investigate signing articulation in adults who do not know any sign language, but have mature cognitive and motor development. Some preliminary observations are provided on signing accuracy in a group of adults using a sign repetition methodology. Adults make the most errors with marked handshapes and produce movement and location errors akin to child signers. Secondly, there are both positive and negative influences of iconicity on sign repetition in adults. Possible reasons are discussed for these iconicity effects based on gesture.
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