397LH L1 and L2 topics


Special Topics: First and Second Language Acquisition

Fall 2015

Jeremy Hartman                                                     Magda Oiry

Email: hartman@linguist.umass.edu                           Email: moiry@linguist.umass.edu

Office: N428 Integrated Learning Center                  Office: N434 Integrated Learning Center

Office hours:                                                                   Office hours: TuTh 11:30-12:30

Time and place: TuTh., 10:00-11:15 AM, Dickinson 206

Course requirements:

  •      Attendance, readings, participation in class discussion
  •      One in-class presentation (20-30 min). Dates TBD.
  •      Final project (individual paper or group experimental project)

Textbook: None. Readings will be posted on UDrive. Many of the readings will be taken from the following volumes:

  •      Bowerman, Melissa, and Stephen C. Levinson, eds. Language acquisition and conceptual development. Cambridge University Press, 2001.
  •      O’Grady, William. How children learn language. Cambridge University Press, 2005.
  •      Clark, Eve V. First language acquisition. Cambridge University Press, 2009.
  •      Lust, Barbara. Child language. Cambridge University Press, 2006.

Schedule of Classes

Week 1                                            

Sept. 8             Introduction, expectations, course overview

Sept. 10           The problem of language acquisition, historical perspectives

Read: Cattell, “Do we teach children to speak?”

Week 2                                                  

Sept. 15           Differences between L1 and L2 acquisition                         

Week 2a notes

Sept. 17           Critical period discussion

Handout: Critical period

Read:  Ortega p. 13-30

Week 3                      

Sept. 22           Early discrimination of speech sounds

Read: O’Grady pp. 143-163

Do: Homework 2

Week 3 Slides

Sept. 24    Early speech production

Week 4

Sept. 29           Accents and loanword phonology

Oct. 1        Shared generalizations in acquisition, typology, and language change

Weeks 3-4 slides all together: .pdf; .pptx

Do: Homework 3

Week 5

Oct. 6        Guest lecture: Joe Pater (slides)

Oct. 8        Transfer and access L2

Optionally Read: White (1991), White (2000)

Week 6

Do: Homework 4

Website for Homework 4: http://accent.gmu.edu/browse_language.php

Oct. 15 Midterm

Week 7: Transfer in L2

Oct 20: Read White (1991), this week’s slides

Oct 22: Limits of Transfer, Flege (1987)

 Slides: week7b

Week 8: Oct 27-29  Null Subjects, Agreement

Week 8 slides

Homework 5: due on Thursday

Workshop on Theoretical and Experimental Approaches to Agreement at UMass

The departments of Linguistics and Psychology are hosting a workshop on Agreement Thursday and Friday of this week (Oct. 29 and 30). Thursday’s talks are on “Agreement and Linear Order,” and Friday’s on “Experimental and theoretical approaches.” Thursday’s talks are in ILC N400 and Friday’s talks are in ILS S211.

For a schedule and more information, go here.

Week 9: Nov 3-5  Agreement (cont.)

Week 9 slides

Reading for Thursday: The Acquisition of French pg 77-100

Homework: Following the workshop on Agreement Oct 29-30, choose one talk you attended. Summarize and discuss for Nov 5 (one page).

[UUSLAW on Saturday, Nov 7th: schedule]


Week 10: Nov 10-12

Wh movement


Week 10 bis

Student presentations

Nov 17: Lisa, Emma

Nov 19: James, Samantha


Week 11    Student presentations

Nov 24: Meg, Zack G.

Week 12    Student presentations:

Dec 1: Gabby, Hiroki

Dec 3: Rafi, Sean

Week 13    Student presentations

Dec 8: Haley, Zach

Dec 10: Becca, Clara



  6 comments for “397LH L1 and L2 topics

  1. November 11, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    Please post here the topic you chose for your presentation. Thanks.

  2. gstpierre
    November 11, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    Bilingual (L1) phonology

  3. jpeagram
    November 16, 2015 at 11:58 am

    L2 learning in a study abroad context

  4. November 16, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    Zach B: Markedness versus Maturation: The Case of Subject-Auxiliary Inversion

  5. mbresnah
    November 16, 2015 at 10:26 pm

    Article choice in English by L1 Chinese speakers

  6. zgrube
    November 22, 2015 at 10:22 pm

    Gender Agreement in Adult Second Language Learning and Spanish Heritage Speakers: The Effects of Age and Context of Acquisition

Leave a Reply