Workshop 'L2 Acquisition of Alignment Patterns in Typologically Diverse Languages: Case & Agreement

This event is made possible by a EuroSLA Workshop Grant. We thank the European Second Language Association for its kind support (

Location:             Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium

Date:                  5-FEB-2015 – 6-FEB-2015

Contact:              ;

Registration:        Registration is free, but please send a message to one of the organizers if you want to participate

Meeting description:

Case and agreement are some of the most challenging topics for linguistic research, and not in the least for acquisition theories. In L1 acquisition, there has been a recent surge in research activities on case and agreement patterns. Eisenbeiß et al. (2012) provide a general overview of empirical studies and theoretical perspectives on L1 acquisition of case. Bavin and Stoll (2014) present studies focusing on the acquisition of the ergative pattern by bilingual and monolingual children in a variety of typologically diverse languages.

In comparison to the multitude of L1 studies, little research has been done on the acquisition of alignment patterns in the field of Second Language Acquisition (SLA). To date, only a few studies exist – at least to our knowledge. Montrul et al. (2012) examined the acquisition (and possible loss) of morphosyntactic features, such as case and agreement, in heritage speakers of Hindi. Similar research has been done with foreign language learners by Baten and Verbeke (subm.) on Hindi and Charters (subm.) and Muagututi’a (2010) on Samoan. In addition, single studies exist on Basque (Rodríguez-Ordóñez, 2013), Finnish (Spoelman & Verspoor, 2010), German (Baten, 2013) and Russian (Kempe & MacWhinney, 1998).



Call For Papers:

In the light of this background, we organize a workshop on L2 acquisition of alignment patterns. The focus will be on case and agreement. Our aim is to bring together the research findings of the different L2 acquisition studies that deal with case and agreement in typologically diverse languages. We are seeking papers that address these issues either in foreign language learners, (child and adult) L2 learners, or heritage learners. The workshop will be held at the linguistics department of Ghent University (Belgium). English will be the working language of the workshop.


Invited Keynote speaker:  Dr. Silvina Montrul (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)



Organizers:      Kristof Baten; Eva De Clercq; Saartje Verbeke; Klaas Willems

                       Linguistics Department / Department of Languages and Cultures