The Department of Spanish and Portuguese is delighted to welcome Joseph Paul Stemberger (University of British Columbia), who works on acquisition, psycholinguistics, and morphophonology. His talk, "Variability in the phonological development of first languages", will be held in room 108 of Emmanuel College on Thursday, November 12 at 12:00 PM.
Young children take several years to master the phonological characteristics of their first language. Variability is everywhere: across different children, across languages, in the output of one child, and in the adult input. This talk will be based on two projects underway at UBC: a cross-linguistic project (with more than 10 languages) focused on children having difficulties (protracted phonological development) and on typically developing controls; and a project on typically developing children learning Valley Zapotec (an indigenous language of Mexico). The first portion of the talk will address conditioned and unconditioned variability in the adult input in Spanish and several other languages, how children deal with it, and what it tells us from a theoretical perspective. The second half of the talk will be a case-study of one Spanish-learning child.