Special Session

The topic of the CUNY2016 special session is Language variation within and across speakers.

Language processing models of bilinguals, heritage speakers, and second-language learners have been primarily defined as being different from the monolingual native, “invariant” case, abstracting away from the fact that language variation is prominent even within so-called monolingual native speakers of a language. Given the importance and ubiquity of language variation, this phenomenon can no longer be ignored in psycholinguistics. However, language variation is a challenge for acquisition and processing models. How do listeners/readers realize that different utterances are different ways of saying the same thing, rather than different things? How do speakers/listeners determine which option is more appropriate or relevant?

The aim of the special session of the 2016 CUNY conference is

  • (a) to increase awareness among psycholinguists regarding language variation and its challenges for psycholinguistic research;
  • (b) to give an interdisciplinary view of language variation by including sociolinguistic and corpus linguistic perspectives; and
  • (c) to give an overview of the state-of-the-art psycholinguistic research on language variation in bilinguals, and to show how this research can inform psycholinguistic research on language variation in general.

The special session will bring together six prominent researchers from around the world and with diverse backgrounds to consider these issues:

  • Douglas Biber, Northern Arizona University
  • Hélène Blondeau, University of Florida
  • Cynthia G. Clopper, The Ohio State University
  • Paola Dussias, The Pennsylvania State University
  • Maria Polinsky, University of Maryland
  • Guillaume Thierry, Bangor University

We would like to thank UF’s Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere with support from the Yavitz fund, and the National Science Foundation and for sponsoring the Special Session.

Call for Papers: Special Collection in Linguistics Vanguard, Psycholinguistics Area

You are invited to submit a short paper (3000- 4000 words) on the theme of “Psycholinguistics: Language variation within and across speakers” by April 20, 2016. Details about the journal can be found at www.degruyter.com/lingvan.Questions can be directed to Area Editor, Julie Boland:jeboland@umich.edu.


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