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Workshop ‘Rethinking dichotomies in language acquisition research’

It is well known that there is a gap between language as described in a grammar and language as used in daily life. Children learn their language based on the latter, and it seems unjustified to use the "prescribed" language as a yardstick for their language acquisition. Language as used in daily life is characterized by tremendous variation due to sociolinguistic factors leading to bilingualism, bidialectism, and use of special registers. Consequently, dichotomies traditionally used in research, such as monolingual versus bilingual, first versus second language, standard language versus dialect, may be a misrepresentation. The aim of this workshop is to rethink those dichotomies, consider alternatives, and discuss the implications for future research. Talks will be held in English and Dutch.

Date and time: Friday, June 5 2015, 10.30 AM – 16.45 PM

Location: Grote Gracht 80-82, Maastricht
Soiron Building, Spiegelzaal, 2e etage

Pre-registration: Participation is free, but space is limited and hence we kindly ask participants to register beforehand by sending an email to Tessel Boerma at

Detailed programme:

Time Topic
10.30-10:45 Introduction + issues (organisers)

10:45-11.15 Piet van Avermaet (Ghent University)
Title: t.b.a.

11.15-11:30 Short break

11.30-12:00 Kirsten van der Heuij en Leonie Cornips (Maastricht University)
De woordenschatontwikkeling in dialect en Nederlands door jonge kinderen in Limburg

12:00-12:30 Evelyn Bosma (Fryske Akademy/University of Amsterdam)
Language balance and cognitive advantages in Frisian-Dutch bilingual children

12.30-13.00 Discussion

13.00-14.00 Lunch (not included)

14.00-14.30 Ad Backus (Tilburg University)
Bilingual speech and language separation: A challenge for Applied Linguistics.

14.30-15.00 Ryanne Francot (Utrecht University)
Exploring the complexity of bilingualism within Turkish-Dutch children

15.00-15.15 Short break

15.15-15.45 Alma Veenstra (Université Libre de Bruxelles/University of Cambridge)
Title: t.b.a.

15.45-16.15 Mona Timmermeister (Utrecht University)
Language proficiency and lexical access in bilingual child heritage language learners

16.15-16.45 Discussion

Organising committee:

Leonie Cornips –
Elma Blom –
Evelyn Bosma –
Mona Timmermeister –
Tessel Boerma –