By Andries W. Coetzee
Dec 01, 2012
Professor Acrisio Pires was a plenary speaker at the 16th Hispanic Linguistics Symposium,which was organized by the University of Florida, in Gainesville, Florida, from October 25-28, 2012. The conference, which takes place every year, is the premier event for Hispanic linguistics. Being a plenary speaker at this conference is well-deserved recognition for Acrisio's work on bilingual morpho-syntactic acquisition and change. The conference raised significant interest this year, with about 200 submitted abstracts, which led to 81 refereed paper presentations at the conference, in addition to two poster sessions. The other plenary speakers were Shana Poplack (University of Ottawa), Silvina Montrul (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign) and Barbara Lafford (Arizona State University).
More information about Acrisio's presentation, including a title and abstract, is given below.
Syntactic competence, acquisition and change: The nature of ultimate attainment
The generative perspective on the nature of syntactic knowledge is that children in general successfully develop native linguistic competence more or less effortlessly, independently of deficiencies or indeterminacy in the nature of the primary linguistic data. This attests to the resilient nature of the faculty of language and its development. However, in contexts in which bilingual speakers show distinctions in their grammars in comparison to monolingual speakers it is often argued that bilinguals show acquisition deficits in comparison to monolinguals. This has been argued especially in the context of bilingual acquisition within predominantly monolingual communities. I explore a different perspective on these phenomena, by considering different mismatches between bilingual and monolingual grammars in light of connections between language acquisition and morpho-syntactic change.