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Language Acquisition and Multilingualism

Language Acquisition and Multilingualism 

Language Acquisition and Multilingualism 

Course Convenors: Professor Ianthi Tsimpli ( and Professor Henriette Hendriks (

The aim of the seminar is to read about and discuss recurrent issues in Language Acquisition and Multilingualism. We will discuss the following topics in depth:


  • Cross-linguistic influence and theoretical implications (on grammatical gender and pronoun use)
  • Syntax and discourse properties in narrative (micro and macro structure)
  • Language and communication impairments

Language acquisition:

  • Cross-linguistics differences in L1 acquisition
  • Acquisition of the marking of narrative cohesion
  • Expression of time and space  (cognitive and linguistic determinants)

Each topic will be introduced by the lecturer, and we will then read and discuss a first text introducing the topic or proposing the idea (often a seminal work in the domain). Following on from that, we will read one or two further papers on the topic, and reflect on how the idea has developed and been discussed given the evidence / findings we gathered on the topic in the last 50-60 years.

The seminar should give students an insight into the various issues of importance in the domain of second language acquisition and multilingualism, and in the development of the field more generally. It should also give them useful ideas and perspectives on what to research in this area, and how to research it, if they are thinking of working on second language acquisition and multilingualism.