The Language Acquisition Lab

A Conference in Honor of Ken Wexler!

April 29 - May 1, 2016, MIT Building 32

The Department of Linguistics and Philosophy at MIT is organizing a conference on the occasion of Ken Wexler's retirement, to honor and celebrate his foundational, lasting contributions to the field. We will host a two day conference at MIT, with colleagues and friends in linguistics and cognitive science presenting work connected to or inspired by Ken's research. The conference will take place April 30-May 1, 2016, and will be preceded by a reception on the evening of April 29. The conference, as well as the reception, are open to the public and all are welcome! Talks will take place in MIT 32-123, 32 Vassar Street, Cambridge: Ground floor, room 123. Lunch and the reception will take place upstairs in the Dreyfoos tower, in the 8th floor lounge.

To help us with our planning, please RSVP if you plan to attend: Register (Free)


Conference Schedule

Friday, April 29:

6:00 pm         Evening Reception in the department at 32 Vassar Street, D tower, 8th floor lounge
                                    (free and open to all conference attendees: RSVP (free))

Saturday, April 30:

8:30 am         Breakfast (outside 32-123)

9:00 am         David Pesetsky (MIT)
Opening Remarks

9:15 am         Luigi Rizzi (University of Siena)
Intervention effects in language acquisition

10:15 am       Coffee break

10:30 am       Nina Hyams (UCLA)
(Copy-)Raising in Early Grammar and the Role of Intervention

11:30 am       Hagit Borer (Queen Mary University of London)
In the Event of a Nominal

12:30 pm       Lunch Break (lunch provided - 32-D 8th floor lounge)

2:00 pm         Stephen Crain (Macquarie University)
When is Batman not free to choose?

3:00 pm         Mabel Rice (University of Kansas)
Grammar, growth and genetics: Studies of children with and without Specific Language Impairment (SLI)

4:00 pm         Coffee break

4:30 pm         Acquisition Rap - 10 min each; 7+3 for Q/A - With opening remarks by Steven Pinker (Harvard University)

Tania Ionin (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
The learner who overused the article: do errors with articles have the same source in L1 and in L2 acquisition?

Jeremy Hartman (UMass)
Building a corpus for root infinitives

Alex Perovic (UCL)
Deficits in reflexive binding as a litmus test of pervasive grammatical impairment in developmental disorders.

William Snyder (UConn)
Maturational Changes in Child Language

Athulya Aravind (MIT)
A/A-bar distinction in development: the view from child clefts

Martin Hackl (MIT)

Sergey Avrutin (Utrecht University)
On Principle P, Chains, Head Movement and Other Human Universals

6:00 pm         Ken Wexler (MIT)
The Development of Phases, Including an Attempt at a Solution to the Old Problem of Ditransitive Subject Control Verbs

7:30 pm         Dinner
(Speakers, Ken, and colleagues of Ken's at MIT)

Sunday, May 1:

9:00 am         Breakfast (outside 32-123)

9:30 am         Lila Gleitman (UPenn)
Only when the shoe fits: Fast mapping meets cross-situational observation

10:30 am       Coffee break

11:00 am       Bob Berwick (MIT)
The Statue Within: Searching for the Language Phenotype

12:00 pm       Noam Chomsky (MIT)
Pushing theory to the limits

1:00 pm         Closing and Thanks

The organizers gratefully acknowledge assistance from MIT's Department of Brain & Cognitive Sciences and School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences.

background photo by Sebastián Pamos

Address: 32-D808
32 Vassar Street
Cambridge, MA 02139
Email: lang.acquisition.lab