GALANA provides an outlet for cutting edge work on language acquisition, relating results in first and second language acquisition to detailed hypotheses about developing grammatical representations, the mechanisms by which these representations are acquired, and the information processing mechanisms through which these representations are engaged in real time language use by first and second language learners. Invited speakers are Liliana Sanchez (Rutgers) and Antonella Sorace (Edinburgh, Bilingualism Matters).
In addition to the general session, there will be a special session Learning in generative grammar: 50 years since the Evaluation Metric. It has been 50 years since the publication of Aspects of the Theory of Syntax, which first introduced the idea of an evaluation metric as a way for learners to choose between alternative grammars that were compatible with their exposure. In the intervening years, conceptions of Universal Grammar have changed, and our understanding of children's grammatical knowledge at various ages has similarly advanced, but theories of how children use Universal Grammar to interpret the data and how they use the data to select a grammar from Universal Grammar have not been at center stage. In recent years, however, there has been a steady increase in work returning to this question, asking how different models (including rule learning, parameter setting, constraint ranking) of Universal Grammar might help learners to use the input effectively to acquire a grammatical system. Invited speakers for the special session are Janet Fodor (CUNY Graduate Center), Lisa Pearl (UC Irvine), Bruce Tesar (Rutgers), and Charles Yang (UPenn).