Resources & Readings about #ChildDirectedSpeech: #corpora #corpusresources #experiments

chick_directed_speech_sleepy_time_2015_09_20We have created a new blog and website to present our own research and other people’s cross-linguistic and cross-cultural research on child-directed speech (CDS) and its effects on children’s linguistic development:

We will use this site to provide resources for researchers, parents, and language professionals like teachers or speech and language therapists (e.g. reading lists, fact sheets, etc.). Readers of our experimentalfieldlinguistics blog might be particularly interested in our list of readings about cross-cultural differences. Some of the studies that we list or discuss involve naturalistic data or semi-structured language games played in the family, but others involve systematic training studies that investigate effects of feedback or different types of models in the child’s input; e.g. work by Saxton, Waterfall, and others.

If you have any information about interesting studies, books, blog posts, fact sheets, or social media accounts, please let us know so that we can share the information. We also welcome suggestions for blog post topics, resource creation, etc. You can follow the blog directly on WordPress or follow us on Twitter @LanguageGames4a . The blog is associated with our new Ladeli Centre for Language Development throughout the Lifespan at the University of Essex, which has a strong cross-cultural and cross-linguistic focus and will carry  out studies on under-researched languages.

In some of our projects on child-directed speech, we will use our new “Language in a bag” toolkit for the creation of language games

We hope you will find our resources useful and spread the word!


Sonja Eisenbeiss


New Essex Research Centre for Research on Language Development throughout the Lifespan (LaDeLi)

Our new research Centre at the University of Essex, the Centre for Research in LAnguage DEvelopment throughout the LIfespan (LaDeLi), has just been approved. As part of this Centre, we will carry out experimental research on under-researched languages. We will have a public launch in the brand new Business School, on 2nd July, 9.00 – 16.00, followed by a reception. We have three great speakers lined up, representing the three main foci of the Centre:
  • Stephen Crain (early language development)
  • Carmen Munoz (second language learning and teaching)
  • Loraine Obler (language loss, ageing and impairment)

We will post more details nearer to the time

Birgit Hellwig visiting: Language Games Club and Child Language Documentation Talk

Language Games

Tomorrow, 18.3.2015, 17:00-19:00, TC2.6/7, University of Essex, we will have a talk about an exciting child language project (see more info below). Birgit Hellwig, our speaker will also be around for a couple of days. Before her talk (12:00-14:00), she will join our Language Games Club to discuss how she can use language games in her project (Social Space, Department of Language and Linguistics).

Child language documentation: A pilot study among the Qaqet Baining of Papua New Guinea

Birgit Hellwig, University of Cologne, Germany

Language documentation aims to create a “comprehensive record of the linguistic practices characteristic of a given speech community” (Himmelmann 1998: 166). In actual practice, our focus tends to be on adult speech practices, and we know little about the contexts in which children become socialised and learn to speak, about the language(s) used with and around children, and about the outputs that are produced by children…

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