Talking about Learners
ACLC staff: Prof. Anne Baker, Prof. Beppie van den Bogaerde, Dr. Margreet Dorleijn, Prof. Olga Fischer, Prof. Federico Gobbo, Prof. Kees Hengeveld, Prof. Henkjan Honing, Prof. Aafke Hulk, Dr. Roland Pfau, Prof. Jeannette Schaeffer, Dr. Mauro Scorretti, Dr. Petra Sleeman, Dr. Jakub Szymanik
External staff: Dr. Norval Smith
Description of the research programme of the research group
A function of learning is to guarantee transmission of knowledge. In language, for instance, one would expect new generations to simply copy the language expressions they receive from parents, caretakers and other members of the community. Yet, when new generations learn a language from previous ones, the result is change. One wonders: Why are learners not copy-machines? This question at the core of modern linguistics is even more puzzling when placed in the context of our modern human societies. Indeed, a large proportion of the world population is polyglot. As world economy becomes more and more integrated thus allowing large scale and fast migrations, this number is in constant growth and many issues arise as to language learning by polyglots.
This interdisciplinary research group seeks to investigate the emergence of linguistic competence in multi-language contexts and how knowledge of language changes overtime by organizing collaborative workshops and engaging in the publication of interdisciplinary volumes.