Children's Acquisition of Sociolinguistic Variation

When and Where

Friday, March 05, 2021 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm
Online, via Zoom


Karen Miller


The Department of Spanish & Portuguese cordially invites you to the next event in our Lecture Series for 2020-21, organized by the Heritage Vowels and Agreement Project.

About the Presentation
In this talk I will present data on children's acquisition of sociolinguistic variation and present a 4-step developmental pathway for the acquisition of morphosyntactic variation, that I am currently developing with Naomi Shin (University of New Mexico). Although there is abundant evidence that morphosyntactic variation is pervasive among adults, much less is known about how children acquire such variation. The talk will focus primarily on acquisition of variable forms in Spanish-speaking children, including variable clitic placement, /s/ lenition and plural marking, and subject-verb (non)inversion, and acquisition of variable forms in English-speaking children, including the impact of variable agreement marking on the Root Infinitive Stage. I will suggest ways to test our 4-step developmental pathway to the acquisition of variable forms, drawing on corpus data and experimental studies.

About the Presenter
Karen Miller is an Associate Professor of Spanish & Linguistics and the Co-Director of the Center for Language Science at Pennsylvania State University. Her research interests include Sociolinguistics, first & second language acquisition, and acquisition of variation, with special focus on language acquisition in children.

Contact Information


Department of Spanish & Portuguese, Heritage Vowels and Agreement Project