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Many Paths to Language (MPaL)

October 6th–8th, 2017

Children show astonishing variation in the way they acquire their native language(s)—each developmental milestone in both production and comprehension is marked by meaningful individual differences.


This 3-day workshop explores: (a) children’s linguistic and cultural environments, their non-linguistic skills, and the structural properties of the languages they are acquiring as possible sources of variation, alongside (b) the implications of this variation for the mechanisms that drive and support native language acquisition given the overall robustness of learning in the face of this variability.

We invite researchers from all fields to submit their work on variation in language acquisition (see example topics below). Researchers may submit abstracts for a poster, talk, or either by June 18th, 2017. The workshop will also include some small-group sessions aimed at advancing interdisciplinary discussion and overcoming methodological hurdles in documenting and interpreting variation in this context. We hope to have a mix of theoretical and practical topics represented at the workshop.


Invited speakers


Damián Blasi (University of Zurich)

Erika Hoff (Florida Atlantic University)

Elena Lieven (University of Manchester)


Venue and registration

The workshop will take place on October 6th-8th, 2017 at the Max Planck Institute in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Registration is free but mandatory by September 24th, 2017.

More information about registration, the program, and accommodations will be posted closer to the event.


Travel awards

First authors may apply for a travel award at abstract submission. Priority will be given to students, early career researchers, and participants from emergent countries. If you would like to apply for a travel award, please be ready to provide some basic information about where you will be traveling from and the approximate cost of your travel. Authors will be notified about student travel awards at the same time as abstract notification (July 1st, 2017).


Virtual participation

If you are affected by a government-implemented travel restriction and therefore cannot attend this workshop, please do still submit your work. We will do our best to ensure that participants (talk and poster) under these circumstances can present their work virtually.

If you are not able to come for other reasons and would simply like to attend the workshop virtually without presenting work yourself, please register and indicate your preference accordingly.


MPaL poster

Print and share the MPaL poster if you want to advertise this event to others (for EU or US printing).



Marisa CasillasAlex Cristia, and Caroline Rowland

Where and when:
Oct 6-8, 2017

Street address
Wundtlaan 1
6525 XD Nijmegen
The Netherlands

Mailing address
P.O. Box 310
6500 AH Nijmegen
The Netherlands

Phone:   +31-24-3521911
Fax:        +31-24-3521213

Public Outreach Officer
Charlotte Horn