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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.

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.

Abstract submission is closed but non-presenters may register to attend in person or remotely until September 24th, 2017.  


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 (registration: in-person or remote).

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


Travel awards

Travel awards have already been allocated to a handful of participants. Our final selection took into account a variety of factors including the reviewers' ratings of each applicant's abstract(s) and the HDI of the submitter's primary affiliation.


Virtual participation

To attend the workshop virtually, please register for remote participation.

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