Language and Speech Laboratory


Workshop: Third Language (L3) Acquisition: A focus on cognitive approaches

Thursday, 24 May 2012 – Friday, 25 May 2012
Submission deadline:  Monday, 9 January 2012
Location: Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain
Contact person: María del Pilar García Mayo (
Meeting E-mail:
Linguistic fields: cognitive science, language acquisition

Meeting description

Workshop on Third language (L3) acquisition: A focus on cognitive approaches
Convener: Language and Speech Laboratory ( – University of the Basque Country
Conference dates: 24-25 May, 2012

This workshop is a follow-up of the successful meetings that took place in Stockholm (January 2009) and Iowa City (June 2010). Its main goal is to bring together researchers who are interested in the acquisition and use of a third (L3) language and whose work is carried out within a cognitive perspective. The main motivation behind research done within cognitive approaches to L3 acquisition so far has been to find explanations for the complex cognitive nature of the multilingual mind, that is, how issues that have been dealt with in bilingualism would fare when one individual juggles three linguistic systems. The plenary speakers invited to this workshop will consider the L3 phenomenon from a gamut of cognitive-based approaches and their work will touch upon issues which contribute to the debate on the representation and processing of lexical items, the role of control processes, the mental representation of morphosyntax, the reanalysis of different linguistic systems over time and incomplete acquisition, among others. All contributions would aim at understanding the cognitive underpinnings of L3 acquisition.

The list of plenary speakers is as follows.

► Peter Ecke (University of Arizona): Word associations in tip-of-the-tongue states and developmental changes in the multilingual lexicon
► Judith F. Kroll1, Janet G. van Hell 2 and M. Teresa Bajo3 (1 2 Pennsylvania State University and 3Universidad de Granada): A cognitive view of multilingualism:  The role of control processes in modulating the activity of more than one language
► Jason Rothman (University of Florida): The L3 connection: Highlighting the value of third language (L3) syntactic transfer data for general linguistic and psycholinguistic questions
► Kees de Bot (University of Groningen) and Carol Jaensch (University of Essex): What’s special about multilingualism?
► Maria Polinsky (Harvard University): Heritage Speakers’ Adventures in re-learning: Can an L1 become an L3?

Call for papers

Submission deadline: 9 January, 2012

We seek high quality papers that contribute to these larger issues, but also those that examine specific empirical questions related to the acquisition of L3/Ln morphosyntax, phonology, the lexicon, semantics and pragmatics from a cognitive perspective.

Abstracts must be 500 words or less (not including title, figures and references) and fit on one page, with a second page for data and references. Abstracts are due on 9 January 2012 and should be sent to A limited number of papers following peer review will be selected for oral or poster presentation. Acceptance will be announced on 1 March.


More details are available at Third Language Acquisition- A focus on cognitive approaches