The Romance Turn IX

Bucharest, 30 August – 1 September 2018

International Conference on the Acquisition of Romance Languages

The Romance Turn brings together researchers from across Europe and overseas with the aim of sharing results and developing further research on the acquisition of Romance languages. Language acquisition studies both in children and adult learners are central to building our understanding of human language and how it develops in the brain. The field has witnessed a continuous growth during the past three decades. Over this period empirical evidence provided by research conducted on the acquisition of Romance languages such as Catalan, French, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, and Spanish has become increasingly productive. The linguistic properties of Romance languages (i.e., syntactic, semantic, morphological and phonological features) make these languages excellent testing-grounds for both well-known and alternative theories of language acquisition.

Following the success of previous Romance Turn conferences (Madrid (2004), Utrecht (2006), Southampton (2008), Tours (2010), Lisbon (2012), Palma de Mallorca (2014), Venice (2015), Bellaterra (2016) this year the Romance Turn IX will be held in Bucharest, Romania, hosted by the Centre for the Study of Language Development and Linguistic Communication of the University of Bucharest.

Keynote speakers

  • Maria Teresa Guasti   (University of Milan-Bicocca)
  • Ana Lúcia Santos       (University of Lisbon)
  • Antonella Sorace        (University of Edinburgh)

Important dates

  • Abstract submission deadline: Extended April 22, 2018
  • Acceptance notification:           May 6, 2018

Workshop – September 1, 2018

The conference will host the workshop Learnability in a parametric world organized by Susann Fischer, Mario Navarro and Jorge Vega Vilanova, Hamburg University.

Invited speaker: Charles Yang (University of Pennsylvania)

Minimalist constraints and current evolutionary assumptions force us to rethink the concept of parameters and to see the content of UG as a minimized system (Boeckx 2006). Complexity in these terms is transferred to or seen as a consequence of general cognitive skills, the so-called third factor (Chomsky 2005). In this context, and focusing on third factors as an indispensable means of attaining explanatory adequacy, “learnability” seems to play a central role. However, until today, there seems to be no adequate explanation for learnability as a third factor and its effects on language acquisition, language variation and language change as a whole. In terms of the challenges that emerge from current theoretical proposals, the question remains what the components of learnability are. The main question addressed in the workshop will be: What role does learnability play in the interaction between acquisition, change and parametric variation?


As in previous editions, selected papers will be published in an edited volume. Papers will be selected on the basis of their contribution to specific themes of particular interest arising from the conference through a blind peer review process. A publication of the workshop contributions is also foreseen.

 Organizers, sponsors, collaborators

Asociația Alumni Universității din BucureștiCentrul pentru Studiul Dezvoltării Limbajului şi al Comunicării LingvisticeUniversity of BucharestThe Research Institute of the University of Bucharest