Latest research: Children’s early bilingualism and musical training

What do childhood bilingualism and musical training at an early age have in common when it comes to detecting prosody (i.e. rhythm, intonation and tone)? A new study by AThEME researchers from the University of Nova Gorica and the French National Centre for Scientific Research suggests that both types of experience enhance children’s sensitivity to prosodic information. Specifically, researchers found that either experience increased the children’s ability to distinguish between different prosodic patterns in an unknown language.

Please visit the Publications page for AThEME’s latest research.

Winter 2017 issue of the AThEME newsletter – out now!

The seventh issue of the AThEME e-newsletter gives a wealth of information about what our researchers and dissemination partners have been up to these last couple of months. As always, the newsletter includes updates on research, dissemination activities and news of upcoming events. This issue’s Meet the Researcher section features AThEME researcher Ludivine Dupuy from the French Center for Scientific Research (CNRS).

Winter 2017 AThEME newsletter

AThEME in Barcelona

On the 15th – 17th November 2017, AThEME will organise a joint meeting with Bilingualism Matters and the AThEME Consortium members. Hosted by the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, in Barcelona, the meeting marks an important next step in the AThEME project. With a little more than a year to go until AThEME’s Final Conference (February 2019), this meeting offers the perfect opportunity for participants to discuss the overall progress of AThEME. The ultimate goal is to boost dissemination of AThEME results in view of advancing the European multilingual experience’. Researchers will update all participants on their results and, together with the Bilingualism Matters dissemination partners, come up with ways to translate these results into concrete messages and policy recommendations.

Visit AThEME at the DRONGO language festival 2017

On Friday September 29 and Saturday September 30, 2017 several AThEME researchers will present their research at the DRONGO language festival in The Netherlands.

For the sixth time, the DRONGO language festival takes place in the Jaarbeurs in Utrecht. The festival brings together all kinds of different sectors from the language industry for a general audience, but also for scientists and professionals working in the field of the language industry.  Apart from various seminars, lectures and debates, language researchers have the opportunity to present their work in interactive science labs. Three of those labs are hosted by our AThEME researchers. The following projects will be presented at the festival:


The Fiuman dialect

This project is presented by Dr Tihana Kraš from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Rijeka, Croatia.

In a quiz about the Fiuman dialect, spoken in the Croatian city of Rijeka and its surroundings by the members of the Italian national minority, visitors can learn about the dialect’s origin, history and linguistic properties; they can also learn a few words and simple phrases in it. The quiz is intended for everyone wishing to broaden their knowledge of the linguistic diversity in Europe, especially those interested in the Italian language and its varieties and in the languages spoken in south-eastern Europe.


Talk to and with an older person

This project is presented by Jolien Makkinga from the Meertens Institute, the Netherlands.

Everybody will have a conversation with an elderly person once in a while. This can be your grandma or granddad, your neighbor or a resident of a nursing home. Do we talk to older people the same as we do to others, or do we adjust our way of speaking? And, if we make adjustments in our way of speaking, what kind of adjustment do we make? During this 10-minute lab, you can experience how people speak to older people by imitating a conversation during a role play. Afterwards, the original conversation will be listened. To conclude, we will discuss how people speak with and to older people and how we can (possibly) do this in the future.



This project is presented by Nathalie Czeke and Monika Lindauer from the University of Konstanz, Germany.

The present perception and production experiments, that are conducted in their Babylab, will be presented.

The perception experiments are behavioural research methods investigating early language perception of babies via looking times to certain stimuli. They will present how it works in a small model of the booth they use at the Babylab.

The production experiments are a sentence completion test where they use pictures and a puppet that presents sentences the children have to complete. The other test is a picture-naming task where children are supposed to move pictures using a magic spell and a wand. With these tests, they assess German language skills of monolingual and bilingual children.

Workshop ‘Unergative predicates: Architecture and Variation’ – Bilbao January 2018

The research centers Structures Formelles du Langage (UMR 7023, CNRS/Paris 8), IKER (UMR 5478, CNRS), the research groups Bas&Be (FFI2014-51878-P UPV/EHU) and the Bilingual Mind (IT665-13 UPV/EHU) co-organize the workshop ‘Unergative predicates: Architecture and Variation’. The goal of the workshop is to gather researchers working currently on unergative verbs and to provide a forum of discussion on recent advances in this field.

They invite abstracts for talks (20 minutes) and for poster sessions. Deadline for submissions of abstracts: October 1st, 2017

Where: Bilbao, Basque Country

When: January 18-19, 2018

More information: Unergative predicates

Latest research: Evidence for an advantage of bilingualism in dyslexia

This study, developed by the University of Verona (Italy), in collaboration with the University of Trento (Italy) and the Xiamen University (China), sheds light on the relationship between bilingualism and developmental dyslexia by comparing the performance of monolingual and bilingual children, with and without a diagnosis of dyslexia, in a task set up to assess metalinguistic and morphological awareness.

Preliminary findings suggest that a bilingual advantage extends to children with dyslexia. This is an exciting and important finding for all the educators, speech therapists and teachers who think that bilingualism may have a negative influence on dyslexia and therefore may tend to provide families of dyslexic children with negative advice when it comes to bilingualism. The results of this study show that in many cases bilingualism can even act as a positive, protective factor on dyslexia, especially in enhancing the subjects’ metalinguistic and morphological awareness.

Please also visit our Publications page for AThEME’s latest research.

Summer 2017 issue of the AThEME newsletter – out now!

The sixth issue of the AThEME e-newsletter gives a wealth of information about what our researchers and dissemination partners have been up to these last couple of months. As always, the newsletter includes updates on research, dissemination activities and news of upcoming events. This issue’s Meet the Researcher section features AThEME researcher Jan Casalicchio from the University of Trento.

Summer 2017 AThEME newsletter

Summaries of AThEME Trento and Verona Meetings Available!

In September 2016, two important AThEME meetings took place in Italy; the first ever Dissemination Network Meeting in Trento and the second AThEME Consortium Meeting in Verona. The Dissemination Network Meeting (13 – 14 September) was hosted by the University of Trento and welcomed participants from the Bilingualism Matters network as well as local stakeholders. The University of Verona hosted AThEME’s second Consortium Meeting on the 15th – 16th of September. Around 60 AThEME researchers spent two days presenting their preliminary results and discussing ongoing AThEME research. Please find both Summary Reports below:

Trento Dissemination Network Meeting 2016

Verona Consortium Meeting 2016

AThEME @ the 40th GLOW Colloquium in Leiden, The Netherlands

On the 14th – 18th of March 2017, the University of Leiden will host the 40th Generative Linguistics in the Old World (GLOW) colloquium. The GLOW 2017 programme consists of a main colloquium, three workshops and two special workshops. Hagit Borer, from Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London, is the invited speaker for the main colloquium. AThEME will organise workshop III Heritage Language Knowledge and Acquisition.

GLOW 2017 website