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 French, Italian, Catalan, Spanish, Romanian and Portuguese has become increasingly productive.

Following the success of previous Romance Turn conferences (Madrid (2004), Utrecht (2006), Southampton (2008), Tours (2010), Lisbon (2012), Mallorca (2014), and Venezia (2015)) the Romance Turn VIII will be held in Bellaterra, hosted by the Centre de Lingüística Teòrica, with the support of the Departament de Filologia Catalana and the Departament de Filologia Espanyola of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.


Anna Cardinaletti (Ca’ Foscari, Venezia)
Julie Franck (Université de Genève)


Extended abstract submission deadline: April 15, 2016
Acceptance notification: April 29, 2016
Registration opening: May 2, 2016
Early bird registration deadline: July 29, 2016


The acquisition of information structure:

A developmental perspective on its syntax and interface properties

Organizer: Vincenzo Moscati
Invited Speakers: Luigi Rizzi (Université de Genève & Università degli Studi di Siena) & Adriana Belletti (Université de Genève & Università degli Studi di Siena)

In adult speakers, Information Structure is known to influence both syntactic and phonological phrasing, leading to dedicated word-orders and prosodic contours. Many recent developments in linguistic theory have been motivated by the need to integrate these three systems, and the result is now a better and more cohesive understanding of their interactions. In this sense, a layered organization of the CP-field (Rizzi 1997) and the identification of the cartography of functional projections in the left periphery of the clause, which encode discourse-related categories like Topic or Focus, has proven to be a useful tool to better characterize different types of constituent fronting in Romance Languages. This, combined with the identification of the distinct prosodic contours associated with specific discourse functions, provides a new vantage point to reconsider previous findings and raise new empirical questions.

The aim of this workshop is to bring together researchers interested in the study of information structure in children, specifically those aspects related to syntax and prosody. In a perspective of a cross-linguistic comparison, contributions from languages outside the Romance family are also welcome. The following is a non-exhaustive list of relevant topics:

Development of the CP field in children: the emergence of finite and non-finite complementizers, first occurrences of embedding, occurrences of overt topic and focus particles.

Early usage of non-canonical word-orders: Focus and topic movement, clefting.

Use of suprasegmental phonology: ways to encode new/given information, contrasts, salient alternatives.

Development of discourse-pragmatics: establishing and managing the Common Ground, retrieval of the Question-Under-Discussion, Question-Answer congruence.

Social dinner

The social dinner will take place on September 29th at the Fàbrica Moritz in Barcelona.



In collaboration with:

Departament de Filologia Catalana
Departament de Filologia Espanyola
Facultat de Filosofia i Lletres


Universitat Autònoma
de Barcelona

Facultat de Filosofia i Lletres. Edifici B

Bellaterra (Barcelona). 08193
  +34 935 812 372