Cornelia Hamann

Cornelia Hamann
Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg · Department of English/American studies

Dr. phil.

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56
Publications
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Publications

Publications (56)
Article
Full-text available
Though Germany has long provided education for children speaking a heritage language and received two recent waves of refugees, reliable assessment tools for diagnosis of language impairment or the progress in the acquisition of German as a second language (L2) by refugee children are still lacking. The few tools expressly targeting bilingual popul...
Article
Full-text available
Sentence repetition (SR) tasks have been shown to be excellent indicators of Developmental Language Disorder (DLD). However, there is still no consensus about which core ability they measure: language vs. Verbal Short-Term Memory (VSTM) and Verbal Working Memory (WM). Moreover, very few studies have investigated whether variables predicting SR perf...
Article
This paper addresses the question of how procedures for diagnosing Developmental Language Disorders, DLD, in bilingual children can profit from recent research results. We present the German versions of tools for a differential diagnosis of specific linguistic skills developed in a European research cooperation. We contend that these recently devel...
Article
1 Background The detection of specific language impairment (SLI) in children growing up bilingually presents particular challenges for clinicians. Non‐word repetition (NWR) and sentence repetition (SR) tasks have proven to be the most accurate diagnostic tools for monolingual populations, raising the question of the extent of their usefulness in di...
Article
In line with the recent trend in comparative analysis of different populations (see Friedmann & Rusou, 2015, as an example), Pierce, Genesee, Delcenserie, and Morgan (2017) present a comprehensive review of different language outcomes in populations that have received qualitatively and quantitatively different input during the first year of life, f...
Article
Full-text available
This study investigates the performance of 22 monolingual and 54 bilingual children with and without specific language impairment (SLI), in a non-word repetition task (NWRT) and a sentence repetition task (SRT). Both tasks were constructed according to the principles for LITMUS tools (Language Impairment Testing in Multilingual Settings) developed...
Article
Full-text available
To allow for a systematic variation of linguistic complexity of sentences while acoustically controlling for intelligibility of sentence fragments, a German corpus, Oldenburg linguistically and audiologically controlled sentences (OLACS), was designed, implemented, and evaluated. Sentences were controlled for plausibility with a questionnaire surve...
Article
Theoretical accounts of the language production process have claimed that grammatical encoding steps during the formulation stage happen in a largely automatic fashion, unimpeded by other cognitive processes. By eliciting agreement attraction errors, our study tested the effect of external distractor noise on the generation of subject–verb agreemen...
Chapter
We discuss three factors influencing the perception of phonological contrasts in a second language: the narrow critical period for phonology, the distance between the L1 and L2 phonological systems, and the impact of orthography on phoneme perception. We investigated the perception of long and short German vowels by 20 highly proficient Russian lea...
Chapter
The chapter reviews work on a central topic in acquisition from the perspective of generative grammar: the Binding principles that dictate how pronouns and reflexives behave. The core issue is the “Pronoun Interpretation Problem (PIP)”: do children actually know Principle B of binding and their knowledge is masked in performance, or is there a real...
Article
We investigated if linguistic complexity contributes to the variation of the speech reception threshold in noise (SRTN) and thus should be employed as an additional design criterion in sentence tests used for audiometry. Three test lists were established with sentences from the Göttingen sentence test ( Kollmeier & Wesselkamp, 1997 ). One list cont...
Article
Full-text available
This study examines syntactic and morphological aspects of the production and comprehension of pronouns by 99 typically developing French-speaking children aged 3 years, 5 months to 6 years, 5 months. A fine structural analysis of subject, object, and reflexive clitics suggests that whereas the object clitic chain crosses the subject chain, the ref...
Article
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Article
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This paper examines the spontaneous (and elicited) production of questions in 3 typically developing French children (1;8-2;10) and 11 French children with SLI (3;10-9;1). French has three types of constituent questions (Wh-in-situ, fronted Wh without inversion, fronted Wh with inversion) graded in syntactic complexity, allowing detailed investigat...
Article
Full-text available
We report a study on the spoken production of subject–verb agreement in number by four age groups of normally developing children (between 5 and 8;5) and a group of 8 children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI; between 5;4 and 9;4), all French speaking. The production of verb agreement was experimentally elicited by asking children to complete...
Article
This paper presents an exploratory study of the spontaneous production of 11 French children clinically diagnosed as specific language impaired (SLI). In a cross-sectional study of the children under and over 5 years of age, we investigate the production of finite and non-finite verbal forms, of sentences with overt and null subjects, and of pronom...
Article
This paper examines the spontaneous productions of 3 normal and 11 French children with SLI, focussing on infinitives, subject and complement clitics, and determiners. The 3 normal children (1.8-2.10) appear to show roughly concomitant use of infinitives and omission of determiners or pronominal clitics. However, determiner omission and the use of...
Article
In this cross-linguistic investigation of early child language, I started with data on the acquisition of pronominal clitics and the binding principles, I presented data on subject omission and infinitive use, and passed on to data about the early use of negation and Wh-questions. If this extensive compilation and juxtaposition of results from the...
Article
The acquisition of the pronominal system of a language in exemplary fashion touches on the two questions of earliness and of relevance for linguistic theory. Though recent publications specifically address the acquisition of pronouns (see Hamann, Rizzi, Frauenfelder 1996 or Powers and Hamann 2000) there remains the simple question of what the data...
Article
The following section concentrates on one of the best studied phenomena in acquisition literature, the omission of subjects in early child speech. This has attained the status of a classic in so far as (1983) used this phenomenon in the speech of young English children to outline her model of parameter setting and acquisition. Based on (1982), she...
Article
The experiment was presented to the child as a game with pictures. One player, who could not see the picture, would try to guess what was happening in each one, while the other players, who could see the picture, gave hints and judged whether or not the guesses were correct. One experimenter played the role of “guesser” throughout the experiment; a...
Article
From the investigation of infinitives and null subjects in Wh-questions and from the results presented in Chapter 8, it emerges that the truncation approach as well as the ATOM approach must assume two kinds of null subjects in order to explain the fullness of the data. (2000) considers the child null subject occurring in the specifier of the root...
Article
The following approaches to child infinitives and child null subjects have been widely discussed and make the most interesting predictions. First, within a full continuity framework that assumes the presence of all the functional projections from early on, it is a possibility that a null auxiliary is responsible for the occurrence of infinitives in...
Article
In the present chapter we investigate the occurrence of root infinitives and child null subjects in Wh-questions. The crucial predictions from the ATOM model and from truncation are the following. ATOM predicts the occurrence of infinitives and null subjects in fronted Wh questions and, due to the morphological analysis of French or Danish also pre...
Chapter
In the generative tradition, the study of language acquisition is of great importance for linguistic theory. There are two principal reasons for such a role. First, there is the assumption that the language faculty is innate which is central to generative linguistics and which obviously has to reflect in the properties of language development in th...
Chapter
Rather than focusing on different approaches to language acquisition, this collection of papers investigates two specific linguistic phenomena from an acquisition point of view. Observations on the acquisition of scrambling or pronominal clitics can be found in the literature, but up until the recent past they were sparse and often buried in other...
Chapter
In recent acquisition research, the position of the verb relative to the negation particle has been used to argue for the early existence of verb movement in children’s grammars of French, German, and other languages. The argument is based on the well-established distribution of finite and nonfinite verbs with respect to the negative particle in ch...
Book
This collection of papers investigates two specific linguistic phenomena from the point of view of first- and second-language acquisition. While observations on the acquisition of scrambling or pronominal clitics can be found in the literature, up until the recent past they were sparse and often buried in other issues. This volume fills a long-exis...
Article
Three alternative accounts of subject omission, pragmatic, processing and grammatical, are considered from the perspective of child Danish. Longitudinal data for two Danish children are analyzed for subject omission, finite and infinitival verb usage and discourse anchorage of sentence subjects (overt and missing). The data exhibit a well-defined p...
Article
Based on spontaneous data from 50 German children with specific language impairment (SLI), we explore several aspects of impaired clause structure. Our findings are that children with SLI use more finite than nonfinite verb forms (57% vs. 36%). In declarative main clauses they prefer the verb in clause-final position (44%) over genuine (3%) or subj...
Article
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Article
Full-text available
There is wide agreement in the field of language development that, without explicit training or didactically structured input, children usually acquire their mother tongue rapidly and with few wrong turns. It is thus rather surprising that a fairly large group of children faces serious difficulties in learning the grammar of their ambient language...

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Projects

Projects (3)
Project
In Germany more and more children grow up multilingual: In the Federal Republic of Germany ca. 30% of all children were multilingual by the end of 2014. These numbers augment daily as children and adolescents arrive as refugees. Differentiating phenomena of second language acquisition (L2) from difficulties due to specific language impairment (SLI) is essential since, in school-age children, academic development is massively influenced by access to language support or therapy. On this background the project investigates L2-acquisition and the time course of SLI in multilingual school-age children in their home language (L1) and their L2. Age of onset (AoO), length of exposure (LoE), and the L1-acquisition context (i.e. has the home language been acquired in a minority (Germany) or in a majority (Turkey, Palestine, Syria etc.) context) as well as the specific situation of refugees will be given special attention. On the basis of available results for younger children and linguistically controlled assessment methods, the project aims at developing reliable criteria for the identification of SLI in multilingual school-age children. The investigation of Turkish and Arabic as home languages will enable us to obtain comparative, language dependent as well as independent, theoretical results and criteria for successful acquisition of a second language and the nature of SLI.
Project
The goal of this project is to uncover crosslinguistic ways of identifying language impairment which are independent of the language combinations involved, and which therefore should lead to the validation of crosslinguistic tools for assessing children and also to provide insight into the underlying nature of developmental language impairment. It is both practically and theoretically relevant to investigate the validity of using not only language specific, but also crosslinguistic criteria for identifying Specific Language Impairment (SLI) in bilingual contexts. We propose to achieve this general aim via systematic investigation of two different target languages (child L2s), French and German, paired with a variety of the same home languages (child L1s), Arabic, Portuguese, and Turkish. We hypothesize that this research design will allow for interesting examination of key variables, notably L1 influence and L1 and L2 linguistic typological similarity. A crosslinguistic approach to bilingual language development and SLI may furthermore shed light on theoretical approaches to child bilingualism (simultaneous and successive) and SLI. This project thus aims to contribute to understanding of child multilingualism and SLI, with clear implications for relevant teacher training, and for clinical evaluation by speech-language therapists.