Special Issue "Errors of Commission in Child Language"

A special issue of Languages (ISSN 2226-471X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2022) | Viewed by 398

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Uli Sauerland
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Leibniz-Centre General Linguistics, 10117 Berlin, Germany
Interests: semantics; pragmatics; language acquisition; grammatical theory; morphology; syntax; language diversity; cognition
Prof. Dr. Artemis Alexiadou
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of English Studies, Humboldt University, 10119 Berlin, Germany and Leibniz-Centre General Linguistics, 10117 Berlin, Germany
Interests: syntax; morphology; language development; language development; heritage language; historical linguistics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Maria Teresa Guasti
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Departement of Psychology, University of Milano Bicocca, 20216 Milan, Italy
Interests: language acquisition; language impairment; morphology; syntax; semantics; rhythm

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Young children generally make shorter utterances than adults and are felt to commit language errors of omission. However, children occasionally use extra words or morphemes in their utterances or use phrasing that is less concise than the one adults would use. Such errors of commission seem to be rooted in the linguistic and cognitive creativity of the child, especially when commission errors are recurrent across children or even across languages. Currently, work specifically looking at commission errors in different child languages has been rather limited. This Special Issue addresses the need for a broader and more diverse study of commission errors.

We want to approach the task in the spirit of making a map based on a grid of coordinates.  On one axis, we place different languages, one per column. On the other axes, we place different domains of language where some preliminary evidence for commission errors exists: the first two areas concern the internal structure of complex events, namely 1) the expression of causation and agency, and 2) the primitive components of change of state and motion events. The other four areas concern the internal structure of propositions: 3) the binary connectives, especially Boolean disjunction (or); 4) negative concepts such as exclusion (only), adjectival antonyms (e.g., short), and negation; 5) quantificational concepts including genericity and distributivity; 6) dependencies most frequently analyzed as variable binding; and 7) all other phenomena.

Contributions should ideally address contiguous areas of this grid, for example, by looking at all the evidence from one language to add an entire column to the Atlas or look at one area across different languages where evidence is available already or address the methodology of identifying recurrent commission errors. Much relevant evidence is available already, for example, in the form of public or private corpus collections or parental reports. However, these data sources have not been systematically analyzed for commission errors. We expect contributions to identify the currently available sources of data, note gaps, and arrive at conclusions that both methodologically and analytically advance the state of the art.

We request that, prior to submitting a manuscript, interested authors initially submit a proposed title and an abstract of 400–600 words summarizing their intended contribution. Please send it to the guest editors at <[email protected]>. Abstracts will be reviewed by the guest editors for the purpose of ensuring proper fit within the scope of the Special Issue. Full manuscripts will undergo double-blind peer-review.

Tentative completion schedule:

  • Abstract submission deadline: 30 April 2022
  • Notification of abstract acceptance: 31 May 2022
  • Full manuscript deadline: 31 July 2022

Prof. Dr. Uli Sauerland
Prof. Dr. Artemis Alexiadou
Prof. Dr. Maria Teresa Guasti
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Languages is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • language acquisition
  • first language
  • language production
  • language diversity

Published Papers

There is no accepted submissions to this special issue at this moment.
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