Zur Hauptnavigation / To main navigation

Zur Sekundärnavigation / To secondary navigation

Zum Inhalt dieser Seite / To the content of this page

Sekundärnavigation / Secondary navigation

Inhaltsbereich / Content

Professor Dr. Shanley E.M. Allen

Office: Building 57, Room 409

E-mail: allen[at]sowi.uni-kl.de

Phone: +49 (0)631-205-4136

Fax: +49 (0)631-205-5182


Curriculum Vitae


Academic Employment  [click here  for full CV]

since 2012
Professor (W3), University of Kaiserslautern
Psycholinguistics and Language Development Group, Department of Social Sciences

Professor (W2), University of Kaiserslautern
English Linguistics Group, Department of Social Sciences

Department Chair, Boston University
Department of Literacy & Language, Counseling & Development, School of Education

Associate Professor, Boston University
Department of Literacy & Language, Counseling & Development, School of Education    
Program in Applied Linguistics, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
Assistant Professor, Boston University
Department of Developmental Studies and Counseling, School of Education    
Program in Applied Linguistics, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
Research Fellow, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics
Language Acquisition Group


Ph.D. in Linguistics, McGill University

B.A. in Hispanic Studies (Great Distinction), McGill University

Research Interests

How do crosslinguistic differences in morphosyntactic structure affect first language development? What aspects of language learning are universal vs. language-specific? How do the two languages of a bilingual or second language speaker interact and influence each other? These questions drive my research program. In work on first language development, I focus especially on the acquisition of morphosyntactic structures in Inuktitut (Eskimo), discourse-pragmatic effects on argument realization in Inuktitut and English, and the acquisition of speech and gesture related to motion events in English, Japanese, and Turkish. In research on bilingual and second language development, I investigate cross-linguistic influence in Inuktitut-English, German-English, and Greek-German bilinguals. Methods include naturalistic observation, elicited production, self-paced reading, and eye tracking.

Selected Recent Publications  [Click here for full list of publications]

Allen, S.E.M. (In press). Acquisition of argument structure. In P. Brooks & V. Kempe (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Language Development.

Hughes, M. & Allen, S.E.M. (2013). The effect of discourse-pragmatic features on subject omission in English. Journal of Pragmatics 56, 15-31.

Skarabela, B., Allen, S.E.M. & Scott-Phillips, T.C. (2013). Joint attention helps explain why children omit new arguments. Journal of Pragmatics 56, 5-14.

Allen, S.E.M. (2013). The acquisition of ergativity in Inuktitut. In E.L. Bavin & S. Stoll (Eds.), The acquisition of ergative structures (pp. 71-105). Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Kita, S., Özyürek, A., Allen, S.E.M., & Ishizuka, T. (2010). Early links between iconic gestures and sound symbolic words: Evidence for multimodal protolanguage. In A. D. M. Smith, M. Schouwstra, B. de Boer & K. Smith (Eds.), The evolution of language: Proceedings of the 8th International Conference (EVOLANG8) (pp. 429-430). Singapore: World Scientific.

Selected Recent Presentations

Allen, S.E.M. (2013, October). “A crosslinguistic perspective on the acquisition of referring expressions.” Keynote speaker, International Conference on the Acquisition of Referring Expressions: Crossed Perspectives, Paris, France.

Katsika, K. & Allen, S.E.M. (2013, September). “Processing subject and object relative clauses in a flexible word order language: Evidence from Greek.” 2013 Conference on Architectures and Mechanisms in Language Processing, Marseille, France.

Jacob, G., Katsika, K., Calley, M., Martinek, L., Family, N., & Allen, S.E.M.  (2013, September). “The role of surface and global syntactic structure in cross-linguistic priming.” Workshop on Cross-linguistic Priming in Bilinguals: Perspectives and Constraints, Nijmegen, Netherlands.

Allen, S.E.M. (2013, June). “Factors affecting language processing in L2 speakers.” Symposium organized at the 9th International Symposium on Bilingualism, Singapore.

Allen, S.E.M. (2013, May). “Grammar is not all in the mind: The interaction of pragmatics and syntax in child language.” Keynote speaker, 5th International Conference on Cognitive Science, Tehran, Iran.

Allen, S.E.M. (2013, January). “Ergative to accusative case in northern Quebec Inuktitut?” Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of the Indigenous Languages of the Americas, Boston, MA.

Teaching at the University of Kaiserslautern [Click here for current semester schedule]

Introduction to Linguistics (for Computer Science Masters students)
Language Development (for Cognitive Science and Computer Science Masters students)
Linguistics and Language Processing (for Cognitive Science Masters students)
Research Logic and Research Design (for Integrated Social Science Masters students)
Scientific Writing and Publishing in English (for doctoral students and postdocs in all disciplines)

Professional Service

Co-Editor, Trends in Language Acquisition Research
(TiLAR) book series, Benjamins Publishing

Editorial Board Member, Journal of Child Language

Editorial Board Member, International Journal of Language Studies