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Professor Shanley E. M. Allen

Education: PhD in Linguistics

Affiliation: University of Kaiserslautern, Germany


Faculty of Social Sciences

University of Kaiserslautern

Erwin-Schrödinger-Strasse 57/409

67663 Kaiserslautern


Phone: +49-631-205-4136

Fax: +49-631-205-5182



Web: Professional Profile


Professor Shanley Allen received her BA (in Hispanic Studies) and PhD (in Linguistics) from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Her research and teaching interests are in the areas of monolingual and bilingual language acquisition, as well as linguistic description and theory. She has published numerous articles and a book on the first language acquisition of morphology, syntax, and discourse by preschool Inuktitut-speaking Inuit (Eskimo) children, as well as articles on specific language impairment and narrative development in older Inuit children. She has also studied and published on the coordination of speech and gesture in representing motion events across typologically different languages, and on code mixing in bilingual preschool children. Her research has been funded by the US National Science Foundation, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and the Kativik School Board of Northern Quebec. Professor Allen is Co-Editor of the book series Trends in Language Acquisition Research published by Benjamins, and on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Child Language.

Selected Publications

Allen, S.E.M. (In press). Polysynthesis in the acquisition of Inuit languages. In Fortescue, M., Mithun, M. & Evans, N. (Eds.), Handbook of Polysynthesis. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Jacob, G., Katsika, K., Family, N., & Allen, S.E.M. (In press). The role of constituent order and level of embedding in cross-linguistic structural priming. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition.
Serratrice, L., & Allen, S.E.M. (Eds.) (2015). The acquisition of reference. Amsterdam: Benjamins.
Allen, S.E.M., Hughes, M.E., & Skarabela, B. (2015). The role of cognitive accessibility in children’s referential choice. In L. Serratrice & S.E.M. Allen (Eds.), The acquisition of reference, (pp. 123-153). Amsterdam: Benjamins.
Allen, S.E.M., & Dench, K. (2015). Calculating mean length of utterance for Eastern Canadian Inuktitut. First Language, 35, 377-406.
Allen, S.E.M. (2015). Argument structure. In E. Bavin & L. Naigles (Eds.), Cambridge Handbook of Child Language, (2nd edition, pp. 271-297). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Family, N., & Allen, S.E.M. (2015). The development of the causative construction in Persian child language. Journal of Child Language, 42(6), 1337-1378.
Hughes, M., & Allen, S.E.M. (2015). The incremental effect of discourse-pragmatic sensitivity on referential choice in the acquisition of a first language. Lingua, 155, 43-61.
Hughes, M., & Allen, S.E.M. (2014). Competing motivations in children's omission of subjects? The interaction between verb finiteness and referent accessibility. In B. MacWhinney, A. Malchukov & E. Moravcsik (Eds.), Competing motivations in grammar and usage, (pp. 144-162). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Allen, S.E.M. (2014). Acquisition of argument structure. In P. Brooks & V. Kempe (Eds.), Encyclopedia of language development, (pp. 18-19). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
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.