AcqVA retreat in Tromsø, December 2017. (Photo: Adnan Icagic)
AcqVA is a joint UiT/NTNU research group. Our members are involved in an increasing number of collaborative research projects. Here is a description of AcqVA’s purpose and vision:
Humans are seemingly unique in the animal kingdom in that we have language; systems enabling communication about any topic, be it past, present or future. In fact, humans are not limited to one language, but can acquire several under the right conditions. Although undoubtedly a cultural object, language is also a fundamental part of the mind/brain of a human being, the constitution of which we refer to as a mental grammar. Changes in states of linguistic knowledge, be it in development (acquisition) or possible erosion over the lifespan (attrition), examined across complementary populations and multiple language combinations (variation), provide crucial knowledge about the organization of mental grammars. AcqVA conducts research based on real-life situations, reflecting today’s globalized world where learning multiple languages at various points in the lifetime has become increasingly common. AcqVA’s vision is to provide groundbreaking data and novel theories that will substantially increase our understanding of how mental grammars may vary, how they develop in children and adults, and change under conditions of reduced input and use.