Indiana University

The Department of Second Language Studies

David Stringer

Photo of David Stringer

  • Associate Professor of Second Language Studies

  • Adjunct Associate Professor of Linguistics
  • Associate Member, Cognitive Science Program
  • Associate Member, East Asian Studies Program
  • Associate Member, Integrated Program in the Environment

ds6@indiana.edu
(812) 855-5992
Ballantine Hall 868

Research Interests

  • First and second language acquisition
  • Syntax, morphology, lexical semantics
  • World Englishes
  • Language Attrition
  • Biocultural Diversity

Education

  • Ph.D. 2005. Linguistics, University of Durham, UK
  • M.A. 1998. Language Acquisition, University of Durham, UK
  • B.A. Hons. 1991. Hispanic Studies, University of Manchester, UK

Personal Statement

Academic bio: I was born in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. I completed my undergraduate degree in Hispanic Studies at the University of Manchester, specializing in Latin American literature. During this time, I spent a year studying anthropology at the University of Quindío, Colombia, and at PUC in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I then taught English as a Foreign Language in Valencia, Spain; Verona, Italy; and Nara, Japan, before pursuing graduate studies in linguistics at the University of Durham. I returned to Japan for another four years to teach linguistics and English language at Mie University. I joined the Department of Second Language Studies at Indiana University in 2006 and was promoted to tenure in 2012.

Research interests: My main research area is the acquisition of syntax and lexical semantics. I am interested in universal aspects of word meaning that play a role in grammar across languages. Other areas of research interest include World Englishes (especially in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa), language attrition (in joint work with Kathleen Bardovi-Harlig), and biocultural diversity (linking language revitalization in indigenous cultures to the conservation of ecosystems). My interests extend to all formal aspects of second language acquisition and multilingualism, and I enjoy working with students on a wide range of projects.

Community Outreach: As an extension of my course Language Hotspots and Biodiversity, I have initiated an outreach program in local elementary schools. The course examines how ecological knowledge is encoded in endangered languages, with a focus on tropical ecoregions with high linguistic diversity (the Amazon, the Congo, New Guinea). The child-friendly slideshow aims to encourage a sense of wonder at the linguistic and biological diversity of life on earth and to raise awareness of efforts to create sustainable systems of development.

Read more about the project here: Helping Fifth-graders Understand the Relationship Between Saving Rainforests and Language

I will curate a related film series at IU Cinema in Fall 2017: Biocultural Diversity: A Film Journey.

Experimental Materials

I enjoy the creative aspects of experimental design. Here are four examples of audiovisual materials used to elicit production data as well as judgment data in studies of the linguistic realization of motion events. They were all designed for use with young children as well as adults. These materials may be copied or adapted with appropriate citations.

Aladdin Animation: These animated slides were originally used with linguistic stimuli in embedded sound files. The linguistic stimuli have been removed so as to make the default presentation easier to adapt. See supplementary notes. Original article (with no images reproduced): Stringer, D. Burghardt, B., Seo, H.K., and Wang, Y-T. (2011). Straight on through to Universal Grammar: Spatial modifiers in second language acquisition. Second Language Research 27 (3): 289-311.

Dr. Doodle and Charlie: These figures were created to elicit descriptions involving the expression of Manner and Change of State in locative motion events. Original source of images: Stringer, D. (2012). The lexical interface in L1 acquisition: What children have to say about radical concept nativism. First Language, 32(1-2): 116-136.

Toto the Robot: This figure was created so that children could give grammaticality judgments by interacting with a puppet rather than talking directly to an experimenter. Original source for description (with no images reproduced): Stringer, D. (2005). Paths in First Language Acquisition: Motion through Space in English, French and Japanese. Doctoral dissertation, University of Durham.

Monkey Book: These pictorial stimuli are monochrome sketch versions of colour originals in an A4-size book (lamination made direct scanning impossible). Each stimulus page represents both Manner and Path. Original source of images: Stringer, D. (2005). Paths in First Language Acquisition: Motion through Space in English, French and Japanese. Doctoral dissertation, University of Durham.

Publications

  • Bardovi-Harlig, K. & Stringer, D. (in press). Beyond steady-state models of ultimate attainment. Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism.
  • Bardovi-Harlig, K. & Stringer, D. (in press). Survival of the modular: Do syntax and phonology escape the effects of L2 attrition? In Schmid, M.S., Kopke, B., Cherciov, M., de Leeuw, E., Karayayla, T., Keijzer, M., & Mehotcheva, T. (Eds.), Oxford Handbook of Language Attrition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Bardovi-Harlig, K. & Stringer, D. (2017). Unconventional expressions: Productive syntax in the L2 acquisition of formulaic language.Second Language Research, 33(1): 61-90.
  • Stringer, D. (2016). Introduction. In D. Stringer, J. Garrett, B. Halloran, & S. Mossman (Eds.), Proceedings of the 13th Generative Approaches to Second Language Acquisition Conference (GASLA 2015). Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press. Available at : http://www.lingref.com/cpp/gasla/13/index.html
  • Stringer, D., Garrett, J., Halloran, B., & Mossman, S. (Eds.)(2016), Proceedings of the 13th Generative Approaches to Second Language Acquisition Conference (GASLA 2015). Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press. Available at: http://www.lingref.com/cpp/gasla/13/index.html
  • Stringer, D. (2016). When grasshopper means lightning: How ecological knowledge is encoded in endangered languages. Langscape, 5(1): 14-19.
  • Stringer, D. (2015). Embedded wh-questions in L2 English in India: Inversion as a main clause phenomenon. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 37(1):101-133.
  • Stringer, D. (2013). Modifying the teaching of modifiers: A lesson from Universal Grammar. In Whong, M., Gil, K-H., & Marsden, H. (eds.), Universal Grammar and the Second Language Classroom, 77-100. Dordrecht: Springer.
  • Bardovi-Harlig, K. & Stringer, D. (2013). The lexicon in second language attrition: What happens when the cat's got your tongue?  In J. Altarriba and L. Isurin (Eds.), Memory, Language, and Bilingualism: Theoretical and Applied Approaches, 291-308. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Stringer, D. (2012). a) Acquisition of motion expressions (pp. 4-5); b) Attrition (pp. 48-51); c) World Englishes (pp. 699-703). In P. Robinson (Ed.), The Routledge encylopedia of second language acquisition. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis/Routledge.
  • Stringer, D. (2012). Spatial feature assembly in first and second language acquisition Spatial Cognition and Computation, 12(4): 252-274.
  • Stringer, D. (2012). The lexical interface in L1 acquisition: What children have to say about radical concept nativism. First Language, 32(1-2): 116-136. Prepublication version.
  • Stringer, D. (2011). Phonomimesis and directional predication in the acquisition of L1 Japanese and L2 English. Japanese and Korean Linguistics 18: 16-27.
  • Stringer, D., Burghardt, B., Seo, H.K., and Wang, Y-T. (2011). Straight on through to Universal Grammar: Spatial modifiers in second language acquisition. Second Language Research, 27 (3): 289-311. Draft version
  • Stringer, D. (2010). The gloss trap. In Z-H Han and T. Cadierno (eds.) Linguistic Relativity in SLA: Thinking for Speaking, 102-124. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
  • Bardovi-Harlig, K. & Stringer, D. (2010). Variables in second language attrition: Advancing the state of the artStudies in Second Language Acquisition. 32 (1): 1-45.
  • Stringer, D., Burghardt, B., Seo, H.K. & Wang, Y-T. (2009). L2 acquisition of P-modifiers: Fine-tuning the linguistic expression of trajectories. In J. Chandlee, M. Franchini, S. Lord, & M. Rheiner (Eds.), BUCLD 33: Proceedings supplement of the 33rd annual Boston University Conference on Language Development: 1-13.
  • Ludwig, J., Fu, D., Bardovi-Harlig, K., & Stringer, D. (2009).  Serious games for second language retentionProceedings of the Industry/Interservice, Training, Simulation & Education Conference (I/ITSEC 2009): 1-10.
  • Stringer, D. (2008). What else transfers? In R. Slabakova, J. Rothman, P. Kempchinsky and E. Gavruseva (eds.), GASLA 9: Proceedings of the 9th Generative Approaches to Second Language Acquisition Conference, 233-241. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla.
  • Stringer, D. (2007).  Motion events in L2 acquisition:  A lexicalist account. In H. Caunt-Nulton, S. Kulatilake and IH. Woo (eds.), BUCLD 31:  Proceedings of the 31st annual Boston University Conference on Language Development, Vol. II: 585-596. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla.
  • Stringer, D. (2007). Extending the PP hierarchy: The role of bare nominals in spatial predication. In T. Scheffler, J. Tauberer, A. Eliam, and L. Mayol (eds.), Penn Working Papers in Linguistics (PWPL) Vol.13.1: Proceedings of the 30th Annual Penn Linguistics Colloquium: 379-392.
  • Stringer, D. (2006). Coming and Going, Toing and Froing: VP/PP Parallels in L1 Acquisition. In Y. Ostu (ed.), Proceedings of the Seventh Tokyo Conference on Psycholinguistics, 247-271. Tokyo: Hitsuji Shobo.
  • Stringer, D. (2006). Lexical mismatches as a source of errors in comparative linguistic analysis. Philologia 37: 137-160.
  • Stringer, D. (2006). The development of PATHS: Spatial complexity and the multiple predicate strategy. In S. Unsworth, T. Parodi, A. Sorace, and M. Young-Scholten (eds.), Paths of Development in L1 and L2 Acquisition, 135-160. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  • Stringer, D. (2006). Typological tendencies and universal grammar in the acquisition of adpositions. In P. Saint-Dizier (ed.), Syntax and Semantics of Prepositions, 57-68. Dordrecht: Springer.
  • Hattori, N.,  Ayano, S.,  Herrick, D.,  Stringer, D., and Sugisaki,  K. (2006). Topics in Child Japanese. In Y. Ostu (ed.), Proceedings of the Seventh Tokyo Conference on Psycholinguistics, 103-119.  Tokyo: Hitsuji Shobo.
  • Stringer, D. (2005). Children's structuring of motion events: Syntactic universals and lexical variation. In Y. Ostu (ed.), Proceedings of the Sixth Tokyo Conference on Psycholinguistics, 319-343. Tokyo: Hitsuji Shobo.
  • Stringer, D. (2005). Paths in First Language Acquisition: Motion through Space in English, French and Japanese. Doctoral dissertation, University of Durham. Part I, Part II, Part III, Appendices
  • Stringer, D. (2003). Acquisitional evidence for a universal syntax of PP. In P. Saint-Dizier (ed.), Proceedings of the ACL-SIGSEM Workshop on The Linguistic Dimensions of Prepositions and their Use in Computational Linguistics Formalisms and Applications, 44-55. Toulouse: IRIT.
  • Stringer, D. (2003). Splitting the conceptual atom: Acquisitional evidence for semantic decomposition. Durham Working Papers in Linguistics, 9: 81-94.
  • Stringer, D. (2002). Predication of path in French and Japanese. Durham Working Papers in Linguistics, 8: 153-166.
  • Stringer, D. (2002). The syntax of paths and boundaries. In M. Andronis, C. Ball, H. Elston and S. Neuvel (eds.), CLS 37: The Panels. Papers from the 37th Meeting of the Chicago Linguistics Society, Vol. 2: 139-154.
  • Stringer, D. (2001). Syntactic and conceptual mechanisms in argument selection. Durham Working Papers in Linguistics, 7: 111-125.
  • Stringer, D. (2000). 'Ground rules': Locative verbs in first language acquisition. Newcastle and Durham Working Papers in Linguistics, 6: 145-157.

Courses Taught

  • C104: Language Hotspots and Biodiversity
  • S302: The Successful Language Learner
  • S319: Special Topics in SLS: Sociolinguistics of World Englishes
  • S511: Second Language Syntax
  • S531: Child Second Language Development
  • S532: Models of Second Language Acquisition
  • S600: Topics in SLS: Acquisition of Adjectives and Adverbs
  • S600: Topics in SLS: L2 Lexical Semantics
  • S600: Topics in SLS: The Bilingual Mental Lexicon I
  • S622: World Englishes
  • S690: Independent Readings in Second Language Studies
  • T101: Writing English Sentences
  • T501: Academic Writing for International Graduate Students

The learning of second and foreign languages is a rich and fascinating process involving linguistic, psychological, cultural, and social dimensions. The Indiana University Department of Second Language Studies is dedicated to teaching and research on the structure, acquisition, and use of nonnative language in both instructed and contact contexts.