(for a longer, downloadable CV, see below)
I am a linguist specializing in language acquisition by typical, impaired, and multilingual populations. I earned my MA degree from Utrecht University in 1990, my PhD degree from UCLA in 1997, and was a Postdoc at MIT until 1998. From 1998-2011 I worked at Ben Gurion University in Israel as an Assistant and an Associate Professor. I have been affiliated with the University of Amsterdam since 2011.
My research varies from the study of language acquisition by typically developing monolingual Dutch-, English-, Italian-, Hebrew-, and Russian-acquiring children, to multilingualism (including L2) and the study of language disorders, particularly in individuals with Specific Language Impairment, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Hemispherectomy.
The recurring theme in my research is the question as to whether grammar and pragmatics are two separate language components or not, and what their respective roles and interaction are in language development. The linguistic phenomena I investigate to this end include object scrambling, clitic placement, Wh-movement, article drop, article choice, the mass/count distinction, subject drop, subject-verb agreement, Root Infinitives, Case, implicatures. Besides using behavioral experimental techniques, I also have a special interest in brain-imaging and electrophysiological techniques to collect data.
Schaeffer, Jeannette (2012) Specific Language Impairment - Evidence for the division of labor and the interaction between grammar and pragmatics . Saarbruecken, Germany: Lambert Academic Publishing.
Schaeffer, Jeannette (2000) The acquisition of direct object scrambling and clitic placement: Syntax and pragmatics . Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Publications in A-list journals (ERIH)
(for downloadables, see below)
Hacohen, Aviya and Jeannette Schaeffer (2007). Subject realization in early Hebrew/English bilingual acquisition: The role of crosslinguistic influence. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition 10(3): 333-344. Impact factor: 1.636.
Curtiss, Susan and Jeannette Schaeffer (2005). Syntactic development in children with hemispherectomy: The I-, D-, and C-Systems. Brain and Language 94: 147-166. Impact factor: 3.105.
Schaeffer, Jeannette and Lisa Matthewson (2005). Grammar and pragmatics in the acquisition of article systems. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 23: 53-101. Impact factor: 1.302.
Schaeffer, Jeannette and Dorit Ben Shalom (2004). On Root Infinitives in child Hebrew. Language Acquisition 12 (1): 83-96.
Wexler, Ken, Jeannette Schaeffer and Gerard Bol (2004). Verbal syntax and morphology in Dutch normal and SLI children: How developmental data can play an important role in morphological theory. Syntax 7(2): 148-198.
Schaeffer, Jeannette (2000). Aphasia research and theoretical linguistics guiding each other. Behavioral and Brain Sciences , 23:1: 50-51. Impact factor: 15.6.
Publications in B-list journals (ERIH) and international journals outside the Humanities
(for downloadables, see below)
Curtiss, Susan, Jeff MacSwan, Jeannette Schaeffer, Murat Kural, Tetsuya Sano (2004). GCS: A grammatical coding system for natural language data. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, & Computers 36(3): 459-480. Impact factor: 2.92.
Schaeffer, Jeannette (2002a). On the acquisition of reference. Glot International 6(9/10): 67-71.
Schaeffer, Jeannette (2002b). The mystery of children's embedded V2. Glot International 6(9/10): 307-313.
Embick, David, Martin Hackl, Jeannette Schaeffer, Meltem Kelepir and Alec Marantz (2001). A magnetoencephalographic component whose latency reflects lexical frequency. Cognitive Brain Research 10: 345-348. Impact factor: 2.551.
Schaeffer, Jeannette (1998). Maaike Verrips' "Potatoes must peel: The acquisition of the Dutch passive". Glot International 2(9/10): 10-13.
Grammar and Pragmatics in Specific Language Impairment and Autism Spectrum Disorder
Period: March 2012 - March 2014
In this project we investigate grammatical and pragmatic development in Dutch-speaking children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI), Dutch-speaking children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and typically developing (TD) monolingual Dutch-speaking children between the ages of 6 and 12 years old. The goal of the project is to find a double dissociation between grammar and pragmatics. As for the grammatical phenomena, we examine subject-verb agreement / finiteness and the mass/count distinction. The pragmatic phenomena under consideration are article choice and direct object scrambling. To collect data, we use elicited production tasks, comprehension tasks, and judgment tasks. Hypothesizing that children with SLI are mainly impaired in their grammar, but not in their pragmatics, I predict that they perform well on article choice and direct object scrambling, but that they make more errors than their age mates on subject-verb agreement / finiteness and the mass/count distinction. Furthermore, hypothesizing that children with ASD are mainly impaired in their pragmatics, but not in their grammar, I predict that they perform well on subject-verb agreement / finiteness and the mass/count distinction, but that they make more errors than their age mates on article choice and direct object scrambling. If the predictions are borne out, the results would provide support for the domain specificity of grammar vs. pragmatics.
Currently, two students participate in this research project:
Merel van Witteloostuijn - rMA student Linguistics, Utrecht University
Leanne Matimba - BA student Linguistics, University of Amsterdam
If you are interested in this project and would like to obtain research experience, please contact me!