Event Date and Time
Bioscience Research Building 1103

Please join us on Thursday, March 14, in Room 1103 of the Bioscience Research Building as the Cognitive Science Colloquium welcomes Dr. Elika Bergelson from Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke University, as she talks about "The Nascent Lexicon: Word Learning in Infants." 


Abstract: One of the most fascinating aspects of language acquisition is that within a range of "normal" exposure and "typical" development, all children acquire the language in their environment, on a similar timescale. At the same time, the specific input a child gets dictates what she is in principle able to learn: a child who has never seen or heard of kangaroos will not learn the sound or meaning of that word. In this talk I examine the environment for early language acquisition, asking two central questions: (1) how much variability (or redundancy!) is there in the words that young infants see and hear, at the group and individual level, and (2) how does infants' home environment predict their own productions, and their performance on word comprehension measures in the lab. I will examine these questions in part within a rich multimodal longitudinal dataset dubbed SEEDLingS, discussing recent results of several eyetracking studies and corpus analyses probing early word learning. I will conclude by laying out new and ongoing work in my lab expanding beyond our typical 'boutique' samples to infants experiencing a broader range of learning environments.

Dr. Elika Bergelson