Workshop on language acquisition across cultures and methodological approaches

The focus of this workshop will be on combining cross cultural studies with computational methods to understand the role of language specificities (e.g. extreme phonetic reduction in Danish) and the practices surrounding language development (e.g. child-directed speech, interactions with children, etc.). A side issue is how to ensure open science practices to build a cumulative science of language acquisition.

 

The idea of the workshop was born from local ongoing research on the “Puzzle of Danish” (http://projects.au.dk/the-puzzle-of-danish/) led by Morten Christiansen. In particular, a subproject is investigating how the practices surrounding child directed speech accommodate or not the strong phonetic reduction and high number of vocalic sounds in Danish, and what the consequences of this are.

 

Speakers:

 

Alex Cristia

Researcher at CNRS, Laboratoire de Sciences Cognitives et Psycholinguistique. 

There is wide individual and cultural variation in experiences afforded to young children. Should we see wide variation in language outcomes as a result? The answer to this actually depends on one's theory. I will present a meta-theoretical framework that allows us to estimate data requirements according to a wide range of theories, with a focus on phonological acquisition.

 

Marisa Casillas

Postdoctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. 

The ACLEW project seeks to build a cross-culturally valid description of children's real-world early language experiences with a highly diverse sample, a common annotation system, and new open-source tools for automated analysis. I will discuss the ACLEW group’s recent progress in developing these tools and the initial results emerging from our comparative and tool-aided analyses.

 

Caroline Rowland

Professor and director of the Language Development department at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. 

Caroline Rowland will give a talk about the Language05 project that is investigating the development of language in children from 0-5 years.

 

Christina Bergmann

Postdoctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics.

Christina Bergmann will give a talk about combining computational modelling and child language data.

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