Signal to Syntax

Author: James L. Morgan
Publisher: Psychology Press
ISBN: 1317781708
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In the beginning, before there are words, or syntax, or discourse, there is speech. Speech is an infant's gateway to language. Without exposure to speech, no language--or at most only a feeble facsimile of language--develops, regardless of how rich a child's biological endowment for language learning may be. But little is given directly in speech--not words, for example, as anyone who has ever listened to fluent conversation in an unfamiliar language can attest. Rather, words and phrases, or rudimentary categories--or whatever other information is required for syntactic and semantic analyses to begin operating--must be pulled from speech through an infant's developing perceptual capacities. By the end of the first year, an infant can segment at least some words from fluent speech. Beyond this, how impoverished or rich an infant's representations of input may be remains largely unknown. Clearly, in the debate over determinants of early language acquisition, the input speech stream has too often been offhandedly dismissed as a potential source of information. This volume brings together internationally-known scholars from a range of disciplines--linguistics, psychology, cognitive and computer science, and acoustics --who share common interests in how speech, in its phonological, prosodic, distributional, and statistical properties, may encode information useful for early language learning, and how such information may be deciphered by very young children. These scholars offer a spectrum of viewpoints on the possibility that aspects of speech may provide bootstraps for language learning; contribute important, state-of-the-art findings across a variety of relevant domains; and illuminate critical directions for future inquiry. The publication of this volume represents a significant step in renewing the bonds between two fields that have long been sundered--speech perception and language acquisition.

Approaches to Bootstrapping

Author: Jürgen Weissenborn
Publisher: John Benjamins Publishing
ISBN: 9789027224910
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Volume 1 of Approaches to Bootstrapping focuses on early word learning and syntactic development with special emphasis on the bootstrapping mechanisms by which the child using properties of the speech input enters the native linguistic system. Topics discussed in the area of lexical acquisition are: cues and mechanisms for isolating words in the input; special features of motherese and their role for early word learning; the determination of first word meanings; memory and related processing capacities in early word learning and understanding; and lexical representation and lexical access in early language production. The papers on syntactic development deal with the acquisition of grammatical prosodic features for learning language specific syntactic regularities.Volume 2 of Approaches to Bootstrapping focuses on the interaction between the development of prosodic and morphosyntactic knowledge as evidenced in the early speech of Dutch, English, German, Portugese, Spanish, Danish, Islandic, and Swedish children sheding new light on the relation between universal and language specific aspects of language acquisition. Another section of this volume deals with new approaches to language acquisition using ERP- techniques. The papers discuss in detail the relation between the development of language skills and changes in neurophysiological aspects of the brain. The potentials of these techniques for the development of new tools for an early diagnosis of children who are at risque for developmental language disorders are also pointed out. The closing section contains a synopsis of interactionist approaches to language acquisition, a discussion of the genetic and experiential origin of primitive linguistic elements in acquisition, and a discussion of structural and developmental aspects of bird song in comparison to human language. The two volumes making up Approaches to Bootstrapping present a state-of-the art interdisciplinary and cross-linguistic overview of recent developments in first language acquisition research.

Cognitive Models of Speech Processing

Author: Gerry T. M. Altmann
Publisher: Psychology Press
ISBN: 9780863779756
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This collection of papers and abstracts stems from the third meeting in the series of Sperlonga workshops on Cognitive Models of Speech Processing. It presents current research on the structure and organization of the mental lexicon, and on the processes that access that lexicon. The volume starts with discussion of issues in acquisition and consideration of questions such as, 'What is the relationship between vocabulary growth and the acquisition of syntax?', and, 'How does prosodic information, concerning the melodies and rhythms of the language, influence the processes of lexical and syntactic acquisition?'. From acquisition, the papers move on to consider the manner in which contemporary models of spoken word recognition and production can map onto neural models of the recognition and production processes. The issue of exactly what is recognised, and when, is dealt with next - the empirical findings suggest that the function of something to which a word refers is accessed with a different time-course to the form of that something. This has considerable implications for the nature, and content, of lexical representations. Equally important are the findings from the studies of disordered lexical processing, and two papers in this volume address the implications of these disorders for models of lexical representation and process (borrowing from both empirical data and computational modelling). The final paper explores whether neural networks can successfully model certain lexical phenomena that have elsewhere been assumed to require rule-based processes.

The Development of Grammar

Author: Esther Rinke
Publisher: John Benjamins Publishing
ISBN: 9027219311
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This volume focuses on different aspects of language development. The contributions are concerned with similarities and differences between first and second language acquisition, the acquisition of sentence structure and functional categories, cross-linguistic influence in bilingual first language acquisition as well as the relation between language acquisition, language contact and diachronic change. The recurrent topic of the volume is the link between linguistic variation and the limitation of structural variability in the framework of a well-defined theory of language. In this respect, the volume opens up new perspectives for future research.

The Crosslinguistic Study of Language Acquisition

Author: Dan Isaac Slobin
Publisher: Psychology Press
ISBN: 1317778707
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In this final volume in the series, the contributors attempt to "expand the contexts" in which child language has been examined crosslinguistically. The chapters build on themes that have been touched on, anticipated, and promised in earlier volumes in the series. The study of child language has been situated in the disciplines of psychology and linguistics, and has been most responsive to dominant issues in those fields such as nativism and learning, comprehension and production, errors, input, and universals of morphology and syntax. The context has primarily been that of the individual child, interacting with a parent, and deciphering the linguistic code. The code has been generally treated in these volumes as a system of morphology and syntax, with little attention to phonology and prosody. Attention has been paid occasionally to the facts that the child is acquiring language in a sociocultural setting and that language is used in contexts of semantic and pragmatic communication. In addition, there has been a degree of attention paid to the interactions between language and cognition in the process of development. As for individual differences between children, they have been discussed in those studies where they could not be avoided, but such variation has rarely been the focus of systematic attention. Differences between individual languages have been of great interest, but these differences have not often been placed in a framework of systematic typological variation. And although languages and their grammars change over time, the focus of attention on the individual child learner has generally led to neglect of explanatory principles that are best found on the level of linguistic diachrony, rather than the level of innate ideas or patterns of learning and cognition in the individual child. The chapter authors seek to explore these neglected contexts in more depth.

Children s Language

Author: Keith E. Nelson
Publisher: Psychology Press
ISBN: 1135667969
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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These volumes present coherent sets of papers developed along two of the thematic lines that underscored the program of the meeting of the International Association for the Study of Child Language in Istanbul in the summer of 1996. Thoroughly reviewed and updated to reflect the state of child language research and theory--particularly in the domains of discourse and interaction--they convey not only the flavor of that meeting but some of the most exciting trends in the field today. Each contribution in Volume 10,Developing Narrative and Discourse Competence, focuses on the differential effects of discourse genres, elicitation techniques, communicative contexts, literacy and schooling, and the oft-cited variables of age, language, and culture. Issues concerning the interrelations between social, cognitive, and affective capacities and processes in discourse are addressed. Each chapter raises theoretical questions regarding how and when representations are constructed to support new complexities. Presenting data from a cross-cultural and cross-linguistic perspective, this volume highlights both the particulars and the universals of the processes involved. The chapters in Volume 11, Interactional Contributions to Language Development, address issues including scaffolding of processing and learning in particular interactional sequences; linkages among interpersonal functions or relations, cognitive development, and semantic, syntactic, and pragmatic devices or forms; and models of how interactions proceed, input is selected, and learning advances across multiple rounds of interaction. Each of these volumes will be a valuable addition to the libraries of all who study the development of language.

Action Meets Word

Author: Kathy Hirsh-Pasek
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199753717
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Words are the building blocks of language. An understanding of how words are learned is central to any theory of language acquisition. This volume looks at early verb learning, focusing on the foundations for verb learning, and how these foundations intersect with the burgeoning language system.

Computational Approaches to Language Acquisition

Author: Michael R. Brent
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262522298
Format: PDF, Mobi
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The past fifteen years have seen great changes in the field of language acquisition. New experimental methods have yielded insights into the linguistic knowledge of ever younger children, and interest has grown in the phonological, syntactic, and semantic aspects of the lexicon. Computational investigations of language acquisition have also changed, reflecting, among other things, the profound shift in the field of natural language processing from hand-crafted grammars to grammars that are learned automatically from samples of naturally occurring language.Each of the four research papers in this book takes a novel formal approach to a particular problem in language acquisition. In the first paper, J. M. Siskind looks at developmentally inspired models of word learning. In the second, M. R. Brent and T. A. Cartwright look at how children could discover the sounds of words, given that word boundaries are not marked by any acoustic analog of the spaces between written words. In the third, P. Resnik measures the association between verbs and the semantic categories of their arguments that children likely use as clues to verb meanings. Finally, P. Niyogi and R. C. Berwick address the setting of syntactic parameters such as headedness--for example, whether the direct object comes before or after the verb.

On Concepts Modules and Language

Author: Roberto G. de Almeida
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 019046478X
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What are the landmarks of the cognitive revolution? What are the core topics of modern cognitive science? Where is cognitive science heading? These and other questions are addressed in this volume by leading cognitive scientists as they examine the work of one of cognitive science's most influential and polemical figures: Jerry Fodor. Contributions by Noam Chomsky, Tom Bever, Merrill Garrett, Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini, Zenon Pylyshyn, Janet Fodor, C. Randy Gallistel, Ernie Lepore, Mary C. Potter, Lila R. Gleitman, and others, put in perspective Fodor's contribution to cognitive science by focusing on three main themes: the nature of concepts, the modularity of language and vision, and the language of thought. On Modules, Concepts, and Language: Cognitive Science at Its Core is a one-of-a-kind series of essays on cognitive science and on Fodor. In this volume, Chomsky contrasts, for the first time, his view of modularity with that of Fodor's; Bever--one of the pioneers of modern psycholinguistics--discusses the nature of consciousness in particular with respect to language perception; Garrett--another of the pioneers of psycholinguistics--reassesses his view of modularity in language production; Pylyshyn--one of the leading figures of the modern symbolic, computational view of the mind--presents his view of the connection between visual perception and conceptual attainment; Gallistel--one of the most prominent cognitive neuroscientists--presents a proposal on what the biological bases of the computational theory of mind might be. Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini discusses Fodor's views on conceptual nativism, stemming from the epic debate between Chomsky and Piaget, which Piattelli-Palmarini organized. These and many other key figures of cognitive science are brought together, for the first time, constituting the most up-to-date critical view of some of cognitive science's most polemical topics and its prospects as the science of the mind. This volume is aimed at students and advanced researchers in core areas of cognitive science and is bound to become one of the classics in the field.