Janet Werker, University of British Columbia (Cancelled)

Friday, March 27, 2020 -
12:00pm to 1:15pm
A32 Peretsman Scully Hall

This event has been cancelled due to COVID-19 related university policies and restrictions.


“Ready and Able: Multisensory Foundations of Language Acquisition in Infancy

At birth, infants already have in place a number of perceptual capabilities that predispose them to attend to human speech and talking human faces and to represent core properties of each. Moreover, as early as the have been tested, infants can detect structural relations between heard, seen, and felt speech - all without prior specific experience. Coupled with powerful learning capabilities, these initial capacities allow infants to rapidly become expert perceivers and users of their native language. In this talk, I will explore the multisensory speech perception capabilities of the very young human infant, how these change across development and learning to map on to the characteristics of the native language (languages), and how changing speech perception sensitivities interface with, and support word learning.  A part of this discussion, two potential mechanisms linking initial perceptual sensitivities to lexical acquisition will be compared, one based on statistical learning and the other based on word-object mappings.

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