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Petra Hendriks - Language acquisition and the Eliza effect

27 november 2012

It is generally believed that children must first learn to comprehend a linguistic expression before they can correctly use it themselves. However, several studies have found that children's production of correct word order, pronouns like he and him, and several other linguistic forms seems to precede their comprehension. This surprising pattern may not have been observed earlier because not only the interactions of humans with computers, but also the interactions of adults with children are subject to the Eliza effect: the susceptibility to read far more understanding than is warranted into strings of words (Hofstadter, 1996). In this talk I will discuss an explanation of asymmetries between children's production and their comprehension in terms of children's non-adult ranking of the constraints of their grammar and their failure to consider the perspective of their conversational partner. Evidence will be presented from linguistic experiments such as eyetracking (e.g., Cannizzaro, 2012) and cognitive modeling in ACT-R (van Rij, 2012) to support this explanation.

Laatst gewijzigd:31 mei 2018 16:05

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