The Dynamics of Linguistic Development: The Unfolding of Skill Interaction

Colloquium | September 23 | 3:10-5 p.m. | 370 Dwinelle Hall

 Khalil Iskarous, University of Southern California

 Department of Linguistics

Recent work on the development of production, perception, and phonological skills in children has shown a remarkable amount of interaction between these skills, so that it is difficult to understand each separately from its relation to the others. This talk will introduce a predictive dynamical systems-based model of linguistic development that tries to capture these fundamental interactions between the skills. The goal is not to partake in the seemingly eternal zero-sum theoretical debate between nativist and empiricist outlooks, but to show how an explicit dynamical account can integrate linguistic input, architectural properties of a learning system, and a developing grammar, together with an articulatory action system and a perceptual system that allow a child to participate in their world through language. Some of the phenomena to be accounted for are Vihman’s articulatory filter and templatic regression, as well as the influence of phonetic practice on early phonological/lexical patterning.

 CA, hyman@berkeley.edu