Lisa Pearl, cognitive sciences associate professor, has received a $141,500 grant
from the National Science Foundation to study strategies children use to learn the
intricate structure of their native language, called syntax. To do this, she’ll use
both computational and experimental methods, applying complex algorithms to thousands
of hours of pre-recorded child-directed speech to understand how children utilize
those data to learn the syntax of their language as fast and as well as they do. Findings
will help develop a set of large-scale theories of syntactic acquisition and highlight
which learning strategies children could use to accomplish this linguistic feat.
Funding for this work began in July 2014 and will run through December 2017.
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