Behavioral and Imaging Studies of Infant Artificial Grammar Learning

Judit Gervain, Irene de la Cruz-Pavía, Louann Gerken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Artificial grammar learning (AGL) paradigms have proven to be productive and useful to investigate how young infants break into the grammar of their native language(s). The question of when infants first show the ability to learn abstract grammatical rules has been central to theoretical debates about the innate vs. learned nature of grammar. The presence of this ability early in development, that is, before considerable experience with language, has been argued to provide evidence for a biologically endowed ability to acquire language. Artificial grammar learning tasks also allow infant populations to be readily compared with adults and non-human animals. Artificial grammar learning paradigms with infants have been used to investigate a number of linguistic phenomena and learning tasks, from word segmentation to phonotactics and morphosyntax. In this review, we focus on AGL studies testing infants’ ability to learn grammatical/structural properties of language. Specifically, we discuss the results of AGL studies focusing on repetition-based regularities, the categorization of functors, adjacent and non-adjacent dependencies, and word order. We discuss the implications of the results for a general theory of language acquisition, and we outline some of the open questions and challenges.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalTopics in Cognitive Science
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018

Fingerprint

Ability testing
Linguistics
grammar
Structural properties
infant
Animals
Aptitude
Learning
Language
Imaging techniques
learning
ability
language
paradigm
language acquisition
regularity
animal
linguistics

Keywords

  • Adjacent dependencies
  • Functors
  • Infant artificial grammar learning
  • Language acquisition
  • Morphosyntax
  • Non-adjacent dependencies
  • Repetition-based regularities
  • Word order

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Artificial Intelligence

Cite this

Behavioral and Imaging Studies of Infant Artificial Grammar Learning. / Gervain, Judit; de la Cruz-Pavía, Irene; Gerken, Louann.

In: Topics in Cognitive Science, 01.01.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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