835,844 research outputs found

    Language acquisition and language change

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    Language Acquisition in Computers

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    This project explores the nature of language acquisition in computers, guided by techniques similar to those used in children. While existing natural language processing methods are limited in scope and understanding, our system aims to gain an understanding of language from first principles and hence minimal initial input. The first portion of our system was implemented in Java and is focused on understanding the morphology of language using bigrams. We use frequency distributions and differences between them to define and distinguish languages. English and French texts were analyzed to determine a difference threshold of 55 before the texts are considered to be in different languages, and this threshold was verified using Spanish texts. The second portion of our system focuses on gaining an understanding of the syntax of a language using a recursive method. The program uses one of two possible methods to analyze given sentences based on either sentence patterns or surrounding words. Both methods have been implemented in C++. The program is able to understand the structure of simple sentences and learn new words. In addition, we have provided some suggestions regarding future work and potential extensions of the existing program.Comment: 39 pages, 10 figures and 6 table

    Language learning and language acquisition in online forums

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    Innovations in computer technology have made possible new platforms for supporting and building shared knowledge in meaningful and creative ways to enhance language learning and acquisition. Platforms like web forums, webinars, and bulletin boards in most Learner Management Systems (LMS) provide the additional platform for learning but are seldom utilized effectively to promote student interaction in language learning and acquisition. This paper reports on English Language Studies (ELS) students’ voices of how they participated and benefitted in online forums (OLFs) during their language courses. Findings from the focus group interviews with undergraduate students showed that they are more than ready to adopt OLFs as a learning platform in addition to classroom interactions. However, better effort on the part of the instructors is needed for OLFs to be beneficial. The issues that emerged in the utilization of these forums will propose future directions in the implementation of OLFs to enhance learning and acquisition among ESL students

    Ecological Theory of Language Acquisition

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    This poster outlines an Ecological Theory of Language Acquisition (ETLA). The theory views the early phases of the language acquisition process as an emergent consequence of the interaction between the infant and its linguistic environment. The newborn infant is considered to be linguistically and phonetically naïve but endowed with the ability to register a wide range of multi-sensory inputs along with the ability to detect similarity between the multi-sensory stimuli it is exposed to. The initial steps of the language acquisition process are explained as unintended and inevitable consequences of the infant’s multisensory interaction with the adult. The theoretical model deriving from ETLA is tested using the experimental data presented in the two additional contributions from our research team (Gustavsson et al, “Integration of audiovisual information in 8-months-old infants”; Lacerda, Marklund et al. “On the linguistic implications of context-bound adult-infant interactions”). The generality of the ETLA’s concept is likely to be of significance for a wide range of scientific areas, like robotics, where a central issue concerns addressing general problems of how organisms or systems might develop the ability to tap on the structure of the information embedded in their operating environments

    Language acquisition in developmental disorders

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    In this chapter, I review recent research into language acquisition in developmental disorders, and the light that these findings shed on the nature of language acquisition in typically developing children. Disorders considered include Specific Language Impairment, autism, Down syndrome, and Williams syndrome. I argue that disorders of language should be construed in terms of differences in the constraints that shape the learning process, rather than in terms of the normal system with components missing or malfunctioning. I outline the integrative nature of this learning process and how properties such as redundancy and compensation may be key characteristics of learning systems with atypical constraints. These ideas, as well as the new methodologies now being used to study variations in pathways of language acquisition, are illustrated with case studies from Williams syndrome and Specific Language Impairment