DeLTA Center Colloquium - Dan Yurovsky (University of Chicago)
Dan Yurovsky, Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Chicago, will be presenting a colloquium to the DeLTA Center.
“Dr. Yurovsky studies how we learn from the people around us, and especially how children learn language. Children learn the meanings of thousands of words by the time they can run down the street. Yet, these same children continuously forget where they left their hats and coats. Dr. Yurovsky's research aims to explain this puzzle by taking a systems perspective: successes (and failures) of learning emerge from the coordination between cognitive constraints and the learning environment. "
From the Department of Psychology, University of Chicago, 28 August 2017.
Title: A communicative approach to early word learning
Abstract: Young children learn the meanings of thousands of words by the time they can run down the street. Efforts to explain this rapid development often begin by assuming that the computational-level problem being solved is acquisition. Consequently, work in this line has sought to understand how children infer the meanings of words from cues in the communicative signals of the speakers around them. I will argue, however, that this formulation of the problem is backwards: the computational problem is communication, and language acquisition provides cues about how to communicate successfully. I will present evidence from a combination of corpus and experimental work showing that in-the-moment communicative pressure can lead to linguistic input that supports learning.