Quantitative modeling of early language acquisition

Date: 
15.11.2013
Speaker: 
проф. Эммануэль Дюпу (Paris, Ecole Normale Sup?rieure)
Host Institution: 
ВШЭ
Description: 

В пятницу 15 ноября, 15-10, ауд. 102, Мясницкая 20б ВШЭ состоится лекция:


Quantitative modeling of early language acquisition
проф. Эммануэля Дюпу (Paris, Ecole Normale Sup?rieure)


Аннотация:
Human infants learn spontaneously and effortlessly the language(s) spoken in their environments, despite the extraordinary complexity of the task. In the past 30 years, tremendous progress has been made regarding the empirical investigation of the linguistic achievements of infants during their first two years of life. In that short period of their life, infants learn in an essentially unsupervised fashion the basic building blocks of the phonetics, phonology, lexical and syntactic organization of their native language (see Jusczyk, 1987). Yet, little is known about the mechanisms responsible for such acquisitions. Do infants rely on general statistical inference principles? Do they rely on specialized algorithms devoted to language? Here, I will present an overview of the early phases of language acquisition and focus on one area where a modeling approach is currently being conducted, using tools of signal processing and automatic speech recognition: the unsupervised acquisition of phonetic categories. It is known that during the first year of life, before they are able to talk, infants construct a detailed representation of the phonemes of their native language and loose the ability to distinguish nonnative phonemic contrasts (Werker & Tees, 1984). It will be shown that the only mechanism that has been proposed so far, that is, unsupervised statistical clustering (Maye, Werker and Gerken, 2002), may not converge on the inventory of phonemes, but rather on contextual allophonic units that are smaller than the phoneme (Varadarajan, 2008). Alternative algorithms will be presented using three sources of information: the statistical distribution of their contexts, the phonetic plausibility of the grouping, and the existence of lexical minimal pairs (Peperkamp et al., 2006; Martin et al, submitted). It is shown that each of the three sources of information can be acquired without presupposing the others, but that they need to be combined to arrive at good performance. Modeling results and experiments in human infants will be presented.

Моделирование ранних этапов развития речи
Сайт http://www.lscp.net/persons/dupoux/


Репрезентативные публикации:
• Kouider, S., de Gardelle, V., Sackur, J. & Dupoux, E. (2010). How rich is consciousness? The partial awareness hypothesis Trends in 
Cognitive Sciences, 14(7), 301-307
• Dupoux, E. & Jacob, P. (2007). Universal moral grammar: a critical appraisal. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 11(9), 373-378
• Dupoux, E. & Jacob, P. (2008). Response to Dwyer and Hauser: Sounding the retreat? Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 12(1), 2-3.

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