Language is a crucial part of what makes us human. How do we acquire this remarkable ability? Are we born with some knowledge of basic language structure, or is all of it learned? Is learning language similar to learning about other structure in our environment, or is it unique? To answer these questions, we need to ask infants.
Jenny Saffran (University of Wisconsin) has pioneered in experiments demonstrating that infants can learn statistical regularities, bringing new perspectives to classical questions about our language abilities. Beyond the laboratory, her work has been featured in the Netflix series Babies. View the trailer for Babies here.
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Sponsored by the Initiative for the Theoretical Sciences, the CUNY doctoral programs in Physics and Biology, and the Center for the Physics of Biological Function.