Northwestern Events Calendar

Dec
2
2016

Colloquium: Sarah Creel (University of California San Diego) - Hearing a who: How talker identity shapes language processing throughout development

When: Friday, December 2, 2016
4:00 PM - 6:00 PM  

Where: Chambers Hall, Lower Level Classroom, 600 Foster St, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact:  

Group: Linguistics Department

Category: Academic

Description:

Hearing a who: How talker identity shapes language processing throughout development

Comprehenders process not just words and sentences—they also process speakers. Adult comprehenders consider the source when comprehending spoken language, but adults are sensitive to many types of context. How early in development, and how readily, do comprehenders use a talker’s identity or group membership in language processing?

In this talk, I argue that most of language acquisition happens in the context of particular talkers, with profound consequences for comprehension, presenting evidence from multiple lines of studies in my lab. Children use talker identity in on-line sentence comprehension and even word learning, suggesting that language acquisition itself is talker-contingent. However, children show some limitations in accessing talker (or group) identity, which appear to be driven by ongoing perceptual learning about talker characteristics.

My findings support an interactive view of language processing, in which context has immediate effects on encoding and comprehension, rather than a modular view.

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