Listening to children: New perspectives on the brain and on language from studies on language development.
Rowland, C. F. (2018). Listening to children: New perspectives on the brain and on language from studies on language development. Invited talk at Max Planck Society Senate.
Language is the most sophisticated communication system known to man, yet children learn it before they can tie their shoelaces. To study how we acquire such a complex system so quickly requires a multi-disciplinary approach, combining techniques from computer science, neuroscience, linguistics and psychology; it requires a cross-cultural approach, comparing acquisition across very different languages; and it requires a developmental approach, discovering how children’s language and cognitive system change with age. In this talk I will discuss some of the most recent findings on language development from our Institute and our collaborators, illustrating the insights they have given us into how the brain develops, why languages differ and why they are sometimes strikingly similar.