CS 784: Language Acquisition

Course Contents:

Part A: Child Language Acquisition: Methodology: Diary studies, Large sample studies, Longitudinal studies. Developmental stages: Prelinguistic development: Onset of perception, Phonological development. Linguistic development: Lexicon, holophrasis, under/overextensions; Morphology and syntax (Grammar), telegraphic speech, compositionality, syntax in lexical development; universals and parameter setting, Discourse organization, deictic reference, discourse dependencies, speech acts and implicature. Bilingual language development: Syntactic and semantic processing; Differentiation, transfer and decay. Non-normal language develop.ment: Phonological, grammatical and pragmatic impairments.

Part B: Artificial life, agent based and evolutionary approaches to language acQuisition. Some topics from the following will be discussed. 1. Communicative aspects of language. Origins and use of signs, symbols, words, compositional structures in communication. Origins of a lexicon in multiple agent systems, simulation experiments. Emergence/evolution of syntax in multiple agent systems, simulation experiments. Learning mechanisms and constraints from computational learning theory. Emergence/evolution of language universals. Grounding of linguistic entities. Emergence/evolution of intentional and semantic aspects of language. Optimality theory and optimality arguments.