Something old, something new: Combining mechanisms during language acquisition

  • Authors
  • Toro JM
  • UPF authors
  • TORO SOTO, JUAN MANUEL;
  • Type
  • Scholarly articles
  • Journal títle
  • Current Directions in Psychological Science
  • Publication year
  • 2016
  • Volume
  • 25
  • Number
  • 2
  • Pages
  • 130-134
  • ISSN
  • 0963-7214
  • Publication State
  • Published
  • Abstract
  • Infants face the paramount task of learning a language. Here, I review recent literature on two separate topics that suggest they use a combination of both evolutionarily old and new cognitive tools to face this task. Research on the principles that guide how humans and nonhuman animals group sequences of sounds has shown that we share with other species perceptual biases that we apply to linguistic stimuli. On the contrary, research on processing differences between consonants and vowels suggests humans, but not other animals, benefit from a ¿division of labor¿ across phonological representations. This division would help to extract regularities from the speech signal and facilitate language learning. The studies reviewed here provide support for the idea that perceptual biases together with language-specific representations guide the discovery of linguistic structures.
  • Complete citation
  • Toro JM. Something old, something new: Combining mechanisms during language acquisition. Current Directions in Psychological Science 2016; 25(2): 130-134.
Bibliometric indicators
  • 4 times cited Scopus
  • 5 times cited WOS
  • Índex Scimago de 3.98(2016)