Category: General

Colloquium: Friday 11/30, Dan Swingley (UPenn)

Published: November 27, 2012

Daniel Swingley will be delivering the department colloquium this Friday, November 30. Lunch follows in Campbell 2122. His talk is titled: Phonetic learning and phonological interpretation.

Speaker: Dan Swingley (UPenn)
Title: Phonetic learning and phonological interpretation
Location: Rolfe 3126
Time: Friday, November 30, 11-1pm
Contact: Anoop Mahajan


What do infants learn when they begin to discover their language? Cognitive psychologists considering phonological development generally favor perceptual-learning, “bottom up” accounts of phonetic category learning, and tend to identify such categories with phonological categories.  Clinicians generally view the lexicon as more important and hold that much of the developmental action takes place after the first year.  I will argue for a hybrid in which the lexicon is important, but right from the beginning.  Young infants learn words and sounds at the same time–but take a long time to figure out how phonological categories should be interpreted.  I will discuss possible solutions to the problem of phonetic category discovery, and experiments on phonetic interpretation in word learning and word recognition.