Cognitive and Neurophysiological Aspects of Language Acquistion
Prerequisites: Basic experience with reading and evaluating scientific papers
The seminar will deal with methods, theories and experimental findings concerning the human ability of language acquisition. First, this includes native language acquisition in infants, specifically how infants learn the sounds, words and syntactic structure from birth onwards. Second, we will discuss the specificities of second language acquisition, how it differs from first language acquisition and how it might be neurally implemented. The third topic will be language learning abilities in non-human animals with a specific focus on the question if there is a valid "animal model" for human language learning. After an introduction to methodological approaches to language learning from experimental psychology and cognitive neuroscience we will read and discuss important papers from the recent language learning literature. Credits will be obtained via oral presentation + a small scientific writing task (e.g. outline of a research idea related to the topics discussed in the seminar).
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