Jenny Saffran, PhD
Professor of Psychology
University of Wisconsin - Madison
Topic : Building a lexicon
Words are bundles of meanings and sounds (or signs). As mature language users, we have sophisticated knowledge about how words work, both on their own and as part of a lexicon. How does that knowledge emerge? In my talk, I will consider recent work focused on how infants and toddlers discover the forms of words, construe the meanings of words, and integrate words into their nascent semantic networks. I’ll conclude by considering some of the factors that may drive infants to learn complex systems like human languages.