Mini-symposium on paths to word meaning #2
"How do infants discover words and their meanings"
Date 17 Feb. 2023 16:30-18:00(JST)
Available for a week after the seminar.
Venue Zoom Webinar *Video to be posted afterwards. Admission Free Speaker Anne Christophe (CNRS / École normale supérieure - PSL) Commentator Judit Gervain (University of Padua / CNRS) Host Reiko Mazuka (RIKEN CBS)
To explore the mechanisms underlying infant language acquisition through the comparison among 6 Asian and European languages
How do infants learn to acquire the language(s) spoken by adults around them?
Languages around the world vary in terms of syntactic rules including word order, lexical properties, vowel and consonant inventories, and prosody. Despite being born in different language environments, infants eventually learn to speak their native language during the first few years of life.
Our project explores how this natural process of language acquisition occurs.
Team leader of Laboratory for Language Development
RIKEN Center for Brain Science
For a long time, Indo-European languages including English and French have been the focus of language research. However, Asian languages including Japanese, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, and Thai differ from those Indo-European languages in terms of linguisticproperties such as their syntactic and phonological systems. With regards to the language environment, there could also be cultural differences in the way how caregivers interact with their infants.
|Region||Language||Word order||Clause boundary||Adjective||Rhythm||Lexical prosody|
|East Asia||Japanese||SOV||Postposing||Before nouns||Mora-timed||Pitch accent|
|Southeast Asia||Mandarin Chinese||SVO||Postposing||Before nouns||Syllable-timed?||4 tones|
|Thai||SVO||Postposing||After nouns||Syllable-timed?||5 tones|
|North America||English||SVO||Preposing||Before nouns||Stress-timed||Stress|
Cross-language difference in speech development
Using behavorial experiments to explore infants’ speech development between languages
Cross-cultural difference in communication style
Using behavioral and recording experiments to explore differences in mother-infant communication between cultures
What are infants paying attention to
Using behavioral and eye-tracking experiments to explore what properties of mother-child communication capture infants’ attention
Locations of the joint research labs
International research collaborators
- Youngon Choi (Chung-Ang University, Korea)
- Alejandrina Cristia (ENS, France)
- Judit Gervain (University of Padova, Italy)
- Thierry Nazzi (INCC, France)
- Chutamanee Onsuwan (Thammasat University, Thailand)
- Leher Singh (National University of Singapore, Singapore)
- Henny Yeung (Simon Fraser University, Canada)
Japan research team
- Reiko Mazuka / Laboratory for Language Development (RIKEN CBS)
- Sho Tsuji (IRCN, The University of Tokyo)
- *Masami Yamaguchi (Chuo University)
- Haruo Kubozono, Hanae Koiso (NINJAL)
- Akihiro Tanaka(Tokyo Woman's Christian University)
- Hisashi Ishihara, *Minoru Asada, *Yuuichirou Yoshikawa(Osaka Universtiy)
- Akira Utsugi (Nagoya University)
- Hiromu Sakai (Waseda University)
- Shigeto Kawahara (Keio University)
- *Mieko Takada (Aichi Gakuin University)
The team's technical staff Tomoko Otsuka is featured on RIKEN CBS's Instagram and Facebook.Learn more
The team's technical staff Yuri Hatano is featured on RIKEN CBS's Instagram and Facebook.Learn more
JEWEL collaborators presented a themed poster panel on "*Western Biases in Infant Research: The state of the field and strategies for change."*** Ottawa, CA, July 10, 2022