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Natsumi Shibata

Natsumi Shibata

Ph.D. in Arts and Sciences, University of Tokyo
【Areas of specialization】
Linguistics, Language Acquisition
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Sentence Interpretation in Young Children

Many people may know through their own experience how hard it is for adults to learn a new language. A language is a complex system composed of specific rules at different language levels, i.e. the sentence level, the word level and the phonological level. In spite of this complexity, young children manage to naturally acquire their native languages through listening to the utterances around them during their first years without explicit instruction in these rules. Even so, pre-school-aged children, who have already acquired adultlike linguistic knowledge, cannot interpret certain types of sentences in an adultlike way. Through investigating such phenomena and uncovering their difficulty, I would like to elucidate a link between the mechanism of children’s language development and other cognitive functions.