Heidi Waterfall

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The present longitudinal study examines the role of caregiver speech in language development, especially syntactic development, using 47 parent-child pairs of diverse SES background from 14 to 46 months. We assess the diversity (variety) of words and syntactic structures produced by caregivers and children. We use lagged correlations to examine language(More)
We report a quantitative analysis of the cross-utterance coordination observed in child-directed language, where successive utterances often overlap in a manner that makes their constituent structure more prominent, and describe the application of a recently published unsuper-vised algorithm for grammar induction to the largest available corpus of such(More)
Questions concerning the role of input in the growth of syntactic skills have generated substantial debate within psychology and linguistics. The authors address these questions by investigating the effects of experimentally manipulated input on children's skill with the passive voice. The study involved 72 four-year-olds who listened to stories containing(More)
This paper presents the results of a longitudinal examination of syntactic skills, starting at the age of emergence of simple sentences and continuing through the emergence of complex sentences. We ask whether there is systematic variability among children from different socioeconomic backgrounds in the early stages of sentence production. The results(More)
words: 60 Abstract. Converging findings from English, Mandarin, and other languages suggest that observed " universals " may be algorithmic. First, computational principles behind recently developed algorithms that acquire productive constructions from raw texts or transcribed child-directed speech impose family resemblance on learnable languages. Second,(More)
Variation set structure — partial alignment of successive utterances in child-directed speech — has been shown to correlate with progress in the acquisition of syntax by children. The present study demonstrates that arranging a certain proportion of utterances in a training corpus in variation sets facilitates word segmenta-tion and phrase structure(More)
Statistical learning research often assumes that learners collect global statistics across the entire set of stimuli they are exposed to. In naturalistic settings, this assumption of global access to training data is problematic because it implies that the cognitive system must keep track of an exponentially growing number of relations while determining(More)
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