Sudha Arunachalam

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Children represent a potentially crucial user segment for conversational interfaces. Computer systems interacting with children need to be tailored for these users so that they will understand child intent and so that the child will have a positive and successful experience with the system. This study focuses on discourse analysis of spoken-language(More)
—For decades, a spirited debate has existed over whether infants' remarkable capacity to learn words is shaped primarily by universal features of human language or by specific features of the particular native language they are acquiring. A strong focus for this debate has been a well-documented difference in early word learning: Infants' success in(More)
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Decades of research have documented that acquiring the meanings of verbs is, on average, more difficult than acquiring the meanings of nouns. This is likely because verb learning requires more information, and information of a different kind, than noun learning. One particularly powerful source of information for verb learning is linguistic context. For(More)
We tested the ability of Alzheimer's patients and elderly controls to name living and non-living nouns, and manner and instrument verbs. Patients' error patterns and relative performance with different categories showed evidence of graceful degradation for both nouns and verbs, with particular domain-specific impairments for living nouns and instrument(More)
Studies of semantic impairment in Alzheimer's disease (AD) have yielded conflicting results, some finding evidence of considerable deficits, others finding that semantic knowledge is relatively intact. How do we reconcile findings from picture naming tasks that seem to indicate semantic impairment in AD with results from certain sorting tasks that suggest(More)
Research on early word learning reveals that verbs present a unique challenge. While English-acquiring 24-month-olds can learn novel verbs and extend them to new scenes, they perform better in rich linguistic contexts (when novel verbs appear with lexicalized noun phrases naming the event participants) than in sparser linguistic contexts (Arunachalam &(More)