Statistical Language Learning

  title={Statistical Language Learning},
  author={Jenny R. Saffran},
  journal={Current Directions in Psychological Science},
  pages={110 - 114}
  • J. Saffran
  • Published 1 August 2003
  • Linguistics
  • Current Directions in Psychological Science
What types of mechanisms underlie the acquisition of human language? Recent evidence suggests that learners, including infants, can use statistical properties of linguistic input to discover structure, including sound patterns, words, and the beginnings of grammar. These abilities appear to be both powerful and constrained, such that some statistical patterns are more readily detected and used than others. Implications for the structure of human languages are discussed. 

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