CLS Speaker Series - Roberta Golinkoff (University of Delaware) Carving Events for Language
Carving Events for Language
Events are continuous. Our perception of them is not. Remembering the past and predicting the future demand that we parse events into components that will also lay the foundation for language learning. In this talk, we present a series of relatively new studies designed to examine infant attention to and interpretation of event structure. Using Mandler (2012) and Talmy (2000) as our inspiration, we find that infants are sensitive to event components like paths and manners and figures and grounds, among others. Infants also detect statistical relationships within event components that allow them to abstract predictable patterns with relatively little exposure. Finally, our work suggests that infants use both bottom up and top down processes to parse continuous events into the categories of experience. We explore several ways in which these new findings on event processing might interface with the acquisition of language.