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Acquiring sounds and meaning jointly in early word learning

Abstract : To acquire their native language, babies have to learn both the forms of words (e.g., “dog” in English, “chien” in French) and their meanings (the category of dogs). These two aspects of language learning have typically been studied independently. However, recent findings from developmental psychology and machine learning have pointed out that this assumption is problematic, and have suggested that form and meaning may interact with one another throughout development. This dissertation explores this hypothesis through an interdisciplinary investigation that combines tools from speech recognition and experimental psychology. First, I developed a computational model of joint form and meaning acquisition, capable of learning from a corpus of natural speech. Second, I tested the cognitive plausibility of this model with adult subjects.
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Abdellah Fourtassi. Acquiring sounds and meaning jointly in early word learning. Linguistics. Ecole normale supérieure - ENS PARIS, 2015. English. ⟨NNT : 2015ENSU0049⟩. ⟨tel-01774596⟩

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