Towards a model for the incremental co-development

Full Title: 
Towards a model for the incremental co-development of linguistic and conceptual representation of action
01.10.2013 until 31.10.2015 (completed)

With this project, our goal is to contribute to a better understanding of how early representation of events emerge, how they are represented and stored, which role language plays in this process and how a developing conceptualization and an increasingly sophisticated capacity to analyze, memorize, contrast and reason on and about situations play together, bootstrapping the acquisition of concepts and language for actions.

We strive for an integrated account of concept learning and situational analysis – two complementary aspects that so far have largely been considered independently of each other. We will develop an incremental model of language acquisition and focus in particular on how conceptualization as a process necessary to establish word meaning can be coupled to an event-driven, online situational analysis that continually re-adjusts the attention of a learner to the relevant aspects of a situation, facilitating in turn the acquisition and retrieval of relevant concepts.

In studies with infants, our goal is to investigate whether early representations of actions may already involve some semantic information related to the target language. The project investigates this question by analyzing the role that language structures in the input can play in attention and learning processes of infants.