The importance of statistical learning in language learning

Their chapter begins with three important observations. Furthermore, in all four experiments, the test of grammatical structures occurred five minutes after the initial exposure to the artificial grammar had ended, suggesting that the infants were able to maintain the grammatical abstractions they had learned even after a short delay.

Saffran found that infants exposed to English frames listened significantly longer to words in this English context than to part-words, and that this difference in listening preference for words versus part-words did not extend to the nonsense frame condition.

These results were also replicated in a condition where participants were choosing between only two alternatives. Similar to spatiotemporal biases, Gestalt principles of perception have been shown to constrain the detection of statistical relations in both auditory and visual input Baker et al.

The experimental task used in Conway et al. The presence of articles like the or a predict a noun downstream not vice versa. In this review we discuss both auditory and visual statistical learning to elucidate both the generality of and constraints on statistical learning.

Hay and Lany then describe several recent studies that have begun to address these gaps. The discrepancy criteria between language and non-language functions rest on the assumption that SLI is specific to language.

This is real evidence for a language learning device; look at the speed and ease with which infants in these studies learned a novel lin- guistic structure.

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(PDF) Statistical Learning and Language Acquisition