9
   

"Baby" Robot Learns Language Like The Real Thing

 
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Jun, 2012 08:58 pm
@dlowan,
I think she is a naturalized native. Still, I have trouble imagining how motherese in ASL looks like, though I'm perfectly capable of recognizing Portuguese or Chinese motherese.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Jun, 2012 09:01 pm
@Thomas,
It's very cool actually! Exactly parallel -- handshapes = phonemes, or something (too long out of grad school, but I remember the gist). Main point is that babies babble with the component parts of the language ("ba ba ba" or mushing a hand against her face repeatedly), and then through feedback it's refined.

At any rate, sozlet would "babble" in ASL, and I'd do the motherese thing of taking the close babbles and repeating them "correctly" -- "'Mama', right, did you say 'Mama'? that's how you say 'Mama,'", etc. (All in ASL.)

I'd speak too though, so I did both. Toggled back and forth between ASL and spoken English, and sometimes both at the same time.
sozobe
 
  2  
Reply Sat 23 Jun, 2012 09:04 pm
@sozobe,
So this is the sign for "Mother":

http://mykidentity.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/mother-mom-post.png

The motion is bouncing it against your chin twice.

When she was a baby-baby she'd just kind of generally moosh her hand against her chin as she "babbled" with her hands, then I'd do the "Mama" feedback.

Once she started actually purposely using it, she would do it by just kind of mashing her palm against her chin twice. She used that for a while.

Then she eventually did it properly, with just her thumb against her chin.
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Sat 23 Jun, 2012 09:43 pm
@sozobe,
Mark me down as fascinated. Very interesting, thanks!
0 Replies
 
Lustig Andrei
 
  2  
Reply Sat 23 Jun, 2012 09:56 pm
@sozobe,
Mark me down as fascinated and mightily impressed. Don't stop now, Soz.
0 Replies
 
snood
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Jun, 2012 10:00 pm
I've actually not heard these ideas before, Soz - it's pretty interesting stuff.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Jun, 2012 10:18 pm
@Setanta,
Quote:
All of which, combined with the anecdotal nature o my comments leads me to wonder why you were addressing me.


After all the anecdotal evidence that was shot down in the English Peeves thread, you have to ask this question? And not just once either.

Are you really considering going thru the rest of your life in this permanent state of ignorance, Set?
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Jun, 2012 01:17 am
@sozobe,
If . . . you haven't established that the conditional is the actual. That you find the article is convincing does not constitute evidence that you have established a truth. You also have not established that so-called motherese provides a unique utility in language leaning, nor has your source. I've already acknowledged that it may well offer comfort to the infant. Your burden would be to demonstrate that motherese provides a crucial and unique language learnging tool. You haven't done so.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Jun, 2012 01:33 am
@sozobe,
Yes, i saw that, i also saw the section on universality, to which i directed your attention, but which, apparently, you have seen fit to ignore.

Quote:
Researchers Bryant and Barrett (2007) have suggested (as have others before them, e.g., Fernald, 1992) that baby talk exists universally across all cultures and is a species-specific adaptation. Other researchers[who?] contend that it is not universal among the world's cultures, and argue that its role in helping children learn grammar has been overestimated. As evidence they point out that in some societies (such as certain Samoan tribes), adults do not speak to their children at all until the children reach a certain age. Furthermore, even where baby-talk is used, it is full of complicated grammatical constructs, and mispronounced or non-existent words. Other evidence suggests that baby talk is not a universal phenomenon. Schieffelin & Ochs (1983), for example, describe the Kaluli tribe of Papua New Guinea who do not typically employ infant-directed speech.[clarification needed] Language acquisition in Kaluli children was not found to be significantly impaired. In other societies, it is more common to speak to children as one would to an adult, but with simplifications in grammar and vocabulary, with the belief that it will help them learn words as they are known in the standard form. (emphasis added)


You have continually ignored the conditional nature of many of the claims about the value of motherese--the use of "if" and "may" and "might." You have also ignored my criticism of the absense of controls in these studies which tout the value of motherese. Given that it would be difficult to establish a control, looing for and then looking at examples where motherese is not used is the closest to a control that one can have. But if no one is actually looking for such a control, if no one is looking for other evidence or ignoring whatever other evidence is available, because this is the flavor of the month in early childhood development, it's no surprise that "studies" seem to confirm what they set out to find.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Jun, 2012 02:23 am
Link to an abstract of a review of the original research.

This link only offers the article for sale. However, this text is from the Google link: "Our discussion is organized around five issues: (1) the appropriate interpretation of the motherese hypothesis; (2) problems with GNG's method; (3) problems with their treatment and interpretation of data; (4) GNG's criticisms of FNB's paper; and (5) discussion of the general ..." It appears that this paper challenges the methodology of the original research.

With the above link, there was a "sub-link" to the APA Journal, which gives this abstract:

Quote:
Responds to an assessment by L. Gleitman et al (see record 1984-22723-001) of the current status of the "motherese" hypothesis which, in large part, responded to an article by the present authors and H. Benedict (see record 1980-23027-001) on both methodological and theoretical grounds. It is argued that Gleitman et al have presented a misleading picture of the research on the role of environmental input in language acquisition and that they have misinterpreted and in some cases misrepresented the present authors and Benedict. Five issues involving the method of Gleitman et al and the relationship between language input and language learning are discussed. (14 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)


I've copied this abstract entirely because it offers a more complex picture of language acquisition.

Quote:
This study examines the nature of child-directed speech (CDS) from the perspective of functions [M.A.K. Halliday, Learning how to mean: Explorations in the development of language, Elsevier North-Holland, Inc., New York, 1977] and social interactionist theory. It is argued that previous explanations of CDS, often called motherese or caregiver speech, have either minimalized or neglected the functionalist–interactionist dimension of input in language acquisition. Far from being merely a novel way of describing the language caregivers use with infants, CDS is presented as a crucial catalyst in the complex process of L1 acquisition.

At the heart of CDS is negotiation between caregiver(s) and infant. The infant need not always respond with complete or near-complete linguistic units or constituents such as an adult might during a given negotiation, yet the context of the negotiation remains crucial to the infant. As physical maturation increases and the infant begins to produce more adult-like utterances, the negotiation between interlocutors becomes more balanced, syntactically and phonologically, but not necessarily semantically/functionally.

This paper presents the results of a case study which specifically examines the utterances or input which family members direct at a Japanese infant during the early part of his language development. The data generated by the subject and his parents provide an interesting glimpse into one of the ways in which infants absorb language. The results of the data analysis show that while the parents of the subject were seen to use roughly equal amounts of language with the child, the distribution of language functions used by the mother was importantly different from that used by the father; therefore, it is suggested that this difference in CDS aids the language development of the infant by providing more interactive negotiation, which is argued to be the crucial factor in language development.


This links to an abstract of a paper which also seems to challenge the methodology of the "motherese" research.

I don't intend to purchase copies of these papers, and i suspect that others here will not purchase them either. However, the point is that the "motherese model" is not unchallenged.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Jun, 2012 01:45 pm
@Setanta,
Quote:
I've kept infants quiet and completely enthralled for long periods of time by speaking to them in the same way i would to an adult.


Given your track record, Set, maybe "enthralled" is a wee bit of a stretch.

Quote:
They know they're being spoken to seriously, they can tell the difference between that and the goo-goo ga-ga baby talk ****.


Really?

Quote:
If one objects that a small child hasn't the vocabulary to understand, i ask how they are supposed to acquire it.


From language that has a rich enough context. That's not likely to come from some pompous ass who believes that he is a master at keeping children enthralled.

Your participation in the language threads has provided ample proof that you are not a capable language teacher. That same participation illustrated, time after time, that you are the very antithesis of a teacher.

You jump back and forth between 'small child' and 'baby'. There are obvious differences.

Odd that you missed that.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Jun, 2012 01:48 pm
@Setanta,
Quote:
Is "carers" supposed to mean those who care for infants? The groves of Academe would wither away without jargon.


Quote:
Setanta asked, just two posts prior: If one objects that a small child hasn't the vocabulary to understand, i ask how they are supposed to acquire it.


0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  2  
Reply Sun 24 Jun, 2012 01:55 pm
@Setanta,
Quote:
I don't know why you're addressing your remarks to me.


Soz explained exactly why she addressed her remarks to you, Set - at least twice.

She addressed, by your own admission, your anecdotal "evidence". As has been mentioned before, you are seriously not up to speed on language issues.

You are the same Setanta who repeatedly tried to suggest and then demand that people had a right to keep offering abject nonsense about how language works.
0 Replies
 
space007
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Jun, 2012 05:01 am
@dlowan,
Yeah i agree with this.
0 Replies
 
 

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