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Dean of the College presents

Faculty Seminars

Fall 2012

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

[Faculty Seminars]
 Barbara Luka

Paradigm shift in linguistic analysis: 

Language learning in monolingual adults

When does a person stop learning her native language? Previous linguistic theories have proposed that speakers develop competence in their native language by early childhood, after which learning rates decline. Nonetheless, recent psycholinguistic research shows that adults are continually learning not only new vocabulary but also new grammatical patterns, adding and modifying their grammatical repertoire in their native language throughout their lifetimes. This is surprising because it means that language learning in monolingual adults occurs in the absence of volition, conscious attention, or even awareness on the part of the speakers. These findings, combined with research from cases of neurological damage, lead to the proposal that language learning depends upon a variety of specialized brain areas. My talk will highlight how findings from neuroscience are forcing a deep revision of our assumptions about the nature of linguistic cognition and how people of all ages acquire language. 

This seminar will be held in Olin 102 beginning at 7:00 p.m.
Please join us for a reception in the Olin atrium at 6:30 p.m.  

For more information, call 845-758-7490, or e-mail .

Location: Olin, Room 102