Abstract: By the time toddlers are able to run down the street, they are already producing over a thousand words of their native language. How do they get so much learning done in so little time? A key piece of the puzzle is that children do not learn language on their own, but in interactions with caregivers motivated to communicate with them. This communicative pressure both structures the input from which children learn, and magnifies the power of their developing capacities. Toddlers’ common sense is thus built from and operates in socially-supportive contexts, and thus must be understood in context.
Speaker bio: Daniel Yurovsky is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at Carnegie Mellon University where he directs the communication and learning lab. Work in his lab investigates the contexts from which children learn about language and the world around them. He received his PhD in Cognitive Science from Indiana University and his B.S. in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University.