Université de Stanford, « Conversation, feedback, and first language acquisition », 02/05, 09/06, 16/06, 23/06.


Where ?  conférences données SALLE 126, Bat. Olympe de Gouges (rue Albert Einstein 75013)


1. Acquisition, Interaction, and Feedback  (le lundi, 2 juin, 16-18)

Children acquire language in conversation: this setting allows for exposure to the target language, feedback on their own attempts to use language, and extensive practice with different, more expert, speakers.

 2. Attention, Grounding, and Word Acquisition  (le mercredi, 9 juin)

To acquire new words, children need to be able to identify the intended referent on each occasion — object, action, property, or relation in context.  Adults and children coordinate in relying on joint attention, physical co-presence, and conversational co-presence to manage initial mappings of word forms.

3. Conceptual Perspective and Speaker Choices (le lundi, 16 juin, 16-18)

Speakers can present different perspectives on events through their choices of words (and of constructions).  This can affect what they understand, and how they ‘view’ objects, actions, and events on different occasions.   Children, I argue, begin to grasp some of these perspectives very early — and the findings here argue against a constraints-based view of early lexical acquisition.

 4. A Gradualist View of Word Meaning (le lundi, 23 juin, 16-18)

Does everyone acquire the same lexicon, with the same conventional meanings?   Or do people differ, in part as a result of differences in expertise? I first consider the problem of lexical entries that don’t match and the extent  to which this matters, and the extent to which people may have different yet partially overlapping meanings for some (maybe many) words.  I relate this state of affairs to the gradual nature of meaning acquisition — from children’s initial  fast mapping (preliminary inferences about a possible/plausible meaning in context) to their gradual elaboration  of word meanings as they are exposed to more uses and as they themselves misuse certain words.