Edited by Inbal Arnon and Eve V. Clark
[Trends in Language Acquisition Research 7] 2011
► pp. 261–276
Memory, sleep and generalization in language acquisition
Language is acquired over multiple instances and unfolds over time, raising questions about the effects of memory on learning. Work investigating how prior experience affects later learning suggests that prior experience can act as a scaffold, supporting learning of a more complex structure that would not be learned otherwise. In other cases prior experience narrows the range of structures infants will consider. Additionally, research on the effects of sleep on infant learning shows that sleep can lead to a more abstract memory, an adaptive and crucially important transformation for language learners who must retain key aspects of learning yet generalize to novel information. Both sets of findings point to the importance of taking memory into account in our understanding of language acquisition. Keywords: Language learning; language acquisition; statistical learning; memory; prior experience; sleep-dependent memory consolidation
Cited by 2 other publications
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