Linguistics Colloquium: Marisa Casillas

05/01/2021 - 14:00 - 15:30

Marisa Casillas, Max Planck Institute

Title: Comparing early language development in two subsistence communities

Foundational work from linguistic anthropology suggests that there is immense cross-cultural variation in the nature of caregiver-child verbal interactions. The present study investigates the early language environment and development of children growing up in two subsistence societies with broadly similar lifestyles but dramatically divergent views on talking to infants and young children: one Mayan and one Papuan. Drawing on observational and experimental methods from developmental psycholinguistics, we find overwhelming evidence for similarity in these children's language environments and early vocal development, though we do also see some critical points of difference. I discuss these findings and their implications for broader theory on the mechanisms driving early language development.


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