Seminar:"Universal and particular in language acquisition" by Prof. Shruti Sircar
For linguists, interest in language acquisition is often motivated by the hope that acquisition holds clues to what is most fundamental to language and that developmental progression and typical error patterns are expected to reveal aspects of the human blueprint for language. The goal of language acquisition, thus, is to examine what determines the difficulty of different elements of language for children, and what guides the order in which a set of related forms is acquired. Based on data from first and second language acquisition, and language disorders, I discuss a few aspects that seem to affect acquisition: universal constraints, typological differences across languages, cognitive complexity of forms, and prototypicality (and frequency) of forms.
Prof. Shruti Sircar's research is concerned with language and literacy development in children, with the aim of identifying sites of potential difficulty for beginning readers. She is also interested in spelling development, reading research, second language acquisition especially in the area of verb semantics, and cognitive linguistics.