CS&AI Colloquium on how people learn what a word means, Wednesday December 12, 12.45h, PZ40

How do people learn what a word means? Modeling word learning across varied learning conditions.

Drew Hendrickson

What are the cognitive mechanisms that underlie how people learn what words mean and to what degree does the learning environment impact the learning mechanisms people use? Despite the importance of word learning, there remains considerable debate in the literature on the nature of the learning mechanisms that underlie how people learn word meanings. This talk outlines new work comparing word learning efficiency across a range of learning situations and compares the performance of three cognitive models of word learning across all datasets. The results indicate strong differences in which models best account for human behavior across a range of conditions; suggesting the mechanisms that underlie human language learning are more flexible than currently understood.