Home > Events > LING Colloquium: Elizabeth Johnson (U of Toronto)
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LING Colloquium: Elizabeth Johnson (U of Toronto)

Time: 
Friday, October 26, 2018 - 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM
Location: 
1310A Marie Mount Hall

 

Elizabeth Johnson (Psychology, University of Toronto)

She says tah-may-to but he says tah-mah-to: how children cope with accent variation

Developmental speech perception research has traditionally focused on explaining development in the monolingual (often English- or French-learning) child. More recently, researchers have started working with more diverse language-learning populations, including children with exposure to more than one language or more than one regional variant of the native language. In this talk, I will examine word recognition in monolingual infants and toddlers with exposure to either one or several variants of the native language. Three questions will be addressed: 1) When do infants first recognize familiar words spoken in an unfamiliar accent? 2) How do toddlers adapt to unfamiliar variants of the native language?, and 3) How does multi-accent exposure impact young children’s social and phonological development? I will conclude that children are remarkably adept at coping with a wide variety of language-learning scenarios, and suggest that language researchers may need to re-think their concept of the typical monolingual.