About our Lab

How do we learn language?

Children acquire this knowledge so quickly, and we sometimes forget how incredible this is.

The goal of our research is to better understand the mechanisms underlying the mastery of linguistic knowledge. Recent advances in our ability to study large, naturalistic datasets, combined with advanced computational modeling techniques, have allowed us to ask questions that were not possible just years before. One of the major insights from our work is that β€œBig Data” research that investigates the structure of experience – such as investigations of giant corpora of naturalistic speech – will force us to radically re-evaluate certain theories of learning and representation. Many models (especially any that involve interactions or nonlinear effects) perform qualitatively differently when faced with large amounts of data, making some learning problems harder and others much easier.