An academic minute about Masha Fedzechkina’s work on the existence of a bias for efficient information transfer during language acquisition just came out — you can listen to it here.
The work described in the minute appeared as:
Fedzechkina, M., Jaeger, T.F. & Newport, E. (2012). Language learners restructure their input to facilitate efficient communication. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109 (44): 17897—17902.
[paper (DOI)] [BibTeX]
Unfortunately, they did not mention the team members (contrary to what I was assured). The lead author, Masha Fedzechkina, is a fourth year graduate student in the Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the University of Rochester. The work was jointly advised by Elissa Newport (the director of the new Center for Brain Plasticity and Recovery at Georgetown University) and me.
Congratulations to Masha Fedzechkina on her article on a bias for efficient information transfer during language learning that has just appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (link to article).
Here’s some news coverage
- Thanks to the extended podcast coverage by the Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe, which present an interesting take on our study (a couple of details about ambiguity vs. uncertainty are a bit off, but the general message is captured well). Have a look at minutes 13:30 to 22:02. Thanks to Nick Kloehn for making us aware of this piece.
- www.eurekalert.org (e.g., here).
- Check out an extended article on ScienceOmega (Language learning balances clarity and effort)
- Universities at which the research was conducted:
- University of Rochester (Language is shaped by brain’s desire for clarity and ease)
- Georgetown University (PNAS Study: Language Structure Arises from Balance of Clear and Effective Communication).
- Blogs and more: Futurity, Phys.org, ScienceBlog, Science Daily, E-Science News , Sify, TruthDive , BioSpace
More to come soon.
Errata: We are sorry that in our paper we forgot to acknowledge the help of three undergraduate research assistants, Andy Wood, Irene Minkina, and Cassandra Donatelli, in preparing the video animations used during our artificial language learning task.