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Children's language learning in Dagestan

Trainee Achievements

Children's language learning in Dagestan

Annie Gagliardi is pursuing an ambitious project that combines laboratory work, fieldwork, and computational modeling. She uses children’s learning of noun classes as a model system for understanding how children form categories and draw inferences in learning. Gagliardi’s fieldwork involved 2 months in Dagestan with child and adult speakers of Tsez, a language with a rich noun class system spoken by only a few thousand speakers. Her work in the US combines laboratory studies of language learning with infants and adults, and computational models of learning, and she was a 2009 winner of an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. This work has already generated a new corpus of adult-child interactions in Tsez, and experimental findings that show differences in how child and adult speakers form generalizations about noun categories. In addition, Gagliardi’s presence in the community stimulated the speakers’ interest in their own language and in advanced education for women.