School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences

Shiri Lev-Ari seminar

The development of linguistic skills from a social networks perspective

Shiri Lev-Ari

Thursday 22 November 2018, 12-1pm, King George VI Building, LT6

Abstract: In this talk I will show how the size of our social network influences our linguistic skills even as native speaking adults. Using converging evidence from individual difference studies, experimental studies, and computational simulations I will show how the size of our social network influences the distributional properties of our input, and consequently, how well we understand other people at the phonological and semantic levels.

I’ll further show that the size of our social network influences the malleability of our linguistic representations and use, and discuss the implications of these findings for language change. Thus, the size of our social network can influence the way we learn, use, and represent language, as well as the spread of linguistic changes across the community.