Course details


Atypical language development

WS 2023 to be announced NN OFFLINE
B.Sc modules:
CS-BWP-CL - (Computational) Linguistics
CS-BWP-CNP - Cognitive (Neuro-)Psychology
M.Sc modules:
CS-MWP-CL - (Computational) Linguistics
CS-MWP-CNP - Cognitive (Neuro-)Psychology

CS-BW - Bachelor elective course
CS-MW - Master elective course
Fri: 12-15

Studying language acquisition in atypical circumstances and populations is a way to understand the interaction between language and other cognitive abilities and explore the structure of the mind. In this course, we are going to first look at cases of language acquisition with insufficient input, focusing on language development in children who are blind, deaf, and deaf-blind. We will see how language evolves in these groups and what it tells us about the linguistic faculties of the human mind more generally in light of nature/nature debate. The second part of the course is devoted to the putative double dissociation between linguistic and other cognitive abilities. We will look at this question through the prism of Williams Syndrome - a cognitive disorder where individuals show an uneven cognitive profile with severe deficits in spatial and numerical cognition but strong language skills. We are going to compare this case to Specific Language Impairment - a case when a language impairment is not accompanied by other cognitive deficits. Finally, we are going to explore pragmatic knowledge in speakers with autism, looking into whether typical pragmatic tasks such as implicature calculation require general theory of mind reasoning or rely on other mechanisms and are therefore intact in this population.