Dr. Jenny Saffran is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her lab at the Waisman Center tests hundreds of babies a year in experiments designed to tap infants’ language learning abilities. Professor Saffran has received numerous awards for her research, including early career awards from the American Psychological association and the International Society for Infant Studies.
At the outset of word learning, infants already have a great deal of experience with the sound patterns that make up their native language, and this experience contributes to their acquisition of word meaning. This talk considers recent data suggesting that knowledge of sounds and knowledge of meanings go hand in hand during the language learning process.