From Reuters: Computer program can learn baby talk.
A computer program that learns to decode sounds from different languages in the same way that a baby does helps to shed new light on how people learn to talk, researchers said on Tuesday.
They said the finding casts doubt on theories that babies are born knowing all the possible sounds in all of the world’s languages.
"The debate in language acquisition is around the question of how much specific information about language is hard-wired into the brain of the infant and how much of the knowledge that infants acquire about language is something that can be explained by relatively general purpose learning systems," said James McClelland, a psychology professor at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.
McClelland says his computer program supports the theory that babies systematically sort through sounds until they understand the structure of a language. [continue]