de SEYSSEL Maureen

PhD Student

L’Ecole normale supérieure - PSL

Short bio

MSc in Speech and Language Processing – University of Edinburgh (United Kingdom)

BSc in Psychology – City, University of London (United Kingdom)

Thesis title

Does multilingual input help or hinder early language acquisition? A computational modelling approach.

Short abstract

Experimental studies in bilingual language acquisition are based on the assumption that children separate languages at birth or within months, and that this early ability is essential for successful learning. This would prevent children from mixing languages and learning a multilingual representation that does not correspond to any specific language. This project will test this hypothesis following a reverse-engineering approach by using computational models, which aim to model the ideal learner when faced with input data whose number of languages is a priori unknown. This approach will directly test two aspects of the hypothesis : (1) the premise that it is possible to separate languages before learning them, and (2) the justification that separation is necessary for learning several languages in parallel.