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Researchers from Sassari University and Plymouth University have made a cognitive model of networked artificial neurons that can learn language with no prior knowledge. The Artificial Neural Network with Adaptive Behaviour Exploited for Language Learning, or Annabell, relies on synaptic plasticity and neural gating to learn through human conversation. "The system is capable of learning to communicate through natural...

According to new research by linguists from the University of New Mexico and Laboratoire Dynamique du Langage-CNRS in France, the characteristics of languages have a lot to do with the climate and topogrophy of the environment they emerged in. The study is a more in depth approach to analyzing why tonal languages seem to come from hot and humid...

A new study from Oregon State University (OSU) shows that English learners are more likely to become proficient English speakers if they enter kindergarten with a strong initial grasp of academic language literacy, either in their primary language or in English. The study, published recently in the journal Educational Policy, is part of an emerging body of research examining the role that...

The National Science Foundation's Partnerships in International Research and Education (NSF PIRE) has awarded a $5 million dollar grant over five years to help translate the scientific benefits of language learning from the lab to the classroom. Research has shown that speaking two or more languages makes minds more open to learning and more flexible, so now's the time...

Technology and the amount of information it provides us is deepening the divide between the haves and the have-nots in terms of education. As we become more dependent on digital tools to live our lives and navigate the world, parents and teachers also find themselves at a crossroads, sometimes banning seemingly mind-numbing tech like TV and video games while embracing the...

The Common Core State Standards require that kindergarteners have the ability to read emergent texts with purpose and understanding. Kindergarten literacy standards are controversial as educators are split over what will best set up small children for success: play and creativity or academic rigor? In a video by Defending the Early Years (DEY), a nonprofit that advocates for young children,...

2,700-year-old inscriptions found by archeologists at the ancient site of Grakliani Hill in Georgia places prehistoric Georgia as one of the first civilizations to use written language. The writing was discovered on the altars of a 7th century BC temple dedicated to a fertility goddess. “The writings on the two altars of the temple are really well preserved. On...

The Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language and the Australian National University (ANU) are teaming up to document ten of Australia’s most endangered Aboriginal languages, including Mithaka from south-west Queensland, Dalabon from Arnhem Land, Warumungu of Tennant Creek and Ngarrindjeri from southern South Australia. “If we don’t act now we will lose a...

Whether a language is spoken, written, or signed with the hands, it is generally agreed that language processing occurs mostly in the left side of the brain. Tonal languages use more of the right brain for understanding nuanced tones and pitches, but the whistled language of Turkey takes right brain language processing to another level. Before the invention of...

It is a long established characteristic of natural human language that the relationship between the sounds that make up a word and the meaning behind that word is arbitrary. Since Swiss linguist Ferdinand de Saussure postulated the arbitrary nature of signs the nonexistent relationship between signifier and signified was considered a universal property of human language. The onomatopoeia is...