School of Computer Science Colloquium Presentation by Dr. Abdellah Fourtassi:"Language development as a joint process "

Friday, November 5, 2021 - 11:00 to 12:30


The School of Computer Science at the University of Windsor is pleased to present…  

Colloquium Presentation #6 by Dr. Abdellah Fourtassi 

Picture of Dr. Abdellah Fourtassi, School of Computer Science Nov.5,2021 colloquium presenter
Date: Friday November 5, 2021 
Time: 11:00am – 12:30pm 
Passcode: If interested in attending this event, contact the Graduate Secretary at with sufficient notice before the event to obtain the passcode.


To acquire language, children need to learn form (e.g., phonology), content (e.g., word meaning), and use (e.g., finding the right words to convey a communicative intent). Research in language development has traditionally studied these dimensions separately. Indeed, one could imagine that children first acquire the form, then associate form with content, and only then, learn how to use form and content adequately in a communicative context. The reality of the situation is that children have to deal with aspects of form, content and use simultaneously and experimental studies suggest that the timeline of acquisition of these dimensions largely overlap, indicating that children learn them in parallel, not one at a time. While this fact makes language acquisition seem even harder than we previously thought, here I argue that the joint learning of form, content, and use may be more a help than a hindrance: These dimensions are interdependent in many ways and can therefore constrain/disambiguate each other. I will illustrate this idea based on my previous and current research combining both experimental and computational modeling 


I am Maître de conférences (Assistant Professor) of computer science at Aix-Marseille University and the Institute of Language, Communication and the Brain (ILCB). 
Co-founder of the Computational Communication & Development research group (CoCoDev). 
Before, I was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Language & Cognition lab at Stanford University. 
Contact information:
abdellah dot fourtassi at gmail dot com 
Twitter account: 
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