Computational Model of Language Acquisition (ACMOLA)

The goal of this research program is to advance our understanding of the emergence of phonetic, phonological and lexical representations during the early stages of first language acquisition. To that end we will design and test a computational model that will only presuppose general perceptual and learning capabilities, but no unwarranted meta-linguistic awareness. The model will be based on the Memory-Prediction theory. Its power will be assessed by the extent to which it can simulate results of experiments with very young infants, even if today these are seemingly contradictory.

Website ACMOLA

Project leaders

Prof. Lou Boves

Lou Boves


Paula Fikkert

There are three sub-programs in the project

1. A memory-prediction model of language acquisition
Louis ten Bosch (post-doc), Michele Gubioan, who will design and implement the computational framework that is needed for conducting simulation experiments where real acoustic signals form the sensory input

Louis ten Bosch

2. Emergence of phonetic and phonological structures
Christina Bergmann (junior onderzoeker), who will focus on models that can explain how continuous signals develop into discrete representations of words, sub-word units, phonemes and features.

Christina Bergmann

3. Development of phonetic and phonological contrasts
Maarten Versteegh (junior onderzoeker), who will focus on as yet unexplained observations about the perception of phonetic contrasts

Maarten Versteegh
BungeWerk Webdesign

Radboud Universiteit