Title: Acquisition of Semantic Spatial Categories
Marianella Casasola, Jui Bhagwat
Lab (s) Name (s)
Cornell Infant Studies Lab
GENERAL PROJECT DESCRIPTION
This program of research focuses on how infants acquire the semantic (i.e., meaning) spatial categories specific to their language. While English-learning infants learn to label spatial events according to the distinction between containment (‘in’) and support (‘on’), Korean-learning infants instead learn to describe these same events on the basis of tight-fit (‘kkita’). In experimental studies, I explore how infants recruit their perceptual and cognitive abilities in learning to form spatial categories. In other studies, I explore how experience with a particular language may shape which categories infants form. The overall goal of the work is to document the relation between thought (cognition) and language during the first two years of development. In studying this issues, I adopt a range of methodologies, from cross-sectional experimental studies to longitudinal, naturalistic studies.
PURPOSES OF THE PROJECT
RATIONALE AND AGENDA