Big Data: New opportunities and challenges in language acquisition research

Workshop Big data: New opportunities and challenges in language acquisition research within the Annual Meeting of the German Society of Linguistics (DGfS; Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Sprachwissenschaft, conference website).

Workshop Program

March 4th, 2015 in Leipzig, Germany

Invited speaker
Professor Katherine Demuth, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia

Workshop summary 

Language acquisition research on topics ranging from phonological processing to semantic knowledge has been built on meticulous examination of small data sets, such as case studies. While we have learned a lot from such careful work, some limitations quickly became evident. A new horizon has opened as bigger, open data sets began to emerge. Early examples are the CHILDES and the MCDI projects. Today, new technologies pave the way to some much needed cross-linguistic extensions, for instance, via automatic annotation of day-long audio(-video) recordings in seldom described languages. It also becomes possible to include other linguistic levels (e.g., receptive knowledge through open repositories of experimental results). 

The workshop provided a platform for language acquisition researchers to assess the progress towards high quality, big, and open data sets, and to discuss solutions for current challenges. Researchers who have collected large linguistic data sets from infants and children shared current insights and perspectives. In addition to presenting results from their own research, they discussed challenges (such as data standardization, anonymization, barriers to data sharing), and considered how to facilitate (cross-linguistic) extensions.


Additional information

This workshop was a so-called "Kurz-AG" of the annual meeting of the DGfS, which means it took place within a three-day conference.

Organizing committee

Christina Bergmann (Laboratoire de Sciences Cognitives et Psycholinguistique, DEC-ENS, CNRS, Paris, France)
Alejandrina Cristia (Laboratoire de Sciences Cognitives et Psycholinguistique, DEC-ENS, CNRS, Paris, France) 
Sho Tsuji (Riken Brain Science Institute, Japan)

Subpages (1): Program