Närbild av Iris-Corinna Schwarz med laptop och papper i bakgrunden. Privat foto,
Iris-Corinna Schwarz. Privat foto.

The PALL project is awarded funding of SEK 4.5 million from the Marcus and Amalia Wallenberg Foundation(MAW). Principal investigator for the project is Iris-Corinna Schwarz, Associate Professor in Linguistics and specialized in Child Language Development. 

Socio-emotional factors and language learning

Socio-emotional factors in parent-infant interaction are important for infant development, yet it is underspecified by which means they have an effect on learning. The PALL project selects three socio-emotional factors and studies experimentally how they impact infant language learning; 1) affect in infant-directed speech (IDS), 2) familiarity with the parent’s voice and 3) live interaction.

Speech segmentation and EEG

The plan is to show the effect these factors have on language learning using infant speech segmentation as indicator and electroencephalography (EEG) as method. The project will present stimuli with increasing ecological validity in a series of three experimental ERP-studies. The goal is  to achieve a comprehensive picture of how infants during their first year of life extract words from the speech stream and the extent to which their ability to do so is impacted by different socio-emotional factors. The project has the potential to demonstrate word segmentation processes and three of their underlying driving factors earlier in life than shown so far. It contributes significant pieces to the complex picture of how infants typically learn language in interaction.

The PALL project (Parent affect in infant-directed speech and its role in language learning) runs for five years and is administered by the Department of Linguistics.