Language is one of the hallmarks of what it means to be human and grammar is a core linguistic ability that makes us able to understand (receptive grammar) and express (expressive grammar) the relationships between words in sentences. This ability is fundamental for participating in the educational, economic, social and cultural life of society, while impairments of grammar can lead to life-long difficulties in these areas. The acquisition of grammar is, thus, one of the most important developmental steps in young humans. Recent theories emphasize the complex interplay between linguistic and non-linguistic processes in grammar acquisition. Two non-linguistic processes that have been proposed to be tightly linked with grammar, primarily with receptive grammar, are executive functions (EFs) and rhythm processing. The interplay of these abilities with receptive grammar, however, have never been systematically tested. The proposed project aims to fill this gap by investigating the relationships of receptive grammar with EFs and rhythm processing in an individual differences behavioral study in a large group of children. The project will also develop and validate a gamified battery that will facilitate conducting large-scale in-person or web-based studies with children in the future. The results of the proposed project will help to determine if an exhaustive model of grammar acquisition needs to incorporate EFs and rhythm processing. Disentangling factors affecting grammar acquisition will help to improve the health and well-being of children by optimizing their learning environment and developing effective treatment programs for children with language disorders. The gamified battery I will implement will facilitate large-scale data collection with children in developmental cognitive sciences and lay groundwork for developing research-based apps to facilitate cognitive development of children with typical and atypical language development.
Fields of science
- HORIZON.1.2 - Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Main Programme