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 Francesco Cabiddu

Francesco Cabiddu

Research student, School of Psychology

Email:
cabidduf@cardiff.ac.uk
Location:
Tower Building, 70 Park Place, Cardiff, CF10 3AT

I am interested in the role that domain-general statistical learning processes play in the early acquisition of linguistic knowledge (e.g., grammar). Typically developing children as young as 2-3 years show a surprisingly strong ability to make sense of their apparently complex and chaotic linguistic environment. Does a child need an innate knowledge of certain fundamental learning preconditions in order to acquire the native language (e.g., the concept of “noun” or “verb”), or does an associative learning ability – operating across domains - suffice to drive the child’s early language acquisition? My PhD research fits within this debate, seeking to understand how a general ability to associate frequent linguistic events (e.g., recurrent combinations of sounds, words) may help a child understand how words can be combined into sentences, progressively acquiring abstract syntactic knowledge (e.g., how to form and what a transitive construction is). To answer these questions, I use a mixed approach (computational and empirical).

Undergraduate Education

2007 – 2012: BSc Psychological Sciences. University of Cagliari, Italy.

Postgraduate Education

2013 – 2016: MSc Psychology of Development and of Social and Work Processes.University of Cagliari, Italy.

Employment

2017 – 2018: Research Assistant. Nottingham Trent University

2017 – 2018: Hourly Paid Lecturer (Research Methods in Psychology, BSc year one). Nottingham Trent University, UK.

2016: Teaching Assistant (Developmental Psychology, BSc year one). University of Cagliari, Italy.

2015: Teaching Assistant (Statistics for Human Sciences with R, seminar). University of Cagliari, Italy.

2014: Teaching Assistant (Introduction to the R statistical environment, seminar). University of Cagliari, Italy.

Research interests

I am interested in the role that domain-general statistical learning processes play in the early acquisition of linguistic knowledge (e.g., grammar). Typically developing children as young as 2-3 years show a surprisingly strong ability to make sense of their apparently complex and chaotic linguistic environment. Does a child need an innate knowledge of certain fundamental learning preconditions in order to acquire the native language (e.g., the concept of “noun” or “verb”), or does an associative learning ability – operating across domains - suffice to drive the child’s early language acquisition? My PhD research fits within this debate, seeking to understand how a general ability to associate frequent linguistic events (e.g., recurrent combinations of sounds, words) may help a child understand how words can be combined into sentences, progressively acquiring abstract syntactic knowledge (e.g., how to form and what a transitive construction is). To answer these questions, I use a mixed approach (computational and empirical).

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