Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Is it really that simple?

A mathematician has overturned numerous complex models of child word acquisition using a simple spreadsheet.

Apparently, it's just a simple bell-curve. Despite the miraculous sudden appearance of an avalanche of words out of the mouths of two-year-olds, toddler brains don't have magical powers.

Like filling a jar with jelly beans, we gotta hear a word a certain number of times before we own it, & the bigger the word, the more jelly beans it takes. Toddlers just have all the low-hanging fruit to learn first.

This is good news for adults trying to learn a new language :)

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