13. Description of the core message of your event and key topics to be covered (c.100 words):
It is usually assumed that babies know hardly anything about language before their 2nd or 3rd birthday. In this presentation I will share recent discoveries which challenge such traditional views and received wisdom.
For example, researchers have found that babies are capable of remembering a story read to them before birth and distinguish it from a new story read to them after birth, that they can distinguish sounds in a language they never heard before (an ability which is very limited in adults), that their brains have already began language specialization/lateralization, that they differentiate the grammatical notions “subject” vs. “object” of a sentence in the speech they hear, and that they are able to construct a language-like system even in the face of an impoverished/a minimal conventional model.
Babies are much smarter than we ever thought; indeed they are linguistic geniuses.
14. Does the event have particular local relevance?: