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Governing Board Symposium with Elissa Newport

The Biology of Language in the 21st Century

July 22, 2011
16 minutes
Elissa Newport


Elissa Newport is the George Eastman Professor in the Brain & Cognitive Sciences and Linguistics department at the University of Rochester. Her primary research interest is in the acquisition of language, and in the relationship between language acquisition and language structure. She focuses on the language acquisition process, investigating how learners go from linguistic input to knowledge of the grammar of a language. Newport looks at the maturational effects on language learning, comparing children to adults as first and second language learners, and asking why children, who are more limited in most cognitive domains, perform better than adults in language acquisition. These studies involve the acquisition of signed and spoken languages at varying ages.