Developing a Cross-Cultural Annotation System and MetaCorpus for Studying Infants’ Real World Language Experience

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<jats:p>Recent issues around reproducibility, best practices, and cultural bias impact naturalistic observational approaches as much as experimental approaches, but there has been less focus on this area. Here, we present a new approach that leverages cross-laboratory collaborative, interdisciplinary efforts to examine important psychological questions. We illustrate this approach with a particular project that examines similarities and differences in children’s early experiences with language. This project develops a comprehensive start-to-finish analysis pipeline by developing a flexible and systematic annotation system, and implementing this system across a sampling from a “metacorpus” of audiorecordings of diverse language communities. This resource is publicly available for use, sensitive to cultural differences, and flexible to address a variety of research questions. It is also uniquely suited for use in the development of tools for automated analysis.</jats:p>





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Soderstrom, M, M Casillas, E Bergelson, C Rosemberg, F Alam, AS Warlaumont and J Bunce (2021). Developing a Cross-Cultural Annotation System and MetaCorpus for Studying Infants’ Real World Language Experience. Collabra: Psychology, 7(1). 10.1525/collabra.23445 Retrieved from

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Elika Bergelson

Associate Research Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience

Dr. Bergelson's lab has moved to Harvard Psychology; she retains an unremunerated research appointment at Duke through mid-2024 for logistical reasons. She formerly accepted PhD applicants through the Developmental and Cog/CogNeuro areas of P&N and the CNAP program.

In my research, I try to understand the interplay of processes during language acquisition.
In particular, I am interested in how word learning relates to other aspects of learning language (e.g. speech sound acquisition, grammar/morphology learning), and social/cognitive development more broadly (e.g. joint attention processes) in the first few years of life.

I pursue these questions using three main approaches: in-lab measures of early comprehension and production (eye-tracking, looking-time, and in EEG studies in collaboration with the Woldorff lab), and at-home measures of infants' linguistic and social environment (as in the SEEDLingS project).

More recently the lab is branching out to look at a wider range of human populations and at infants who are blind or deaf/heard of hearing.

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