My research in language centres on questions of representation, evolution, and acquisition. What biases explain people's language learning, and to what extent are they domain general? What drives the difference in language acquisition abilities between adults and children? What structure do our mental linguistic representations have, and why? How is language, or any cultural product, shaped by the organisation of the world, the nature of communication, and the structure of the human mind? How is language and language learning shaped by the fact that it is a fundamentally social construct shared by social agents?

Current projects focus mostly on the dynamics of information transmission, social assumptions in language learning, statistical learning, the distributional structure of language, and semantic network structure. Previous work (to which I may return) centres on phoneme learning, grammatical representation and learning, and regularisation.

Andrew Perfors
Associate Professor

I seek to understand how people reason and think, both on their own and in groups.