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The scientific goal of the ACLC is to discover the underlying systematicity in verbal as well as non-verbal human communication and in spoken as well as signed language.

To this end, ACLC researchers combine evidence from generalizations about data obtained from direct or indirect observation or elicitation, evidence from behavioral experiments executed under controlled conditions, and support from explicit abstract modelling and computer simulations. The societal goals of the ACLC are to improve the successful acquisition and use of language, to improve communication abilities in the population, and to develop better language and communication technologies.