PhD project: "Does language count? Numeracy, language and statistical learning in children with and without Developmental Language Disorder"
Children with Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) experience a wide range of difficulties acquiring their native language, and recent research has often linked these problems to a deficit in Statistical Learning - the ability to extract regularities from different types of input. Language in its turn is believed to play an important role in children's numerical development, and this may well explain why children with DLD often experience problems with counting and mathematics. The exact linguistic nature of these numeracy problems is, however, still understudied. By conducting a series of experimental studies with Dutch- and Russian-speaking children with and without DLD, I aim to explore how children with and without DLD acquire cardinals (one, two, three) and ordinals (first, second, third), and to which extent this relates to the transparency of number words in their native language. Furthermore, I want to investigate to which extent statistical learning contributes to the acquisition of numerals. In doing so, this research will shed new light on the interaction between language and numeracy development, and contribute to our understanding of cognitive development in children with DLD.
I started this NWO-funded PhD-project in September 2021. The project is supervised by Judith Rispens, Caitlin Meyer and Alla-Peeters Podgaevskaja.
Statistical learning, language acquisition, numerical development, Developmental Language Disorder (DLD), bilingualism