18 September, 2010

Linguists Who Study Their Own Kids

MIT professor Deb Roy is not wasting an opportunity to gather a massive amount of field data:
He recorded, on video and audio, nearly every waking moment of the first three years of his son's life—not as an exercise in parental vanity, but in the name of science. His goal was to create as complete a picture as possible of how one child learns a language. For his study, "The Human Speechome Project," he embedded 11 cameras and 14 microphones in the ceilings of his home, and set them to record for an average of 12-14 hours a day. Now Roy and his team have begun the enormous task of trying to make sense of the data—all 120,000 hours of it.

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