Lecture: Virginia Valian

When and Where

Friday, October 04, 2019 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
VC 215
Victoria College


Virginia Valian, Hunter College


Are 2-year-olds copying their parents, or just speaking the same language?

This talk uses two case studies to argue that two-year-olds and their parents have the same basic grammar.  Children are similar to their parents, without directly copying their parents.  Children differ from parents in executive functions (like planning and updating) more than in grammar.  With respect to basic grammar, I argue that nothing develops.  Instead, what develops is vocabulary and executive function.


Virginia Valian is Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Hunter College and is a member of the doctoral faculties of Psychology, Linguistics, and Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences at the CUNY Graduate Center.  She directs the Language Acquisition Research Center at Hunter College.  She is the director of Hunter's Gender Equity Project.

Contact Information

Ana Pérez-Leroux


Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Jackman Humanities Institute Entitlement Group, Cognitive Science Program