This talk touches upon two aspects of speech acquisition by
infants which are often assumed to be intrinsic or innate knowledge,
namely number of degrees of freedom in the articulatory parameters
and the acoustic correlates that find the correspondence between
adult speech and the speech produced by the infant.The first part of the talk tries to motivate how the infant explores several acoustic correlates as well as different number of degrees of articulatory freedom.
Being able to distinguish the different vowels in the vowel
space of the certain language is a strong motivation for choosing
both, a certain number of independent articulatory parameters, as
well as a certain scheme of acoustic normalization between adult and
child speech. The second part details a proposed model which tries to learn the acoustic
normalization scheme using topological mapping between adult utterances and the
babbling produced by the infants.