Archive for the ‘colloquia’ Category

Zenzi Griffin Colloquium on Thursday

Sunday, January 13th, 2008

Zenzi Griffin (Georgia Institute of Technology) will speak at the Department of Psychology colloquium on January 17, Thursday, at 4pm in Rosenwald 011. Her talk is titled, “How speakers’ eye movements reflect spoken language generation“.

Ernestus Colloquium on Thursday

Tuesday, January 8th, 2008

Gradient phonological generalizations in speech processing

Mirjam Ernestus
Radboud University Nijmegen &
Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics

Thursday Jan. 10, 2008
Cobb 201, 3.30-5 pm

Abstract
Several studies have shown that speakers are sensitive to the absolute and statistically gradient phonological patterns in their mental lexicon. Participants prefer words conforming to these patterns, and they are slower in producing morphologically regular word forms violating the patterns. In this talk I will discuss two series of experiments that further investigate the role of gradient patterns in speech processing. The first series suggest that generalizations based on intraparadigmatic relations, between the forms of single word, have a stronger effect than those based on interparadigmatic relations, between the same types of forms of different words. The second series of experiments shows that phonologically gradient patterns affect also speech comprehension, even when listeners are focusing on content instead of form. This shows that gradient generalizations play a role in everyday language processing.

Andrea Sims Colloquium

Tuesday, October 30th, 2007

The Department of Linguistics Colloquium Series presents

Andrea D. Sims

Northwestern University

“When synchronic motivation disappears: On probabilities, paradigms, and processes of lexicalization”

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Cobb 201, 3:30pm

ABSTRACT

In this paper I explore some of the conditions under which inflectional structures become lexicalized, and why they persist once established in the lexicon. I present a case study of Russian verbs which are defective in the 1sg non-past (e.g., *pobezhu ‘I will win’). Starting with Halle (1973), these verbs have presented a 30+-year mystery for two reasons. First, there is no apparent synchronic motivation for these verbs being defective, yet the paradigmatic gaps are not filled by productive inflection. Second, it is generally accepted that the gaps have been lexicalized, but theories of lexicalization fail to explain why this happened (Brinton and Traugott 2005).

Based on experimental evidence and agent-based simulation, I argue that the lexicalization and continued existence of defectiveness among Russian verbs can be understood as a paradigm effect. Specifically, gaps represent an interaction between morphosyntactic probability distributions and morphophonological coherence. The core tenets of my proposal draw from existing literature: two-level paradigmatic structure (Stump 2006), sensitivity to probability distributions across the lexicon (Kemps et al. 2005), and a Bayesian learning mechanism (cf. Regier and Gahl 2004). However, this paper represents one of the first attempts to synthesize these disparate lines of research to explain inflectional change.

The results argue for a more extensive role of paradigmatic structure in promoting lexicalization than has previously been recognized (Aski 1995, Maiden 2004). It also shows that lexicalization is controlled by frequency in subtle ways, beyond the common observation that high frequency items are more likely to be entrenched.

John Searle Colloquium

Tuesday, October 30th, 2007

The Department of Comparative Human Development Colloquium Series presents

JOHN SEARLE

Professor, Department of Philosophy
University of California, Berkeley

“Language and Social Ontology”

Tuesday, November 6th, 2007, 4:30pm
Social Sciences 122

ABSTRACT
In this talk I will show how all of human institutional reality is created and maintained by a single logico-linguistic process. The work is a continuation of the ideas in “The Construction of Social Reality.”

Marina Terkourafi Colloquium

Monday, October 22nd, 2007

The Department of Linguistics at the University of Chicago presents

MARINA TERKOURAFI
University of Illinois Urbana Champaign

Cooperation revisited and renewed

Thursday, October 25, 2007
Cobb 201, 3.30-5 pm

Since (at least) Bach and Harnish (1979), several attempts have been made to clarify what might be “the accepted purpose…of the talk exchange” mentioned by Grice (1975) in the definition of the Co-operative Principle, and, more generally, the nature (and the limits) of cooperation enjoined by the CP itself. Following a brief critique of previous proposals, I suggest the notion of face, adapted from the anthropological linguistics literature, as an omni-relevant ‘accepted purpose’ on which more specific purposes may be superimposed. The omni-relevance of face follows from two properties: its biological grounding in the dimension of approach vs. withdrawal, and its intentionality (i.e. aboutness). I am thus advocating a revised notion of face, which operates on two levels. As a second-order notion, ‘Face2’ is universal (qua biologically grounded), while, at the same time, it is uniquely human and irreducibly relational (qua intentional, i.e. directed at an Other defined as distinct from Self). This second-order notion of face is, nevertheless, no more than a convenient methodological abstraction. Face as a first-order notion is the only one that has any psychological reality for speakers, and is fleshed out in particular socio-historical circumstances, resulting in a multiplicity of ‘Face1’s simultaneously operating in interaction. Contrary to previous approaches that viewed considerations of face as “principled reasons for deviation [from the CP]” (Brown & Levinson 1987: 5), face in this novel dual conceptualization is claimed to operate before the CP, regulating the generation of implicatures by prompting recursive application of the maxims until one is satisfied that one knows (with some degree of certainty) how one stands in relation to one’s interlocutor(s). In other words, an omni-relevant purpose of interaction is ascertaining one’s standing in relation to one’s interlocutor(s)—in the sense of determining whether one’s face has been constituted or threatened—and this purpose determines a (context-dependent, hence variable) cut-off point for the inferential process. I illustrate these suggestions by re-analyzing some classical examples from the pragmatics literature, demonstrating how this expanded understanding of face and of the CP can account for behaviors ranging from over-cooperation (altruistic behavior) to outright conflict.

John Searle Colloquium

Sunday, October 21st, 2007

The Department of Comparative Human Development Colloquium Series presents

JOHN SEARLE

Professor, Department of Philosophy
University of California, Berkeley

“Language and Social Ontology”

Tuesday, November 6th, 2007, 4:30pm
Social Sciences 122

ABSTRACT
In this talk I will show how all of human institutional reality is created and maintained by a single logico-linguistic process. The work is a continuation of the ideas in “The Construction of Social Reality.”

Jason Stanley Colloquium

Sunday, October 14th, 2007

The Department of Linguistics presents

Jason Stanley

Rutgers University

Knowing How in Romance

October 18, Thursday, 3pm, Cobb 201

Jason Stanley’s talk on Friday

Sunday, October 14th, 2007

Workshop on Semantics and Philosophy of Language presents

Jason Stanley

Rutgers University

Sly Pete: Indicative Conditionals and Context Dependence

October 19, Friday, 11am – 1pm, Wieboldt 111


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