Workshop on Language, Cognition, and Computation (2013-2014)

Overview

The Workshop on Language, Cognition, and Computation is an interdisciplinary forum for students and faculty whose work concerns the intersection of these topics, with a particular emphasis on language learning and language change.

Summary

The question of how language is learned enjoys a privileged position within the cognitive sciences, by virtue of its centrality to the "cognitive revolution", which required that any scientific account of language be able to account not just for linguistic structure, but for the learnability of language as well. The challenge was this: while almost all children learn their native language perfectly, the linguistic input to which they are exposed has been argued to be inadequate for that purpose. By this reasoning, children must bring to the language-learning task some strong prior knowledge or bias, such that learning can succeed given impoverished input. The exact shape of this bias has been an object of much research and debate.

A similarly fundamental question is how and why languages change from one generation to another, despite the fact that each generation seems to accurately and rapidly acquire the language of its surroundings. The question of how long-term change can result from iterations of an accurate short-term learning process is at some level an investigation of the consequences of hypothesized biases in how humans learn language. As such it has attracted the attention of linguists, psychologists, and computer scientists, each of whom bring complementary perspectives and methodologies. Our workshop this year aims to bring these groups together to advance research on language learning and language change both questions through interdisciplinary discussion.

Interested graduate students from any department are especially invited to participate. If you have research you would like to present, please contact Jackson Lee to set things up.

Announcements

Confirmed Non-local Invited Speakers

Farrell Ackerman (UC San Diego)

Laura Staum Casasanto (Stony Brook University)

John Drury (Stony Brook University)

Louis Goldstein (University of Southern California)

Kleanthes Grohmann (University of Cyprus)

Rob Malouf (San Diego State University)

Ronnie B. Wilbur (Purdue University)

Schedule

Unless otherwise specified, the workshop meets on Fridays at 14:00 starting from spring 2014. Persons with a disability who believe they may need assistance are asked to contact Jackson Lee in advance.

Fall Quarter, 2013

Oct 21 (Monday)
15:00
Venue: HM 140
Speaker: Jonathan Keane (Linguistics, University of Chicago)
Variation in fingerspelling: time, pinky extension, and what it means to be active
[joint meeting with the Workshop on Language, Variation, and Change]
Nov 1 (Friday)
15:00
Venue: STU 104
Speaker: Daniel Casasanto (Psychology, University of Chicago)
Whorfian Psychophysics: Testing linguistic relativity without using language
Nov 15 (Friday)
15:00
Venue: STU 104
Speaker: Gallagher Flinn (Linguistics, University of Chicago)
Modeling neutral vowels in Khalkha Mongolian
Nov 22 (Friday)
15:00
Venue: STU 104
Speaker: Jason Riggle (Linguistics, University of Chicago)
Ranking and Combinatorial Convexity
Nov 25 (Monday)
16:00
Venue: HM 140
Speaker: Ronnie Wilbur (Linguistics, Purdue University)
Semantic Visibility in Sign Languages:
Theoretical and Empirical Support for the Visibility Hypothesis

Winter Quarter, 2014

Jan 17 (Friday)
15:00
Venue: STU 104
Speaker: Diane Brentari (Linguistics, University of Chicago)
Variance and Invariance in Sign Language Prosody
[joint meeting with the Workshop on Language, Variation, and Change]
Jan 24 (Friday)
15:00
Venue: STU 104
Speaker: Laura Horton (Comparative Human Development, University of Chicago)
Movement and Handshape in Gesture and Sign Language
Feb 14 (Friday)
15:00
Venue: STU 104
Speaker: Hyunjung Lee (Linguistics, University of Chicago)
Effect of attention on L2 speech perception:
Perception of the Korean three-way stop contrast by English learners
Feb 21 (Friday)
15:30
Venue: STU 104
Speaker: Greg Kobele (Linguistics, University of Chicago)
Ellipsis: Grammar and Algorithm
Feb 28 (Friday)
15:00
Venue: STU 104
Speakers: Helena Aparicio and Katie Franich (Linguistics, University of Chicago)
Phi-feature Mismatches in Spanish VP Ellipsis: An Eye-tracking Study
March 3 (Monday)
16:30
Venue: HM 103
Speaker: Susan Goldin-Meadow (Psychology, University of Chicago)
From homesign to sign language: Creating language in the manual modality

Spring Quarter, 2014

Apr 3 (Thursday)
15:30

Venue: Wieboldt 408
Speaker: Kleanthes Grohmann (University of Cyprus)
Comparative Bilingualism
[joint meeting with the Workshop on Language, Variation, and Change
and linguistics department colloquium series]
Apr 18 (Friday)
14:00
Venue: STU 104
Speaker: Neon Brooks (Psychology, University of Chicago)
The Role of Motor Experience in Gesture’s Facilitation of Mental Abacus
Apr 28 (Monday)
15:00
Venue: Cobb 104
Speaker: Laura Staum Casasanto (University of Chicago)
Processing Difficulty and the Envelope of Variation
[joint meeting with the Workshop on Language, Variation, and Change]
May 9 (Friday)
14:00
Venue: STU 104
Speaker: John Goldsmith (Linguistics and Computer Science, University of Chicago)
Experiments with automatic learning of distributional properties of words
May 16 (Friday)
14:00
Venue: STU 104
Speakers: Rob Malouf (San Diego State University)
Explaining the Number Hierarchy
May 23 (Friday)
14:00
Venue: STU 104
Speaker: Louis Goldstein (University of Southern California)
Timing Regulation in Speech: A coupled oscillator model
May 30 (Friday)
14:00
Venue: STU 104
Speaker: John Drury (Stony Brook University)
The Neurocognition of Language and Music: Revisiting Shared Integration Resources
June 6 (Friday)
14:00
Venue: STU 104
Speaker: Emily Coppess (Linguistics, University of Chicago)
A Corpus Approach to Historical Linguistics: Word Order of Two-Verb Constructions in Old English

Contacts

Jackson Lee, Student Coordinator jsllee@uchicago.edu JacksonLLee.com
Diane Brentari, Faculty Sponsor dbrentari@uchicago.edu signlanguagelab.uchicago.edu
Susan Goldin-Meadow, Faculty Sponsor sgm@uchicago.edu goldin-meadow-lab.uchicago.edu
Ming Xiang, Faculty Sponsor mxiang@uchicago.edu home.uchicago.edu/~mxiang

Links

Past years

2012–2013, 2011–2012, 2010–2011, 2008–2009, 2007–2008





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