Author Archives: jon

CLE talk 3 May: James Kirby & Morgan Sonderegger

By jon | April 27, 2016

Tuesday 3 May, 11:00–12:30 1.17 Dugald Stewart Building James Kirby (Edinburgh) & Morgan Sonderegger (McGill) Population dynamics in the actuation of sound change Sound change arises from the pronunciation variability ubiquitous in every speech community, but most such variability does not lead to change. Hence, an adequate model must allow for stability as well as [...]

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LEC talk 9 February: Kenny Smith

By jon | February 3, 2016

Tuesday 9 February, 11:00–12:30 1.17 Dugald Stewart Building Kenny Smith (work with Deborah Kerr, MSc ELC 2014/15) The Spontaneous Emergence of Linguistic Diversity in an Artificial Language I will present an experimental paradigm, combining artificial language learning with the Minimal Group method borrowed from social psychology, and demonstrate the spontaneous emergence of linguistic diversity despite [...]

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LEC talk Tuesday 2 February: Christine Cuskley

By jon | January 29, 2016

Tuesday 2 February, 11:00–12:30 1.17 Dugald Stewart Building Christine Cuskley Frequency and Stability in Linguistic Rules Frequency and stability exhibit an interesting relationship in language: the more frequent a linguistic construction is, the less it tends to change over time. Despite this evident relationship, it is less clear what specific social and cognitive factors cause [...]

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LEC talk Thursday 14 January: Judith Degen

By jon | January 6, 2016

NOTE UNUSUAL DAY AND LOCATION Thursday 14 January, 11:00–12:30 Lecture Theatre 3, 7 Bristo Square Judith Degen, Department of Psychology, Stanford University Context in pragmatic inference In the face of underspecified utterances, listeners routinely and without much apparent effort make the right kinds of pragmatic inferences about a speaker’s intended meaning. I will present a [...]

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LEC talk Wednesday 13 January: Florian Jaeger

By jon | January 6, 2016

NOTE UNUSUAL DAY AND LOCATION Wednesday 13 January, 11:00–12:30 Room G32, 7 George Square Florian Jaeger, University of Rochester (work with Dan Gildea, Masha Fedzechkina, Lissa Newport, and John Trueswell) Pressures for processing and communicative efficiency bias language development Functional biases have been hypothesized to affect language change and explain typological patterns. I’ll focus on [...]

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LEC talk Tuesday 15 December: Cathleen O'Grady

By jon | December 11, 2015

Tuesday 15 December, 11:00–12:30 Room 1.17, DSB Cathleen O’Grady (work with Christian Kliesch, Kenny Smith, Thom Scott-Phillips) The ease and extent of recursive mindreading Mindreading, also called theory of mind, is the ability to mentally represent the mental states of other individuals, e.g. “Sarah believes in fairies.” Recursive mindreading is the ability to mentally represent [...]

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LEC talk Tuesday 8 December: Marieke Schouwstra

By jon | December 3, 2015

Tuesday 8 December, 11:00–12:30 Room 1.17, DSB Marieke Schouwstra (work with Kenny Smith and Simon Kirby) From natural order to convention in silent gesture Silent gesture, an experimental paradigm in which adult hearing participants describe events using only their hands, has been valuable for investigating the origins of word order. Goldin-Meadow et al. (2008) found [...]

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LEC talk Tuesday 1 December: Klaas Seinhorst

By jon | November 25, 2015

Tuesday 1 December, 11:00–12:30 Room 1.17, DSB Klaas Seinhorst, Amsterdam Center for Language and Communication, University of Amsterdam Filling in the blanks – acquisition meets typology It has often been observed that languages disprefer gaps in their phoneme inventories: they tend to maximally combine their distinctive features. In the late 1960s, the French phonologist André [...]

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LEC talk Tuesday 24 November: Alan Nielsen

By jon | November 21, 2015

Tuesday 24 November, 11:00–12:30 Room 1.17, DSB Alan Nielsen Systematicity, contrastiveness, and learnability: Evidence from a growing lexicon experiment Typically, experiments exploring the degree to which systematicity and motivatedness compare the learnability of complete artificial lexica to one another, concluding that associations between words and meanings that are systematic create learnability penalties at certain sizes. [...]

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LEC talk Tuesday 27 October: Simon Kirby

By jon | October 23, 2015

Tuesday 27 October, 11:00–12:30 Room 1.17, DSB Simon Kirby (work with Tessa Verhoef and Carol Padden, UCSD) Naturalness and Systematicity: Evidence from artificial sign language Language is shaped by cognitive biases. These biases can influence the emergence of linguistic structure through multiple linking mechanisms: improvisation of novel solutions to communicative tasks; repeated interaction between communicating [...]

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