Archive For The “Uncategorized” Category

PhD for Alan Nielsen

By Kenny | May 10, 2016

Congratulations to Dr Alan Nielsen, who was awarded his PhD on 10th May – Alan’s thesis was titled “Systematicity, Motivatedness, and the Structure of the Lexicon”, and was supervised by Kenny Smith and Simon Kirby.

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The LEC is becoming the Centre for Language Evolution

By Kenny | May 6, 2016

We’re evolving! The Language Evolution and Computation Research Unit was established back in 1997 by Jim Hurford and Simon Kirby, and has grown substantially since then to become (we think) the world’s leading group of researchers working on language origins and evolution. To reflect our increased size, and also the increased breadth of the techniques [...]

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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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Major research grant for Kenny Smith

By Simon Kirby | January 25, 2016

Kenny has been successful in securing a major 5 year grant from the European Research Council to investigate the Evolution of Linguistic Complexity. Well done, Kenny!

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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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