EALing 2004
Fall School in Linguistics


Detailed program

(Still to be periodically updated)

Tuesday 23 Tuesday 23 Wednesday 24 Wednesday 24 Thursday 25 Thursday 25 Friday 26 Friday 26
Celan Résistants Celan Résistants Celan Actes Celan Résistants
9:30 - 11 Welcoming remarks by Daniel Andler and Francis Wolff
(from 10:45)
Chierchia Chierchia Chierchia
11:15 - 12:45 Schlenker/Chierchia Schlenker/Sportiche Spector Schlenker Spector Schlenker/Stabler Spector
Lunch break
2 - 3:30 Sportiche Wilson Sportiche Wilson Sportiche Wilson Sportiche Wilson
3:45 - 5:15 Stabler Stabler Thematic Workshop: Relative Clause
Demirdache Rebuschi Spector Sportiche
Stabler Stabler Thematic Workshop on Neuroimagery
Dehaene G. Dehaene S. Pallier C.
5:30 - 7:15 Spector (end: 19:00) Nicolas
7:00 Welcoming Coktail* Student party**

* In the "Pot carré", inside the ENS.

** After 7:15

Monday 29 Monday 29 Tuesday 30 Tuesday 30 Wednesday 1 Wednesday 1 Thursday 2 Thursday 2
Résistants Celan Résistants Celan Résistants Celan Actes Celan
9:30 - 11 Rizzi Rizzi Rizzi Rizzi
11:15 - 12:45 Grodzinsky Rétoré Grodzinsky Rétoré Grodzinsky Rétoré Grodzinsky Rétoré
Lunch break
2 - 3:30 Kroch Sperber Kroch Sperber Kroch Kroch
3:45 - 5:15 Schlenker/Rizzi Newmeyer Sperber Newmeyer Sperber Newmeyer Thematic Workhsop : The initial cognitive state and the acquisition of Phonology.
Dupoux, Christophe, Peperkamp
5:30 - 7:30 Plenary session
Plenary session
Plenary session


How to go to the Ecole Normale Supérieure.

List of Lecturing and Teaching Faculty

G. ChierchiaUniversity of Milan and ENS
A. Christophe LSCP École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS)-CNRS-ENS
H. Demirdache Université de Nantes
Y. Grodzinsky Mc Gill University
L. Danlos University Paris 7, CNRS (Lattice)
A. Kroch University of Pennsylvania
D. NicolasInstitut Jean Nicod, CNRS - EHESS - ENS
F. Newmeyer University of Washington and ENS
S. Peperkamp U de Paris 8, LSCP-EHESS-CNRS-ENS
J.-Y. Pollock University of Picardie (Amiens) and Institut Jean Nicod
G. Rebuschi U de Paris 3
F. Recanati IJN, EHESS, ENS
C. Rétoré U de Bordeaux 1 et INRIA-CNRS
L. Rizzi Universita di Siena and ENS
P. Schlenker UCLA and Institut Jean Nicod
B. Spector Laboratoire de Linguistique Formelle Paris 7 et ENS
D. Sperber IJN, EHESS, ENS
D. Sportiche UCLA and ENS
E. Stabler UCLA
C. Wilson UCLA

List, Titles and Descriptions of Courses and Lectures

Gennaro Chierchia

Topics in the semantics of plurality and mass nouns

The course will introduce modern formal analyses of the semantics of plurals and will address some current issues concerning the relations of such a semantics to that of mass nouns.

Anne Christophe

Psycholinguistique: On learning the words of one's native language.

Ghislaine Dehaene

Sciences cognitives et psycholinguistique: Le cerveau du nourisson est-il programmé pour traiter le langage ?

Stephane Dehaene

Neuroimagery of reading : cerebral representation of a cultural invention.

Hamida Demirdache

Antireconstruction effects in relative clauses.

Workshop: Antireconstruction effects in relative clauses.

Emmanuel Dupoux

Psycholinguistique: Perception and Representation of native language from 0 to 1 year.

Yossi Grodzinsky

Introduction to Neurolinguistics : Neurosyntax

This mini-course will present an outline of a theory of the how syntactic knowledge is represented in neural tissue. More specifically, and aiming to satisfy a skeptically curious audience, we will consider whether a modular view of syntax is neurologically feasible: Are there reasons to believe that distinct pieces of syntax occupy distinct pieces of the brain? If so, what would a brain map of syntax look like? If true, can this story be relevant to linguists? To brain scientists?

Arguing that all these can be cautiously answered in the affirmative, we will provide an outline for a neurosyntactic theory, throwing in arguments from syntax, from brain anatomy and physiology, and from methodologies for the design, execution and interpretation of neurolinguistic experiments. Syntactically, the phenomena at issue are mostly connected to varieties of movement in typologically different languages. Anatomically, there will be an overview of what is currently known about the language regions in the brain. Experimentally, there will be a detailed discussion of two types of results: comprehension patterns in syntactically deficient language users (aphasic patients), and activation patterns gleaned through functional imaging of syntax in normal adult language users (PET, fMRI, MEG).

Throughout, special attention will be paid to the nagging problem of variation that permeates the field: It is observed in brain anatomy at all levels, and in performance patterns within and between syntactic systems, both in health and in disease. In this context, new methods for quantitative analysis of error data will be presented. Finally (and time permitting), some open problems will be discussed with the audience.

Laurence Danlos

A complete and integrated NLG system using KR and NLU tools

We will present a complete and integrated Natural Language Generation (NLG) system . The system uses theory and tools which are broadly used in the Knowledge Representation (KN) and Natural Language Understanding (NLU) communities. Namely, it uses a Description logic for the content determination module, Segmented Discourse Representation Theory for the document structuring module and a lexicalized formalism based on Tree Adjoining Grammar for the tactical component.

Tony Kroch

For more detailed information see this page.

Four lectures on Theoretical considerations and textual evidence in the study of grammar change

  1. Language learning and language change
  2. Grammar change in the community and the individual
  3. Statistical fingerprints of grammar change in historical texts
  4. A case study of grammar change: the loss of OV word order in English

The study of language change, to the extent that it is change in grammar, requires an enrichment of our theoretical apparatus. The standard idealization in generative linguistics, extremely fruitful in synchronic studies, is that languages are transmitted from adults to young children, who learn them instantly and perfectly. Clearly, under this idealization, language change is unexpected. To account for change, we must add some new ingredient which allows for imperfect learning by children, transmission through learning by adults, who are known to learn imperfectly, or through linguistic innovation. We will investigate such processes in search for the origins of language change. In addition to the question of the origins of change, there is the well-known problem of its spread through the speech community. In this domain it is often thought that members of a community in the process of change can be divided into the innovators and the conservatives but there is now much evidence that all members of the community are bidialectal, knowing and using both the innovative and the conservative grammar in the manner of code switching. We will explore this evidence. The code switching found in historical texts is amenable to statistical analysis, which helps us to understand the character of the code-switching behavior and to follow more precisely the time course of language change. As a kind of a bonus, this analysis seems to give insight into how grammatical knowledge guides language production.

David Nicolas

The categorisation of common nouns: mass and count nouns: can the distinction between mass nouns and count nouns be characterized in purely semantic terms?

Frederick J. Newmeyer

Typology and generative Syntax

This course deals with the treatment of cross-linguistic generalizations in generative syntax, in particular in the Principles and Parameters Government-Binding / Minimalist Program) approach. It begins with a discussion of how the shift from a rule-based to a principle-based approach to grammar provided an elegant framework for stating such generalizations and goes on to describe how typological facts about bounding, binding, null subjects, and so on have been captured by means of parameterized principles. Special attention is paid to Mark Baker's Parameter Hierarchy in his book 'Atoms of Language', as this is the most comprehensive parametric approach to typology. The course concludes with a look at alternative formal approaches to capturing typological generalizations, and considers the possibility that many can be derived from parsing principles


29 September - Universal Grammar and the study of language typology

Why generative grammarians should be interested in typological generalizations. Why a formal analysis is a prerequisite to typological investigations. Contrasting formalist and functionalist approaches to typology.

30 September - Parameterized principles and their properties

The move from a rule-based to a principle-based approach to grammar and its implications for typology. Parameters and typology. A look at Mark Baker’s "Parameter Hierarchy" in his book The Atoms of Language: The Mind’s Hidden Rules of Grammar.

1 October - Two formal alternatives to parameterized principles: Optimality Theory and parsing principles

The promise and limitations of attempting to handle cross- linguistic syntactic generalizations within the general rubric of Optimality Theory. The possibility of accounting for typological generalizations by means of independently-needed principles of language processing, along with a discussion of the question of whether typological generalizations belong in any sense to the domain of "I-Language" (knowledge of grammar per se).

2 October : Language typology and language use

A critical look at explanations of typological generalizations that appeal exclusively to facts about language use. Examples of where structural principles (including principles of Universal Grammar) help to determine typology.

Christophe Pallier

Neuroimagery of language understanding and bilingualism.

Sharon Peperkamp

Psycholinguistique: Learning the sound structure of one's native language.

Jean-Yves Pollock

Aspects of the comparative syntax of "est-ce que" questions in a few north eastern Romance languages.

Georges Rebuschi

On the basque dislocated semi-free relatives: movement of the abstract relative operator before or after Spellout.

Workshop: Perspectives on Relative Clauses

Francois Recanati

Truth-conditional pragmatics

After discussing the relations between compositionality and context-dependence, and introducing the distinction between semantic and post-semantic uses of context, I will question the traditional assumption that semantics is autonomous with respect to pragmatics. I will argue that 'free' pragmatic processes of sense modulation take place locally, in the course of semantic composition, thereby affecting truth-conditional content.

Christian Rétoré

Predicative and syntactic structures of sentences: towards a computational correspondence.

The traditional relationship between grammar and logic has always been looking for a connection between the grammatical structure of a sentence and its meaning. Nowadays the development of generative grammar, analytic philosophy, and computational linguistics, provide tools to address this traditional question. This lecture focuses on the interface between the syntactic structure and the predicative structure, at the sentence level, with mathematical tools (deductive systems, lambda-calculus).

We firstly describe categorial grammar, and their logical description pioneered by the work of Joachim Lambek. We also present their relation to context-free grammars which are perhaps more familiar. Next we present the relation between categorial analyses and the predicative structure of sentences through compositional semantics à la Richard Montague. The categorial grammar approach to the syntax/semantics interface is formally perfect but disapointing from a linguistic viewpoint because of its syntactic limits. Hence we present an extension of this correspondence to the minimalist grammars of Edward Stabler (first week of EALing school). We thus provide, for a rather rich and meaningful class of grammars, rooted in the generative grammar tradition, a way to compute out of the syntactic structure the predicative structure of the sentence (which possibly can be called logical form).

Luigi Rizzi

Cartography and the causes of movement

Movement is an ubiquitous property in natural language. An economy based approach to syntax raises various questions : is movement a cost-free computational option ? is it always triggered? by what kind of property ? Questions of technical implementation must somehow take into account the fact that the concept of " movement as last resort " seems to be essentially correct: current research by and large agrees on the fact that core cases of movement correlate with systematic interpretive effects. We will address these issues from the viewpoint of the cartographic approach, an approach which tries to analyse the fine details of syntactic representations, drawing structural maps as precise as possible. What triggers movement to the detailed typology of positions which are uncovered by the cartographic research? What locality and economy principles constrain these processes ? We will address these questions by reanalyzing the core empirical domains of the ECP : the asymmetries between arguments and adjuncts, and between subjects and objects.

Philippe Schlenker

For more detailed information see this page.

Linguistics From a Broader Perspective

What is the contribution of formal linguistics to traditional questions of philosophy and cognitive science? We will present five independent case studies, designed to show the broader relevance of some results of formal linguistics. These sessions are intended for a general audience, and will be presented by various professors of the Fall School. The following topics will be covered:

  • What is an Object? (Gennaro Chierchia)
  • Language and Innate Knowledge (Philippe Schlenker & Dominique Sportiche)
  • Egocentric Thoughts (Philippe Schlenker)
  • Language and Evolution (Ed Stabler)
  • What is Linguistic Diversity? (Luigi Rizzi)
  • Benjamin Spector

    Workshop on relative clauses:

    Pseudo Weak-Crossover in French relative clauses and global economy.

    Presupposition projection and the semantics/pragmatics interface

    Since the seminal work of Stalnaker in the 70's, presuppositions have been investigated in various frameworks, which all rely on a dynamic conception of meaning (Dynamic Semantics, Discourse Representation Theory). The most important empirical problem which those theories aim at solving is the projection problem, i.e. the problem of predicting the presuppositions of a given sentence from the presuppositions of its parts. For instance, while (1), (2) and (3) below not only entail but also presuppose that Mary studied Maths, (4) does not:

    1. Peter certaily regrets that Mary studied Maths
    2. Peter does not regret that Mary studied Maths
    3. If Peter regrets that Mary studied Maths, then he should say so
    4. If Mary studied Maths, Peter certainly regrets that she studied Maths

    Dynamic approaches have given rise to two main families of theories: the satisfaction theory of presupposition (see for instance Heim 1983) aims at deriving the presuppositional behaviour of various constructions directly from their semantics and some general compositional rules. The binding theory of presuppositions (Van der Sandt 1992 and Geurts 1999, among others) views presuppositions as a special kind of anaphora, so that the projection problem can be reduced to the problem of pronoun resolution and pronominal binding. Those different theories, though all based on Stalnaker's ideas, are quite different both conceptually and empirically.

    In this class, we will present and compare the satisfaction theory and the binding theory. We will furthermore investigate how presuppositions and conversational implicatures interact. A better understanding of this interaction is crucial in order to properly draw the line between Semantics and Pragmatics.

    This course is introductory, but some familiarity with Formal Semantics and/or Logic would help. Chierchia & MacConnell-Ginet's chapter on presuppositions provides an introduction to the problem of presupposition projection.

    Selected References:

    Dan Sperber

    Pragmatics questions

    This mini course will address the main questions pragmatics tries to answer: How the meaning intended by a speakeer is recovered by the addressee from the utterance and its context. How are ambiguities, referential indetreminacies or semantic incompleteness resolved? How do the explicit content and the implicit content interact? How is illocutionary force identified? How are metaphors and other tropes understood? These questions  will be addresses from the the point of view of relevance theory.

    Dominique Sportiche

    Movement and Interpretation: some apparent paradoxes of reconstruction

    What are the relations between the theory of movement and interpretative rules? What conditions do these relations impose on the the architecture of models of (minimalist) grammars, on the formalization of movement dependencies and on the precise nature of interpretative rules. We will examine on the one hand the A and A-bar movement dependencies and the other interpretative properties of predicate saturation, binding theory and scope phenomena.

    Workshop: organizer.

    How many Sources for Relative clauses ?

    Edward Stabler

    The acquisition and use of grammar: computational perspectives

    Representing structure

    The complexity of linguistic structures should not be estimated from conventional depictions, because those are so highly redundant. This lecture describes a simple and concise formal grammar to provide more appropriate measures of complexity.

    Recognizing simple "minimalist" languages

    A parser is a algorithm that recognizes exactly the morpheme sequences allowed by a grammar and computes their structures. Using some particular examples inspired by Koopman & Szabolcsi, Kayne, and others, we present a simple parsing method that is efficient for this entire, infinite class of grammars.

    A further simplification

    Lambek noticed, in effect, that merging on the right (complements) and merging on the left (specifiers) are like modus ponens steps. In fact, even the elaborate rules of combination in recent "categorial grammars" are instances of valid reasoning in propositional logic, and there are various ways to extend these systems to grammars with "movement", providing a new and simpler perspective on them. What explains this correspondence between grammar and logic?

    Learning "minimalist" grammars from dependencies

    We can think of a learner as a function from finite evidence to grammars and study the conditions under which such a learner could possibly succeed. Most familiar classes of languages are not learnable from data consisting of positive examples, but we describe one successful line of research that can be extended to infinite classes of grammars like those discussed.

    Colin Wilson

    Introduction to phonology

    This course provides an introduction to contemporary phonological theory, focusing on two main issues: (i) the relative empirical coverage and restrictiveness of rule- and constraint- based approaches to phonology; and (ii) the degree to which phonological representations and rules/constraints are sensitive to phonetic properties. (i) Many current theories assume that phonological grammars include constraints on representations (e.g., Harmonic Phonology, the Theory of Constraints and Repair Strategies, Government Phonology), leading to the possibility that rules can be eliminated entirely (e.g., Declarative Phonology, Optimality Theory). But there are well-known phenomena that are resistant to analysis with constraints (e.g., phonological "opacity", unbounded spreading). The problem is therefore to formulate a single theory that combines the (claimed) explanatory power of constraints and the descriptive power of rules. (ii) All current theories assume that phonology is related to phonetics, but they differ widely in how much phonetic detail is available to the phonological component. The central theoretical problem is to provide insightful analyses of phonetically "natural" phonological processes, which are typologically common, while still retaining the ability to describe the phonetically "unnatural" processes that are found in particular languages.


    Perspectives on Relative Clauses

    Rebuschi : On the basque dislocated semi-free relatives: movement of the abstract relative operator before or after Spellout.

    Demirdache : Antireconstruction effects in relative clauses.

    Spector : Pseudo Weak-Crossover in French relative clauses and global economy.

    Sportiche : workshop on relative clauses organizer.


    Dehaene, G : Le cerveau du nourisson est-il programmé pour traiter le langage ?

    Dehaene, S : Neuroimagery of reading : cerebral representation of a cultural invention.

    Pallier, C : Neuroimagery of language understanding and bilingualism.

    The initial cognitive state and the acquisition of Phonology.

    Dupoux : Perception and Representation of native language from 0 to 1 year.

    Christophe : On learning the words of one's native language.

    Peperkamp : Learning the sound structure of one's native language.