EALING 2010 ARCHIVE EALING 2010

 

First Session (Sept 7-10)

Robert Daland, Assistant Professor of Linguistics, UCLA
Stanislas Dehaene, Professor, College de France and INSERM-CEA Cognitive Neuroimaging Unit
Paul Égré, Research Scientist, Institut Jean Nicod, ENS
Hilda Koopman, Professor of Linguistics, UCLA
Giorgio Magri, Junior Research Scientist, Institut Jean Nicod, ENS
Christophe Pallier, Research Scientist, INSERM-CEA Cognitive Neuroimaging Unit.
François Récanati, Senior Research Scientist, Institut Jean Nicod, ENS, and EHESS
Sylvain Salvati, Research Scientist, INRIA
Timothy Stowell, Professor of Linguistics, UCLA

Second Session (Sept 13-16)

Valentine Hacquard, Assistant Professor of Linguistics, University of Maryland
Lilliane Haegeman, Professor, University of Ghent/ GIST
Colin Phillips, Professor of Linguistics, University of Maryland
Luigi Rizzi, Professor, University of Siena
Daniel Swingley, Associate Professor of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania

Sigma Lectures (Sept 13-15)

Hannes Leitgeb, Professor of Mathematical Logic and Philosophy of Mathematics University of Bristol

 

Robert Daland

Title: Word-form learning
Description: Word-learning typically refers to identifying the meaning of a given form, and/or associating the meaning to the form. In order to truly learn a word, however, one more thing is needed -- to learn the form itself; this is the topic of my course. First, we will review observational studies, including a number of studies of vocabulary development in children in the first and second languages. Next, we will review behavioral studies in adults and children on word-form learning. Then, we will review models of attention and memory. Finally, we will discuss the challenges of applying existing models of attention and memory to structured linguistic representations, and to word-forms in particular.

Stanislas Dehaene

Title: The organization of the reading system: universal architecture and individual variability

Valentine Hacquard

Title: Modals, Attitudes and Evidentials.
Description: In this course, we examine similarities and interactions between modals, attitude verbs and evidentials, and explore three possibilities as to what underlies these similarities:
1. These are three independent systems. Their similarities are superficial, and merely due to the appeal to a limited set of resources (e.g., universal or existential quantification over possible worlds, cf. Hintikka 1962).
2. The similarities run deep, and in fact reflect identity. It has been proposed, for instance, that epistemic modals are evidentials (Drubig 2001), and that evidentials are epistemic modals (Matthewson et al 2007).
3. These are independent systems, but which stand in some kind of dependency. Such a position is assumed, for instance, in Portner (2007) for modals and evidentials, and in Anand & Hacquard (2008) for attitudes and modals.

We put these theoretical possibilities to the test by examining: (i) distributional evidence (do epistemic modals and evidentials share a similar limited distribution; what modals appear in the complement of what attitude verb, etc.); (ii) what we can learn from the time of course of acquisition of these various systems.

Day 1: modality – the basics
Day 2: epistemic modality and evidentiality
Day 3: modals and attitudes
Day 4: modals, attitudes and epistemics: the view from acquisition.

Prerequisites: Some familiarity with intensional semantics helpful.

Lilliane Haegeman

Title: Main clause phenomena, the double asymmetry and locality
Description: The focus of the classes will be the observation that so called main clause phenomena have a restricted distribution and occur only in a subset of embedded clauses. I will start from the distribution of argument fronting in English, and on its distribution in adverbial clauses. After having established a rough typology of adverbial clauses ('central', vs 'peripheral') I will propose an account for the restricted distribution of MCP in terms of intervention effects. The proposed account will then be extended to cover the restricted distribution of MCP in complement clauses and the distributional patterns associated with expressions of emphatic polarity. The account will crucially use an approach to locality as that elaborated in Starke (2001).
http://www.gist.ugent.be/members/lilianehaegeman

Hilda Koopman

Title: Syntax and morphology: a single computational engine
Description: This class is organized around the idea that syntax exhaust all of morphosyntax. The atoms that Merge manipulates are not words but much tinier units. There is a single component for building structure, and that is syntax. We will evaluate the arguments for (and against) this idea, and focus on its analytical consequences in the case of resultative constructions in various languages (Mandarin, English, and West African serial verb languages). What do we expect to find given current theoretical understanding? Are these expectations borne out? We will showhow properties of such constructions follow from a modular account.

Giorgio Magri

Title: The online model of the acquisition of phonotactics in Optimality Theory
Description: Phonotactics is the knowledge of licit versus illicit forms w.r.t. a target language. An online algorithm maintains a current hypothesis of the target grammar and slightly updates it each time it is provided with a piece of data inconsistent with the current hypothesis. This class discusses online models for the acquisition of phonotactics within the mainstream framework of Optimality Theory (OT). The focus is on the computational properties of the model, concentrating on convergence and correctness.
*Class 1*introduces the general idea of OT online algorithms; reviews existing results on demotion-only OT online algorithms (Constraint Demotion, GLA, etceteras); explains why constraint promotion is needed in order to model the early stage of the acquisition of phonotactics; discusses the computational challenges raised by constraint promotion.
*Class 2*introduces a family of OT online algorithms that perform constraint promotion too, besides demotion; shows that OT-compatibility of the data entails conic independence of the update vectors used by OT online algorithms; uses this fact to prove convergence for the proposed family of OT online algorithms; introduces the use of invariants to characterize the behavior of OT online algorithms.
*Class 3* sketches the alternative framework of Harmonic Grammar (HG); shows that the latter has no computational advantages over OT; illustrates the implications of this result by developing an alternative proof of convergence of the family of OT online algorithms introduced in class 2; shows that this line of analysis extends to a much broader family of OT online algorithms (characterized by a multiplicative rather than additive update rule); uses this alternative proof of convergence to discuss the issue of the worst case number of updates.
*Class 4* shows that the problem of the acquisition of phonotactics in OT cannot be solved (NP-complete) without restrictions on the constraint set; discusses correctness of OT online algorithms with respect to the problem of the acquisition of phonotactics, both with simulations and theoretical results; outlines prospects for future research.

Prerequisites: Familiarity with Optimality Theory.

REFERENCES: The class is mainly based on ongoing research. Background references are:
Prince & Tesar (2004); Tesar & Smolensky (1998); Boersma (1997); Pater
(2009); Hayes (2004) and Pater (2010).

Paul Égré

Title: Intentional action and the Semantics of Gradable Expressions
Description: This lecture examines an hypothesis put forward by D. Pettit and J. Knobe 2009 to account for the Knobe effect, an asymmetry found by J. Knobe in ordinary judgments about whether an action is intentional or not, for scenarios with identical causal structure, but leading to morally distinct outcomes. According to Pettit and Knobe, one should look at the semantics of the adjective “intentional” on a par with that of other gradable adjectives such as “warm”, “rich” or “expensive”. What Pettit and Knobe’s analogy suggests is that the Knobe effect might be an instance of a broader phenomenon which concerns the context-dependence of normative standards relevant for the application of gradable expressions (see Kennedy 2007). The present work adduces further evidence for their view, based in particular on similar asymmetries in judgments involving the vague quantifier "many" (Egré 2010, Cova and Egré in progress).

Christophe Pallier

Title: Brain imaging of language: an introduction
Description: This lecture will begin with an introduction to functional neuroimaging, with the aim of providing the students with a good grasp of how brain activation maps are obtained and what they mean. Then, in the second part, we present a selection of neuroimaging studies of language processing, addressing topics from phonetic perception to syntactic processing.

Colin Phillips

Title: "Grammatical illusions: encoding and navigating linguistic structures in real time"
Description: The focus of this course is on using evidence on the real-time effects (and non-effects) of diverse grammatical constraints as a tool for understanding how rich linguistic representations are encoded and navigated mentally. When findings from different areas of on-line grammatical constraint application are compared, they yield an interesting picture. Some grammatical constraints, including some that are somewhat complex and obscure, have immediate and accurate impacts on language comprehension. Meanwhile, some other constraints, including some that are quite straightforward are highly susceptible to errors in on-line comprehension and production, leading to various 'grammatical illusions'. This yields an overall profile of ‘selective fallibility’, which is unexpected under most current models of grammar and sentence processing. Existing models predict either pervasive grammatical accuracy or rampant inaccuracy, and neither prediction appears to be correct. This profile of successes and failures likely reflects the way in which different linguistic phenomena tap into the mental encoding of sentences. Thanks to recent advances in models of linguistic working memory and models of visual search, and due to the availability of sensitive experimental measures, we can use selective fallibility as a tool for understanding how sentences are mentally encoded and navigated. Thus, just as the study of visual illusions (and non-illusions) has been extremely valuable as a tool for understanding the workings of the visual system, so the study of grammatical illusions can help us to understand language. By doing this, we can follow the recent habit of talking about the mental grammar as a 'computational system', but we can do so in a way that takes notions of real-time computation very seriously indeed. The course will draw on findings from linguistics, psycholinguistics, cognitive neuroscience, and from the psychology of vision and memory. Linguistic phenomena to be discussed will include unbounded dependencies, anaphora, case and agreement, thematic role binding, and semantic constraints involving negative polarity, comparatives, etc. Evidence will be drawn from diverse languages.

François Récanati

Title: How Radical is Radical Contextualism ?
Description: A number of distinct (though related) issues are raised in the debate over Contextualism. My aim in this presentation is to disentangle them, so as to get a clearer view of the positions available (where a ‘position’ consists of a particular take on each of the relevant issues simultaneously). The issues I will talk about are :
- the modularity issue (is semantic competence sufficient to assign truth-conditions to arbitrary sentences of one’s language, or is pragmatic competence also needed ?)
- the extent of context-sensitivity issue (is context-sensitivity pervasive in natural language, or it is a rather restricted phenomenon ?)
- the generalization of context-sensitivity issue (are all/most expressions similar to indexicals ?)
- the pragmatic modulation issue (is the semantic contribution of expressions calibrated through the operation of ‘free’ pragmatic processes like metonymy, narrowing or sense-extension?)
On each issue there are two sides, corresponding to the overall debate between Contextualism and Literalism. On the first two issues (the modularity issue, and the extent of context-sensitivity issue) Contextualism is the dominant position. With respect to the other two issues, it is the other way round. I myself stand on the contextualist side on all four issues. The resulting position is a fairly radical form of Contextualism, but I will argue that, contrary to what its critics often say, that position is compatible with the project of building a sytematic semantics for natural language.

Luigi Rizzi

Title: The Cartography of Syntactic Structures: Freezing, Subextraction and Interface Effects.
Description: In the first part of this presentation I will illustrate some of the results of the cartographic studies, discuss the implications of this line of research for the Minimalist Program and for the study of the interfaces connecting syntax with the systems of sound and meaning, and compare cartographic analyses with approaches using more impoverished structural representations. In the second part I will show how cartographic maps of the left periphery interact with classical topics of syntactic research such as the theory of locality and the freezing effects.

Sylvain Salvati

Title: formal language theory and logic at the interface between syntax and semantics
Description: Description: this lecture will provide an overview of some results and ideas that have emerged in the field of thematical linguistics. More specifically, it will focus on techniques that are used to construct the interface between syntax and semantics. The lecture will emphasize the particular role played by recognizability when connected to these techniques and show how it can be exploited through its connection to logic.
Prerequisite: No particular background is required, but some basic knowledge in formal language theory (context free language, recognizable languages), and in lambda-calculus can be helpful.

Timothy Stowell

Title: Tense: syntactic structure and its relation to semantics
Description: The course will examine syntactic structures and derivations for tense constructions, and focus on three problems of contemporary concern.
The initial lecture will introduce basic concepts involving tense semantics and technical tools for their syntactic representation, touching on various phenomena that syntactic and semantic accounts of tense have sought to account for. Subsequent lectures will focus on specific descriptive and theoretical problems.
1.Independent vs. dependent tense (control); indexicality.
Temporal ordering: simultaneous vs. shifted construals; stative vs. eventive predicates.
Temporal reference; temporal polarity (sequence of tense); indexicality and double access.

2.Aspectual issues: stativity and imperfectivity; relative clause tenses;
control revisited; lifetime effects. Cross-linguistic variation.
3.The tense of infinitives and modal complements; sequence of perfect.
4.Where the past is in the perfect. Variation in the use of the perfect.

Daniel Swingley

Title: Infant cognition and early language development
Description: Infants are often called "prelinguistic" for much of the first year. Yet infants are known to be capable learners before they begin to talk. In this course we will review what is known about infants' language learning early in life, and will discuss how this learning contributes to later phases of language acquisition. Topics may include developmental perception, categorization, phonetic development, phonological interpretation, word learning, and the beginnings of grammatical development.

 

SIGMA LECTURES 2010 /CONFÉRENCES SIGMA 2010



We are happy to announce that Professor Hannes Leitgeb (University of Bristol) will deliver the "SIGMA Lectures" in September 2010. These lectures are organized by members of the SIGMA group on topics related to language and meaning.
The content of these lectures is described below (see Ealing Schedule for time and place).
SIGMA [Structures and Interpretations: Grammars, Models and Analyses] includes researchers working on the structures and interpretation of language within the Department of Cognitive Studies (DEC) at ENS. The SIGMA Lectures are organized with the financial support of DEC and of a 'Euryi' grant of the European Science Foundation.

Nous sommes heureux d'annoncer que le Professeur Hannes Leitgeb (Université de Bristol) donnera en septembre 2010 les "Conférences SIGMA", organisées par des membres du groupe SIGMA sur des thèmes portant sur le langage et la signification.
Le contenu de ces conférences est décrit ci-dessous (voir l'emploi du temps de Ealing pour les horaires et lieux des conférences).

SIGMA [Structures et Interprétations: Grammaires, Modèles et Analyses] regroupe des chercheurs travaillant sur les structures et l'interprétation du langage au sein du Département d'Etudes Cognitives de l'ENS. Les Conférences SIGMA sont organisées avec le soutien du DEC et d'un financement 'Euryi' de la Fondation Européenne de la Science.

SIGMA Lectures Committee /Comité des Conférences SIGMA:

Claire Beyssade (Institut Jean-Nicod)
Denis Bonnay (U. Paris 10 and DEC)
Emmanuel Chemla (Institut Jean-Nicod)
Paul Egré (Institut Jean-Nicod)
François Recanati (Institut Jean-Nicod and Arche)
Philippe Schlenker (Institut Jean-Nicod and NYU)
Benjamin Spector (Institut Jean-Nicod)
Dominique Sportiche (UCLA and Institut Jean-Nicod)
Isidora Stojanovic (Institut Jean-Nicod)


Hannes Leitgeb


Overall title of the SIGMA lectures: Between Truth and Probability

Description of the SIGMA lecture series

In many areas of philosophy and science we seem to be torn between concepts, properties and states of two kinds: on the one hand qualitative ones, such as truth, dispositions, beliefs, and on the other hand quantitative ones, such as chances, propensities, degrees of belief. While the formal properties of the former derive from the logical properties of truth, the formal properties of the latter are probabilistic in nature. Since it seems too costly to dismiss either of the two families as dispensable, we need to develop theories by which we can relate them to each other in ways that are systematic, coherent, and precise. The three lectures in this lecture series aim to make some progress in that direction. The first lecture tries to do to the norms of rational degrees of belief what we standardly do to the norms of rational binary belief: to give them an epistemic justification based on considerations on truth. In the second lecture we will explore a truth-conditional semantics for counterfactual conditionals in which conditional chances become the truthmakers of counterfactuals. Finally, the third lecture will present a theory of belief according to which binary belief is indeed reducible to subjective probabilities, but without the concept of binary belief being therefore eliminable from philosophical or scientific discourse.

- Titles of the single lectures:

Lecture I: An Objective Justification of Bayesianism

Lecture II: A Probabilistic Semantics for Counterfactuals

Lecture III: Reducing Belief Simpliciter to Degrees of Belief

 

Locations


All Courses and Lectures take place at the école normale supérieure, 29 rue d'ulm
in the Salle Paul Lapie, on the first (European) floor

How to find the Ecole Normale Supérieure and the Conference Site:
Click
HERE or HERE

Schedule (subject to modifications)

 

Tues 7

Wed 8

Thur 9

Fri 10

Mon 13

Tues 14

Wed 15

Thur 16

9:30-11

Stowell

Stowell

Stowell

Stowell

Haegeman

Haegeman

Haegeman

Haegeman

11-12:30

Koopman

Koopman

Salvati

Salvati

Hacquard

Hacquard

Hacquard

Hacquard

LUNCH

1:45-3:15

Dehaene-

Égré

Recanati

Pallier

Swingley

Swingley

Swingley

Swingley

3:15-4:45

Magri

Magri

Magri

Magri

Phillips

Phillips

Phillips

Phillips

break

5-6:30

Daland

Daland

Daland

Daland

Leitgeb

Leitgeb

Leitgeb

Rizzi