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Conference Information



Full Title: Prior Structure in Language Acquisition: A Consensus Workshop

      
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Start Date: 31-Aug-2017 - 01-Sep-2017
Contact: Giosuè Baggio
Meeting Email: click here to access email
Meeting Description: August 31-September 1, 2017, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim

In recent years, research in the language sciences has been revitalized by the emergence of novel research programs and by the radical reconfiguration of some existing ones. More compact characterizations of Universal Grammar have been produced in parallel with alternative frameworks in the theory of grammar and language learning. Modelling techniques such as Bayesian probability and game theory have been applied in computational and experimental work on language learning, processing and transmission, generating new problems and results. Cognitive neuroscience, genetics and comparative ethology are changing our understanding of the biological preconditions of language. Finally, technological advances such as deep learning are bringing neural networks back to the fore. None of these projects views language as the effect of the environment on a blank slate, but they differ as to the nature and scope of the prior structure that enables language learning in humans.

The aim of the Workshop is to explore the possibility that a common core of learning principles, constraints or mechanisms exists, shared by all or most of these different approaches to language. Specifically, we will bring together scholars from different sub-disciplines of the language sciences and from different research traditions in search for consensus on what kind of prior structure enables first language acquisition, and on what may be its evolutionary origins.

The invited speakers at the Workshop are:

- David Adger (Queen Mary University, London)
- Jennifer Culbertson (University of Edinburgh)
- Adele Goldberg (Princeton University)
- Simon Kirby (University of Edinburgh)
- Ianthi Tsimpli (University of Cambridge)
- Charles Yang (University of Pennsylvania).

The organizing committee: Giosuè Baggio and Terje Lohndal.
Linguistic Subfield: Cognitive Science; Computational Linguistics; Language Acquisition; Linguistic Theories; Typology
LL Issue: 27.4293


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