LINGUIST List 14.3557

Mon Dec 22 2003

Confs: General Ling/Ithaca, NY USA

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  1. cc42, Cornell Symposium on Language Universals

Message 1: Cornell Symposium on Language Universals

Date: Fri, 19 Dec 2003 14:40:05 -0500 (EST)
From: cc42 <>
Subject: Cornell Symposium on Language Universals

Cornell Symposium on Language Universals 

Date: 01-May-2004 - 02-May-2004
Location: Ithaca, New York, United States of America
Contact: Linda LeVan
Contact Email: 
Meeting URL: 

Linguistic Sub-field: General Linguistics

Meeting Description:

The Cornell Symposium on Language Universals will bring together
scholars from a variety of disciplines to review research on language


Sponsored by
Cornell Cognitive Studies Program

Time and Place:
May 1 and 2, 2004
Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 

Morten Christiansen (Psychology)
Chris Collins (Linguistics)
Shimon Edelman (Psychology)

Linda LeVan

An informal meeting of linguists and psychologists held at Cornell in
1951 started off a chain of events that culminated in the first
Conference on Language Universals, convened at Dobbs Ferry, New York,
a decade later. The proceedings of that conference, published by MIT
Press in 1963, set standards for multi-disciplinary study of language
and inspired generations of scholars.

The following 40 years saw, in each of the original disciplines
concerned with language, tremendous progress, a few major conceptual
revolutions (such as the ascendancy of cognitive psychology), and even
the emergence of entirely new fields (such as computational
linguistics). Because of the wealth of findings and theories offered
by the various disciplines, it is now more important than ever to
actively seek an integrated understanding of the nature of human
language universals, the cognitive and neural mechanisms behind them,
and their manifestation among different languages. To that end, the
2004 symposium sponsored by the Cornell Cognitive Studies Program
brings together scholars of language from a variety of fields, in an
event dedicated to forging new insights into the universals of
language: mathematical, linguistic, psychological, neural and

Invited Speakers:
Thomas Bever (Psychology, University of Arizona) 
John Hawkins (Linguistics, University of Southern California)
Norbert Hornstein (Linguistics, University of Maryland)
James Hurford (Linguistics, Edinburgh University)
Lila Gleitman (Psychology, University of Pennsylvania) 
Paul Kiparsky (Linguistics, Stanford, University) 
Christopher Manning (Computer Science, Stanford University) 
Ralph-Axel M´┐Żller (Psychology, San Diego State University)
Edward Stabler (Linguistics, UCLA) 
Michael Tanenhaus (Brain and Cognitive Sciences, University of
The symposium will combine presentations by invited speakers with
targeted commentaries solicited from other speakers and from Cornell
participants. The invited speakers will be asked to address the
problem of the universals of language as viewed from their own
discipline(s), while pointing to the wider implications of these
viewpoint(s) likely to be of importance to all students of
language. Position papers will be circulated ahead of time, allowing
the commentators to prepare for the discussion.

Tentative Schedule:
Each speaker will give a 45 min talk followed by 15 min of
commentaries plus 30 min of questions and discussion. The 1.5-hour
time slots for each speaker should allow for much discussion. The
program will also include poster presentations by graduate students
(both from Cornell and from elsewhere).

Attendance is free, subject to registration; an electronic
registration form will be available on the web site in January.
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