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LINGUIST List 18.2797

Wed Sep 26 2007

Confs: Cognitive Science;Computational Linguistics;Syntax/USA

Editor for this issue: Stephanie Morse <morselinguistlist.org>

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        1.    Robert Berwick, Where Does Syntax Come From? Have We All Been Wrong?

Message 1: Where Does Syntax Come From? Have We All Been Wrong?
Date: 26-Sep-2007
From: Robert Berwick <berwickcsail.mit.edu>
Subject: Where Does Syntax Come From? Have We All Been Wrong?
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Where Does Syntax Come From? Have We All Been Wrong?

Date: 19-Oct-2007 - 19-Oct-2007
Location: Cambridge, MA, USA
Contact: Robert Berwick
Contact Email: berwickcsail.mit.edu

Linguistic Field(s): Cognitive Science; Computational Linguistics; Syntax

Meeting Description:

The impetus for this workshop, borrowing from a recent review by
Yang in TICS (2004), is that 'Recent demonstrations of statistical
learning in infants have reinvigorated the innateness versus learning
debate in language acquisition,' particularly regarding syntax.
We aim to reexamine this issue in a single forum from the
computational, cognitive, and formal linguistics perspectives. Our
intent is to examine recent applications of statistical learning
theory to language acquisition.

Call for Participation

Special 1-day MIT Workshop:

Where Does Syntax Come From? Have We All Been Wrong?

Cambridge, MA, October 19th, 2007


Friday, October 19th, 2007, 9 am - 5:30 pm
(refreshments 9-9:30; lunch 12:30-1:30; afternoon refreshments)


Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Room 34-401 (Grier Room), Cambridge, MA


Noam Chomsky, MIT,
Remarks and Reflections

Sandiway Fong, University of Arizona,
Statistical Natural Language Parsing: Reliable
Models of Language?

Lila Gleitman, University of Pennsylvania,
Human Simulations of Language Learning

Howard Lasnik and Juan Uriagereka, University of Maryland,
Structure Dependence, the Rational Learner, and
Putnam's 'Sane Person'

Chris Manning, Stanford University,
Title TBA

Partha Niyogi, University of Chicago,
The Computational Nature of Language Learning

William Gregory Sakas & Janet Dean Fodor, CUNY,
'Ideal' Language Learning and The Psychological
Resource Problem

Josh Tennenbaum, Amy Perfors, MIT, & Terry Regier, University of Chicago,
Explorations in Language Learnability Using
Probabilistic Grammars and Child-directed Speech


No advance registration required, no fee - open to all.
Open roundtable discussion at the end of the day.


Robert C. Berwick, MIT, berwickcsail.mit.edu
Michael Coen, University of Wisconsin-Madison,


That machine learning has something to offer in understanding
language acquisition is not in doubt. However, we would like to
examine the basic premise that computational approaches should be
linguistically informed. The hypothesis put forth is that statistical
approaches should work within the framework of classical linguistics
rather than supplant it.

The goal of this workshop is to examine this hypothesis critically,
be it wrong or right, and for each speaker to present evidence as
they see fit.

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