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LINGUIST List 22.2365

Sun Jun 05 2011

FYI: Call for Book Chapters: Usage-based Models

Editor for this issue: Brent Miller <brentlinguistlist.org>

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        1.     Daniel Wiechmann , Call for Book Chapters: Usage-based Models

Message 1: Call for Book Chapters: Usage-based Models
Date: 03-Jun-2011
From: Daniel Wiechmann <wiechmannanglistik.rwth-aachen.de>
Subject: Call for Book Chapters: Usage-based Models
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First call for abstracts for an edited volume on 'Parsimony and Redundancy
in Usage-Based Models' (working title).

This year’s LSA Annual Conference featured a workshop on ''Empirically
examining parsimony and redundancy in usage-based models'' organized by
Neal Snider (Nuance Communications, Inc.), Daniel Wiechmann (RWTH Aachen
University), Elma Kerz (RWTH Aachen) and T. Florian Jaeger (University of
Rochester) (see http://www.hlp.rochester.edu/lsa2011/). The workshop
brought together linguists, psycholinguists, and computational linguists
and was geared to discuss which methodologies can best shed light on
questions pertaining to the representational nature of constructions and
the mechanisms involved in their on-line processing. The workshop abstract
is given below.

Based on this workshop, we are currently preparing an edited volume, which
represents the results of the workshop but also comprises additional work
in this domain. Thus the objective of the volume is to present the
state-of-the-art of research into parsimony and redundancy in usage-based
models drawing from a variety of methodologies and interdisciplinary
approaches. To this end, we welcome papers that empirically examine these
issues at any level of linguistic description.

If you're interested in submitting to such a volume, please send a 4-page
abstract (~2000 words, plus reference, examples, and up to 4 figures or
tables) to wiechmannanglistik.rwth-aachen.de no later than June 24.

The selected 4-page abstracts will be incorporated into the book proposal.
We are aiming for a publication in mid 2012, which means that we anticipate
a deadline for the full papers by September 23.

All full papers will be peer reviewed by the editors of the volume and
external reviewers.

The following is our projected timeline:
-- June 24, 2011: 4-page abstracts due
-- July 8, 2011: Invitations to submit/rejections of abstracts
-- September 23, 2009: Papers due
-- October 28, 2010: Final revisions due

Feel free to contact Elma Kerz (kerzanglistik.rwth-aachen.de) or Daniel
Wiechmann (wiechmannanglistik.rwth-aachen.de) if you have questions as to
the suitability of your possible contribution.

Acceptance of the 4-page abstract for the book proposal does not entail
acceptance of the full paper.

Workshop abstract:

Recent years have seen a growing interest in usage-based (UB) theories of
language, which assume that language use plays a causal role in the
development of linguistic systems over historical time. A central
assumption of the UB-framework is the idea that shapes of grammars are
closely connected to principles of human cognitive processing (Bybee 2006,
Givon 1991, Hawkins 2004). UB-accounts strongly gravitate towards sign- or
construction-based theories of language, viz. theories that are committed
to the belief that linguistic knowledge is best conceived of as an assembly
of symbolic structures (e.g. Goldberg 2006, Langacker 2008, Sag et al.
2003). These constructionist accounts share (1) the postulation of a single
representational format of all linguistic knowledge and (2) claim a strong
commitment to psychological plausibility of mechanisms for the learning,
storage, and retrieval of linguistic units. They do, however, exhibit a
considerable degree of variation with respect to their architectural and
mechanistic details (cf. Croft & Cruse 2004).

A key issue is the balancing of storage parsimony and processing parsimony:
Maximizing storage parsimony is taken to imply greater computational demand
and vice versa. The space of logical possibilities ranges from a complete
inheritance model (minimal storage redundancy) to a full-entry model
(maximal storage redundancy). Currently, the empirical validation of the
theoretical situation is not yet conclusive: the representations involved
in language processing involve extremely fine-grained lexical-structural
co-occurrences, for example frequent four-word phrases are processed faster
than infrequent ones (Bannard and Matthews 2008, Arnon and Snider 2010). On
the other hand, syntactic exemplar models (Bod 2006) have been argued to
overfit and undergeneralize compared to models that do not store all
structures in the training data (cf. Post and Gildea 2009, although they
found that Tree Substitution Grammar representations induced in a Bayesian
framework still split the parsimony continuum towards greater redundancy).
Also, experimental work has argued that models of categorization that
directly map phonetic dimensions to phonological categories (and therefore
more directly reflect the statistics of the training data) do not predict
human behavior as well as models that assume independent, intermediate
representations (Toscano and McMurray 2010). Additionally, recent work has
provided evidence that early evidence for full-entry models from item-based
learning in acquisition (e.g. Pine & Lieven 1997) is confounded, reopening
this line of research as well (Yang, unpublished manuscript).

References and representative work

Arnon, I. and N. Snider. 2010. More than words: Frequency effects for
multi-word phrases. Journal of Memory and Language. 62, 67-82.
Bannard, C. and Matthews, D. 2008. Stored word sequences in language
learning: The effect of familiarity on childrens repetition of four-word
combinations. Psychological Science, 19, 241248.
Bod, R. 2006. Exemplar-based syntax: How to get productivity from examples.
The Linguistic Review 23.291320.
Bybee, Joan. 2006. From usage to grammar: the mind's response to
repetition. Language 82(4). 711-733.
Croft, W and D. A. Cruse. 2004. Cognitive linguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press.
Feldman, J., E. Dodge and J. Bryant. 2009. A Neural Theory of Language and
Embodied Construction Grammar. In The Oxford Handbook of Linguistic
Analysis. Edited by B. Heine and H. Narrog.
Goldberg, A. 2006. Constructions at work: The Nature of Generalisation in
Language. Oxford: OUP
Hawkins, J.A. 2004. Efficiency and Complexity in Grammars. Oxford
University Press, Oxford
Konopka, A. E., & Bock, J. K. 2009. Lexical or syntactic control of
sentence formulation? Structural generalizations from idiom production.
Cognitive Psychology, 58, 68101.
Langacker, R. 2008. Cognitive Grammar: A Basic Introduction. New York:
Oxford University PressPost and Gildea (2009)
Post, M. and D. Gildea. 2009. Language modeling with tree substitution
grammars. Proceedings of NIPS workshop on Grammar Induction, Representation
of Language, and Language Learning. Whistler, British Columbia.
Sag, I. A., T. Wasow, and E. Bender. 2003. Syntactic Theory: A Formal
Introduction (Second Edition). Stanford: CSLI Publications.
Tomasello, M. 2003. Constructing a Language: A Usage-Based Theory of
Language Acquisition. Harvard University Press.
Toscano, J. C., & McMurray, B. 2010. Cue integration with categories:
Weighting acoustic cues in speech using unsupervised learning and
distributional statistics. Cognitive Science, 34, 434-464.

Linguistic Field(s): Cognitive Science; Psycholinguistics

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