LINGUIST List 7.991

Fri Jul 5 1996

FYI: Grad. Stipend -- Neurocomputing&Lx, New Doctoral Program

Editor for this issue: Ljuba Veselinova <lveselinemunix.emich.edu>


Directory

  1. John Nerbonne, Grad. Stipend -- Neurocomputing & Linguistics
  2. Philip M. Prinz, New Doctoral Program Emphasis in "Atypical Developmental Psycholinguistics"

Message 1: Grad. Stipend -- Neurocomputing & Linguistics

Date: Fri, 21 Jun 1996 08:34:31 +0200
From: John Nerbonne <nerbonnelet.rug.nl>
Subject: Grad. Stipend -- Neurocomputing & Linguistics

Graduate Student Stipend
Behavioral and Cognitive Neurosciences, Groningen
Begin approx. 1 Jan 97
NEUROCOMPUTING AND LANGUAGE

 Graduate Student Stipend
 ------------------------

Available to puruse study leading to a Ph.D. with a specialization in
computational linguistics (CL). This is a special program of the
Groningen graduate school for Behavioural and Cognitive Neurosciences
(BCN), and is limited to students from outside the Netherlands.

RESEARCH AREA: Linguistic theory almost universally proposes tightly
organized, discrete and logically complex models to describe
structure, e.g. models involving inventories of segments and signs,
and combined using rules and patterns which are deductively complex,
recursive, and categorical. Even processing theories
(psycholinguistic and/or computational) tend to make use of
statistical, or nondiscrete dependencies or asynchronous processing
only in peripheral ways. But language is ultimately processed,
learned and stored in neural structure.

Neuroscience has been successful in describing fundamental cognitive
processes, including some aspects of perception, categorization, and
learning. The basic neural mechanisms it adduces are rather unlike
those we find in linguistic theorizing. The categories are decidedly
"fuzzy". In place of inventories of discrete rules or patterns, we
instead find statistical generalizations (often cloaked in procedural,
sort of "derivational" formulations) which may or may not have
rule-based systems as useful approximations. Information is processed
asynchronously, preferably with little deductive depth (few processing
steps). The general question is how one can reconcile the discrete,
symbolic methods of linguistics with the statistical, numerical
methods suggested by neuroscience.

A successful project will focus on some aspect of how the discrete
rule systems used in linguistics are related to the nondiscrete
processing used in neuro-computing. Preferably this will use a
limited linguistic domain (e.g. phonological processses, or semantical
selection restrictions) as material, and will also experiment with
different implemented computational models, and will furthermore
analyze these methods and models.

A special current opportunity is association with Laurie Stowe's
"Pionier Project", which focuses on neurological correlates of
psycholinguistic processing, making use of several neurological probes
to map brain processes, including PET, ERP and MRI. A project might
be designed to cooperate with this group, and to involve
computational models of this work.

CANDIDATE: A candidate should have training in neurocomputing (i.e.,
coursework and/or undergrad thesis) and be interested in applying this
to linguistic problems. Initial university training (English honors
degree, German Diplom, American BS or MS) must have been completed
successfully prior to assuming the stipend. He or she should speak
and write English comfortably (and will probably wish to learn Dutch,
but isn't obliged to). Initiative, creativity and tenacity are major
plus points.

ENVIRONMENT: Alfa-informatica is the computational linguistics group
of Linguistics, which is in turn a part of BCN. There are four
permanent staff positions dedicated to language and text processing,
and approx. eight researchers (FTE's) working as postdocs, graduate
students, or researchers. The focus of the group until now has been
on linguistic models, but see E. Tjong Kim Sang's work on phonotactic
learning for some experiments using simple recurrent nets. See
http://www.let.rug.nl/Alfa-Info.l.html for current projects, staffing,
papers, etc. including pointers to Tjong Kim Sang's papers. The
current project represents an effort to explore a neurocomputing
perspective.

CONDITIONS OF STIPEND: The stipend will be f 2,500. (gross), which
would normally be approx. 1,700. (net) (depending on age and family
circumstances). (On June 10, f 1.11 = DM 1= $0.59) The stipend holder
is expected to conduct research leading to the Ph.D (including some
coursework), to participate in the semi-regular meetings of the CL
research group, and to assume minor departmental responsibilities
(e.g., maintain a software package or serving as library liaison). A
small amount of teaching (two courses over four years) will be
advisable as professional training.

TIMETABLE: Applications due by 1 Aug. Candidates should be prepared
to begin 1 Jan. 1997, and run for maximally four years. Exceptions
(earlier or later) possible by explicit prior arrangement (please
mention any such wishes in your letter of application). Preference
will be given to candidates who can begin earlier.

APPLICATIONS (preferably by email) should include CV, an example of
writing on a related subject, and the names of two professionals
willing to write letters of recommendation. An accompanying letter
should elaborate on your interest and further focus you would suggest
for the research project (if any). In case of printed material,
please send to J.Nerbonne, Alfa-informatica, P.O. Box 716,
Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, 9700 AS Groningen, The Netherlands.

FURTHER INFORMATION: John Nerbonne, nerbonnelet.rug.nl (but not
during July).
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Message 2: New Doctoral Program Emphasis in "Atypical Developmental Psycholinguistics"

Date: Fri, 21 Jun 1996 08:09:41 PDT
From: Philip M. Prinz <pmsfsu.edu>
Subject: New Doctoral Program Emphasis in "Atypical Developmental Psycholinguistics"
 SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT FOR

 DOCTORAL AND ADVANCED MASTER'S STUDENTS

NEW DOCTORAL EMPHASIS AND GRADUATE SEMINARS IN "ATYPICAL DEVELOPMENTAL
PSYCHOLINGUISTICS"

 A new emphasis in "Atypical Developmental Psycholinguistics"
within the Joint Doctoral Program in Special Education (University of
California at Berkeley and San Francisco State University) will begin
fall 1996. A brief description of the new emphasis and associated
required coursework is enclosed.

 As part of this specialization, three new graduate seminars
(SPED 921, 922, and 923) focusing on language and literacy issues in
exceptional or "atypical" children and adolescents presenting sensory,
cognitive, linguistic, and/or motoric disabilities will be offered on
the San Francisco State University campus during the 1996-97 academic
year (see enclosed seminar descriptions). These seminars will be open
to doctoral as well as advanced master's students. Students with a
background in Special Education, Psychology, Linguistics, Deaf
Education, Communicative Disorders and related disciplines are welcome
and encouraged to enroll as long as they satisfy the prerequisite
requirements. Graduate students from Bay Area universities that are
members of the Consortium may also register for these seminars.

 If you are a graduate student registered on any campus of the
University of California (UC), you may register at San Francisco State
University (SFSU) as an Intercampus Exchange Graduate Student with the
approval of your graduate adviser, the chair of the department in
which you want to study, the dean of the Graduate Division on the home
campus, and the dean of the Graduate Division on the host campus. You
may obtain an application form for the Intercampus Exchange Program
for Graduate Students from the office of the dean of the Graduate
Division on your home UC campus. You should complete and file the
application form at least three weeks before the opening of the term
of enrollment on the SFSU campus. With the approval of the Graduate
Division and your department, you may register and pay applicable fees
at your home UC campus and be exempt from tuition and fees at SFSU.
You may enroll for only one course per semester at SFSU. Important:
please obtain an "Add Form" from the Department of Special Education
at SFSU and bring it to the professor on the first day of instruction.

- -----------------
 Emphasis in
"Atypical Developmental Psycholinguistics"

Joint Doctoral Program in Special Education

Department of Special Education
College of Education
San Francisco State University
and
 Graduate School of Education
University of California at Berkeley

 This effort represents the establishment of a new emphasis in
"Atypical Developmental Psycholinguistics" (ADP) within the Joint
Doctoral Program in Special Education at San Francisco State
University (SFSU) and the University of California at Berkeley
(UCB). The program emphasis is co-directed by Dr. Philip M. Prinz,
Professor of Special Education at SFSU and Dr. Dan Slobin, Professor
of Psychology at UCB. The Joint Doctoral emphasis in "Atypical
Developmental Psycholinguistics" relates the study of language
behavior, its development and use by children and adolescents to
atypical development and exceptionality, with a particular focus on
linguistic and cognitive differences and their social, psychological
and neurological correlates. The program emphasis covers the study of
language development across various modalities: spoken, signed and
written and includes information on American Sign Language (ASL) as
well as alternative/augmentative communication.

 Students select between two specialization strands within this
emphasis: Strand 1 involves research and coursework on language
acquisition as related to cognitive, linguistic and/or motoric
disability and focuses on language development in specific atypical
populations (i.e., autistic and severely emotionally disturbed,
specific language impaired, language/learning disabled,
severely/multiply disabled). Strand 2 of the emphasis covers the study
of deafness, especially as it relates to the psycholinguistic aspects
of sign language and sign language acquisition with children and
adolescents presenting sensory disabilities. The social and cultural
contexts of communicative interactions and their implications for
language and literacy acquisition, assessment and intervention will be
a central focus of both interdisciplinary specialization strands.

- -------------------------------------------------------------

New graduate Seminars in
"Atypical Developmental Psycholinguistics"
JOINT DOCTORAL PROGRAM IN SPECIAL EDUCATION
San Francisco State University AND
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA AT BERKELEY
1996-97 Academic Year

Seminars Offered on the San Francisco State University Campus:

SPED 921 Current Issues in Atypical Language and Literacy
Acquisition (3 units)

Prerequisite: Basic coursework in linguistics, psycholinguistics and
language acquisition. Consent of Instructor. Review of current
research issues in atypical developmental psycholinguistics as related
to sensory, cognitive, linguistic, and motoric disabilities in
children and adolescents across spoken, written and signed modalities
including information on American Sign Language (ASL) and
augmentative/alternate communication. The seminar emphasizes critical
analysis of current research on atypical language
acquisition. Includes class discussion and critiques, and
collaborative teaching on the part of faculty with similar research
interests (e.g., second language learning, language disabilities,
bilingualism and the acquisition of English and ASL). (to be offered
Fall semester 1996, Thursday, 1-4 p.m.)


SPED 922 Research Design and Methodologies in Atypical Developmental
Psycholinguistics (3 units)

Prerequisite: Basic coursework in linguistics, psycholinguistics,
language acquisition, and SPED 921. Consent of Instructor. The seminar
focuses on current research methodologies (e.g.,
ethnographic/naturalistic observational, and experimental studies)
used in the study of language and literacy acquisition, assessment,
and intervention in atypical or exceptional populations, especially as
related to cultural and linguistic differences. (to be offered Spring
semester 1997)


SPED 923 Linguistic Basis of American Sign Language (ASL) and Sign

Language Acquisition in Deaf Children and Adolescents (3 units)
Prerequisite: Basic coursework in linguistics, psycholinguistics, and
language acquisition. Consent of Instructor. The seminar covers basic
linguistic features and rules of the grammar of American Sign Language
(ASL) including ASL phonology, morphology, syntax, pragmatics and
discourse; classifiers; temporal concepts; non manual signals;
cultural variations in ASL based on ethnicity, gender, age, and
geographic region; the sign language continuum and sign language
differences; and ASL transcription. The seminar also focuses on
developmental psycholinguistic theories of language development in
deaf children as related to sign language acquisition; phonologic,
morphologic, syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic aspects of the
development of American Sign Language (ASL); non manual aspects of
sign language acquisition and the use of space in discourse; language
input to deaf children and its effects on language development;
acquisition of fingerspelling; and cultural and linguistic variation
in deaf signing populations. (to be offered Spring semester 1997)


For additional information:
Dr. Philip M. Prinz
office: (415) 338-7655
email: pmsfsu.edu

Dr. Philip M. Prinz, Co-Coordinator, Joint Doctoral Program in Special
Education
 (SF State University & UC Berkeley)
San Francisco State University
Department of Special Education & ASL Literacy Project
1600 Holloway Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94132
Tel: (415) 338-7655 Fax: (415) 338-0566 E-mail: pmsfsu.edu

Dr. Philip M. Prinz, Co-Coordinator, Joint Doctoral Program in Special
Education
 (SF State University & UC Berkeley)
San Francisco State University
Department of Special Education & ASL Literacy Project
1600 Holloway Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94132
Tel: (415) 338-7655 Fax: (415) 338-0566 E-mail: pmsfsu.edu



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