LINGUIST List 28.1270

Wed Mar 15 2017

Summer Schools: The Norwegian Summer Institute on Language and Mind, 2017

Editor for this issue: Kenneth Steimel <>

Date: 13-Mar-2017
From: Nicholas Allott <>
Subject: The Norwegian Summer Institute on Language and Mind, 2017
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Host Institution: University of Oslo

Dates: 01-Aug-2017 - 11-Aug-2017
Location: Oslo, Norway

Focus: We are delighted to announce the Norwegian Summer Institute on Language and Mind, a summer course in linguistics and philosophy in Norway, with lectures from international experts, including some of the most distinguished figures in linguistics and philosophy. The theme for the institute in 2017 is 'Cognition and Computation’. The primary aim of the institute is to bring graduate students (MA-level and doctoral researchers) up to date with developments in the intersection of work on language and mind by presenting classes with leading researchers in the relevant fields. These will include linguists open to philosophical issues, and philosophers focused on linguistics and the cognitive sciences.
Minimum Education Level: BA
Special Qualifications: All graduate students are welcome to apply. Applicants must normally be graduate students (normally at master's or doctoral level). (Those whose graduate course ends in summer 2017 are eligible, as are those whose graduate course starts in autumn/fall 2017.) If in doubt about your eligibility please contact us.

Theme for the institute in 2017: Cognition and Computation:

The notion of a “computational/representational” account of the mind is fundamental to work in cognitive science and linguistics. The institute will focus on such an account in three different areas: linguistic variation and its acquisition, perception and mental representation, and computational explanations in general in linguistics and cognitive science. A goal will be to try to make clear just whether the component terms, “computation” and
“representation,” mean the same thing in the three areas.

Specific issues will include: How do children learn languages and how can this be modelled in computational terms in such a way that it also accommodates variation between languages? Does computation involve a commitment to actual processes in the brain and to symbols actually representing things; and if so, what “things”? What do findings in psycholinguistics and the psychology of perception tell us about the nature of computation? In what ways are the processes, representations and represented things “psychologically real”?

The teaching:

Classes are from Tuesday – Saturday and then Monday – Friday.

The first day will have introductory lectures to get everyone up to speed with the relevant parts of linguistics, philosophy and psychology. For the rest of the course, days will include two-hour classes on each of the three "strands" (see below). Each class will consist, roughly, of an hour of lecture followed by an hour of discussion.

There will also be some round-table discussion sessions, where we will discuss issues across the strands, guided by student questions.


Linguistic variation and its acquisition:

Topics to include: syntactic theory and linguistic variation; acquisition and sentence processing mechanisms, Bayesian approaches to language acquisition, ways to incorporate variation into models of acquisition and processing.

Perception and mental representation:

Topics to include: How do we gain knowledge about the world from our sensory systems? Bayesian modeling of perception, vision as computation

Computational explanations in linguistics and cognitive science:

Topics to include: grammar and psychological reality, parsing, the alleged resurrection of the theory of derivational complexity, the role of heuristics in mental computation, and foundational questions about representational/computational theories of cognition


Nicholas Allott (University of Oslo)
Sarah Allred (Rutgers)
Janet Dean Fodor (City University of New York)
Steven Gross (Johns Hopkins)
Carsten Hansen (University of Oslo)
Dave Kush (NTNU, Trondheim)
Terje Lohndal (NTNU, Trondheim, & UiT The Arctic University of Norway)
Laurence T. Maloney (New York University)
Lisa Pearl (UC Irvine)
Colin Phillips (University of Maryland at College Park)
Georges Rey (University of Maryland at College Park)

Note for University of Oslo MA students:

MA students in IFIKK, ILOS, and ILN can get course credits for taking the summer institute. Please email us if you want to know the details.


Senior lecturer Nicholas Allott, University of Oslo
Professor Carsten Hansen, University of Oslo
Professor Terje Lohndal, NTNU & UiT The Arctic University of Norway
Professor Georges Rey, University of Maryland at College Park

Supporting institutions:

CSMN, University of Oslo; Norwegian Graduate Researcher School in Linguistics
and Philology; IFIKK, University of Oslo; University of Maryland at College Park

Linguistic Field(s): Cognitive Science
                      Discipline of Linguistics
                      General Linguistics
                      Language Acquisition
                      Linguistic Theories
                      Philosophy of Language

Tuition: 0 Other
Financial Aid: Applications accepted until 25-Apr-2017
We have funding for some travel and accommodation bursaries. All summer institute participants who are current PhD students at institutions affiliated with the Norwegian Graduate Researcher School in Linguistics and Philology will be able to receive bursaries. In addition, we have some bursaries for other students, which will be assigned competitively.

Financial Aid Instructions:
There are limited places on the summer institute, and the number of bursaries is even more limited. Please fill in the registration form mentioned below at and follow the instructions there to apply. (You have to paste a short covering letter into the form, then email us a CV/resumé.)

Registration: 01-Mar-2017 to 25-Apr-2017
Contact Person: Nicholas Allott

Apply on the web:

Registration Instructions:
There are limited places on the summer institute. Please fill in the form at and follow the instructions there to apply. (You have to paste a short cover letter into the form, then email us a CV/resumé.)

Page Updated: 15-Mar-2017