At the recent (virtual) BU conference on Language Development (November 4-7, 2021), Jackson Petty and Bob Frank presented their work on “Learning structure-role alignments without linguistic bias: A computational exploration”. This paper studied the degree to which modern neural network-based language models come to acquire facts about argument-structure alternations from vast amounts of linguistic experience, but without any innate language-specific constraints.
Conferences & Presentations
On Nov 2, Claire Bowern gave a talk in Roger Levy’s Computational Psycholinguistics lab, on phonological stability and factors which may (or may not) give rise to sound change. She talked with lab members about types of explanation around sound change and the interaction between cognitive, social, and physiological constraints on phonological systems.
Maria Piñango gave a plenary talk at the conference “The building blocks of information transfer in language processing” (October 18-19) hosted at the University of Zagreb. In her talk “A possible linguistically motivated processing infrastructure for an Information transfer system” Piñango discussed “information transfer” in the context of linguistically-driven conceptual composition. To this end, she focused on lexical and pragmatic metonymy, phenomena that involve meaning composition yet lack morphophonological support.
Josh Phillips gave an invited talk at TripleA 8 — a semantic fieldwork conference, hosted by the University of Singapore and held online June 23–25. The workshop brings together formally-geared fieldwork on the semantics of languages of Africa, Asia, Austronesia and Australia. Josh’s talk was entitled ‘Tense and mood: semantics of the Djambarrpuyŋu verbal paradigm.’
There were four Yale presenters at the Annual Meeting on Phonology last weekend (Oct 1-3).
Veneeta Dayal teaches a two-day mini-course on Dimensions of (In)definiteness and gives an invited talk on ‘Kinds and Objects: A Cross-linguistic Perspective on Number and (In)definiteness Marking’ at Workshop on Formal Linguistics 13, at the University of Brasilia, Brazil held on zoom on September 14-17.
An overview of the Workshop on Formal Linguistics 13 can be found at the link below.
Five papers were published by Yale linguists in the Proceedings of the 44th Annual Penn Linguistics Conference:
Samuel Andersson: Abkhaz Stress as a Segmental Property
Joseph Class: Causee Case in Gipuzkoan Basque
Catarina Soares and Jim Wood: Locative Causatives in European Portuguese as Voice Alternations
Claire Bowern recently gave two talks on recent linguistic work on the Voynich Manuscript, an early cipher manuscript held at Yale’s Beinecke Library. The talks covered basic material about the manuscript, as well as ways that linguistics can be used in decipherment. Both talks are now available online: talk at Beinecke; talk as Alumni association lecture.
Jim Wood gave an invited talk at JENom 9 “The 9th Workshop on Nominalizations,” which was held online June 17–18. This workshop brought together a wide variety of theoretical perspectives and research methodologies on nominalizations, and focused on a number languages including English, French, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Slovenian, Swedish, Turkish, Basque, Old English, Mandarin, Cantonese, and Kwa languages.