Faculty

Jackson Petty and Bob Frank present at the BU Conference on Language Development

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.

Claire Bowern Gives Talk at MIT

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 gives plenary talk

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.

Stephen Anderson publishes second edition of Phonology in the Twentieth Century

Language Science Press has published a second edition of Emeritus Professor Steve Anderson’s celebrated monograph Phonology in the Twentieth Century (U Chicago Press 1985) — an important history of the development of phonological thinking over the course of the last century which taxonomises and contextualises the contributions of important theorists and tensions between “representational” and “rule-based” approaches to the sound structures of human language.

How to find and work with a linguist

The Fieldwork Working Group has published the first in a series of videos aimed at connecting language communities with pertinent information about working with linguistics. The first video features information about how to find and work with a linguist as well as a list of the types of projects and tasks linguists can support language communities with. The Fieldwork Working Group is also taking suggestions for topics to discuss in future videos to be added to the series. The Fieldwork Working Group is headed by Natalie Weber. A link to the first video in the series is available below.

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'

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.

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