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First two-week Session

First two-week Session

  • Advances in Contact-induced Morphological Change

    Francesco Gardani

    This course focuses on a wide range of phenomena occurring under the heading of contact-induced morphological change and pursues three main goals:  first, to introduce the most recent developments in research on contact-induced morphological change; second, to make the students aware of and acquainted with the array of new data collected in recent publications; and, third, to lead them to a full understanding of how data from language contact informs the theory of morphology, in terms of the architecture of grammar.  

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  • Amazonian languages: Major families, linguistic areas, and grammatical topics

    Lev Michael

    This course will introduce participants to the linguistic diversity of Amazonia, the major genealogical and areal groupings of the region, and linguistic phenomena of broader theoretical interest found in Amazonian languages. We will begin with an overview of the geographical distribution, classification, and grammatical characteristics of the major Amazonian language families, followed by a more detailed examination of the most geographically-dispered South American language family: Arawak.

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  • Analyzing Time Series Data Using Generalized Additive Modeling

    Jacolien van Rij, Martijn Wieling

    This course will provide a hands-on introduction to Generalized Additive Modeling (GAMs). We will introduce methods to identify the best model given the data, and demonstrate how to visualize non-linear effects and non-linear interactions. In addition, we will address several potential problems, including, but not limited to, dealing with the common problem (for time series data) of encountering autocorrelation in the residuals of a model.

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  • Approaches to Morphosemantics

    Andrew Koontz-Garboden

    To what extent do the morphological and syntactic composition of words and phrases reflect the composition of their meanings? Do crosslinguistic differences in morphosyntax reflect differences in the primitives of semantic composition? Is there a uniform underlying syntactic representation for certain kinds of meanings across classes of lexeme introducing them and across languages? This class explores two contrasting views about the morphosyntax/semantics interface which make different predictions about the answers to such questions:

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  • Articulatory Phonology

    Khalil Iskarous

    Articulatory Phonology (AP) is a view of the sound structure of a language that tries to account both for its abstract aspect, contrast, alternation, and hierarchical structure, as well as its physical realization in speech production and perception. And it does so without assuming a dualistic mind-body distinction between phonology-phonetics. The key aspect of AP that allows is to be non-dualistic is a dynamical framework that allows for a principled (non-arbitrary) relation between symbolic/discrete entities and continuous motion.

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  • Computational Lexical Semantics

    Dan Jurafsky

    Survey of computational models for representing and processing lexical semantics. Topics include semantic role labeling, online dictionaries and thesauri, word sense disambiguation, distributional (vector) semantics, and sentiment analysis.

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  • Computational Psycholinguistics

    Roger Levy, Klinton Bicknell

    Over the last two and a half decades, computational linguistics has been revolutionized as a result of three closely related developments: increases in computing power, the advent of large linguistic datasets, and a paradigm shift toward probabilistic modeling.

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  • Constructionist Approaches

    Adele Goldberg

    This course emphasizes the commonalities among words, idioms and more abstract syntactic patterns in that all are learned pairings of form and function, at varying levels of complexity and abstraction. This emphasis allows us to draw many parallels between language and other cognitive processes such as categorization, parallels that in turn raise the issue of whether language may emerge from a combination of general cognitive abilities, without requiring a unique language faculty.

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  • Continuations and Natural Language

    Chris Barker

    This course will make a case that continuations, a concept from the theory of programming languages, are an indispensable element  in any complete account of natural language meaning.  The continuation of an expression is a portion of its surrounding context.  The main applications of continuations to be considered include scope, binding, crossover, reconstruction, negative polarity licensing, the compositional semantics of the adjective "same", and sluicing.   The course will follow the 2014 Barker and Shan book, `Continuations and natural language' (Oxford).

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  • Contrast in Phonology

    Darya Kavitskaya

    The notion of contrast is central to linguistic theory. In this seminar, we will address theoretical approaches to contrast from Ferdinand de Saussure to the latest work by Paul Kiparsky.


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  • Data-driven Computational Pragmatics

    Shlomo Engelson Argamon, Jonathan Dunn

    This course introduces data-driven computational pragmatics, an empirical approach to pragmatics which uses large amounts of linguistic data with only computational annotations to learn models describing pragmatic phenomena. Data-driven computational pragmatics offers two important advantages: (1) experiments which require no direct human intervention can be run on massive amounts of linguistic data; (2) subtle pragmatic phenomena which are below the level of consciousness of individual analysts can be detected and described.

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  • From input to production through perception: Making the most of extant data in early language acquisition research

    Amanda Seidl, Alex Cristia

    Studying early language development is incredibly demanding, in part due to the difficulty of gathering the relevant data. Fortunately, recent advances in a number of domains are facilitating the acquisition and consolidation of massive amounts of data. In this mini-course, we will discuss some of these recent developments and the new opportunities, and challenges, they afford to linguists interested in development. Additionally, we will demonstrate how to make use of large datasets that are publicly available today through brief tutorials.

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  • Introduction to Statistics with R

    Stefan Th. Gries

    This course introduces the participants to the basic logic underlying statistical description and analysis, teaches them how to compute and visualize descriptive statistics, and how to perform monofactorial statistical tests of linguistic data from both observational and experimental settings. The course will use the open source programming language and environment R and will be loosely based on Gries (2013), the second edition of my textbook 'Statistics for linguistics with R'.

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  • Language and the Body

    Daniel Casasanto, Susan Goldin-Meadow

    Language isn't created by a computer, or a brain in a jar. It's created by people using their bodies to interact with each other and the world around them. Since the human body is both the birthplace of language and the instrument through with language is produced and perceived, the structure and content of language are profoundly shaped by specifics of our bodies.

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  • Language Variation through the Lens of Web Data

    Sravana Reddy

    The rise of social media has resulted in an unprecedented quantity of user-generated data such as text on Twitter or speech and video on YouTube. This content is often associated with demographic information – the gender, geographic location, ethnicity, and social network connections of the author – which opens up the opportunity to study language variation from a corpus-based "big data" point of view.

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  • Metrics

    Lev Blumenfeld

    The course will cover theoretical approaches to rule-governed prosodic patterning in verse in the generative tradition. We will engage two groups of theoretical questions. (1) Metrical knowledge: how do metrical texts get their structure, and what is the nature of metrical representations and rules/constraints that govern them? (2) Variation: what is the nature of gradient metricality, how can it be discovered in a corpus, and how is it represented in grammar?

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  • Neuroscience of Language

    Ellen Lau

    This course will provide an overview of recent developments in cognitive neuroscience research on language, primarily focusing on language comprehension. We will discuss research that uses cognitive neuroscience methods to ask questions about the form of linguistic representations, as well as research that investigates the actual neural implementation of these representations; specific topics will likely span sound, meaning, and syntax. Strengths and limitations of various neuroimaging methods (EEG, MEG, fMRI) for addressing particular questions will be debated.

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  • Perceptual Dialectology: What have we learned? What’s to be done?

    Dennis Preston

    In this course the goals, methods, and findings of perceptual dialectology are summarized and evaluated, with special regard to the following:
    1) Where do people believe speech differs?
    2) How do folk boundaries differ from professional ones?
    3) How do people believe speech differs? 
    4) Which signals do people use to identify varieties?
    5) Which variant facts influence comprehension?
    6) What social factors accompany/influence any of this?

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  • Probabilistic Pragmatics

    Judith Degen, Dan Lassiter

    Pragmatics was once thought of as the ‘wastebasket’ of linguistics: as the caricature went, phenomena that were too complex to handle in the semantics were pushed to the mushy pragmatics, where they were dispatched with hand-wavy “just-so” stories. Recent developments in cognitive science have provided us with a new set of tools for modeling pragmatic listener behavior as social reasoning about a speaker who is assumed to have the communicative intention of informing their listener.

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  • Semantic Variation in Nominal Expressions

    Amy Rose Deal

    Both the semantics and the syntax of nouns and complex nominals appear to vary to a significant degree across languages. Loci of variation include articles and determiners; number marking, classifiers and measure constructions; and indexical elements such as personal pronouns. This course asks: To what extent is variation in these areas the result of differences in the semantics of otherwise parallel lexical items? To what extent does it reflect variation at the syntax/semantics interface, or in the lexicon? (How) does the variation affect the range of meanings that can be conveyed?

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