The Landscape for the second semester

Utku Turk

23 Jan 2022

The Landscape for the second semester

[[Classnotes MOC]] [[Psycholing Classnotes]]

Date:: 2022-01-23

Class:: Psycholinguistics II

Tags:: #umd #classnotes #umd/psylx

Central Constraint

Language is complicated and varied. BUT people are really good at it. How to build people or their cognition so that they are good at this complicated thing. They mostly succeed and when they fail they fail in a systematic way.

why aspects of the theory of the syntax?

why how cognition came into being?

what do people do

processing people

theory people

It feels like there is a linguistics vs. psychology split. it used be that psycholx people stay in psychology department. that is not true anymore.

there is not much of a divide in language development ppl.

this does not matter tho. Psycholinguistics tries to understand that is not much given in proper category. Levels of representation, level of analysis, and change.

levels of representation: every subfield are interested in different type of representations, phonological, semantic, syntactic, feature-wise.

levels of analysis: we can take the same cognitive system, we can describe that at different levels of details. either high level characterization, or very detailed model.

change: how these information changes over time. these systems do not stay the same overtime.

what about social change?

colin’s obsession

levels of analysis \(\neq \) mechanisms \(\neq \) tasks

when your goal/task is different, it will affect the rest of the pyramid as well. but it will also depend on how specialized the cognitive system.

Question Formation

We do not have any trouble tracking anything in the examples above. When we have “anybody who”i nstead of “everybody doubts”, it is very bad.

Sentences are like these are called islands, specifically relative clause islands: a wh-word cannot escape from it.

It seems that it is very hard to learn due to poverty of stimulus or negative evidence. Also, almost all languages do the very same. THUS, we want to say it is already there and not learned. So, we go on and test children and try to show that it exists in children.

One thing that come about is maybe this is actually not very hard to learn. Syntactic Islands and Learning Biases by Pearl and Sprouse. They showed that it is somewhat possible to use readily available information and learn islands. Also, Learning Island-insensitivity from the input by Kush Sant and Strætkvern. You thought island was universal? Nope. okay in Norwegian. More, Lidz and Omaki thought that kids are really bad at processing. Maybe they thought they heard stuff, but it was not actually there at all.

There are also a lot of work that people are interested within adult language processing. Can we use evidence from time course to address disputes among linguistics about the right way to encode the relationship between the word and the relative clause. Some ppl say there is an empty position in the original object position and wh-word and the verb have a relation. Others says the empty space is actually occupied and the relationship is between the placeholder and the wh-word.

Maybe time-course and the wierdness affect how you interpret the question?

How many students did the school enlarge the clasroom for _ ?

People may be eager to put students right after the enlarge. What happens if we put it inside an island? Do you still get that weird interpretation? Guess not.